GEOG 2156 - Environmental Ethics
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015
General Course Information
Course Code GEOG 2156 Course Environmental Ethics Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 4 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 undergraduate study Assumed Knowledge Understanding of environmental issues and management will be an advantage Course Description This course will familiarise students with the content and the processes within ethical decision-making concerning the natural and social environment. This course will introduce students to the main ethical theories pertaining to the environment and include introduction to anthropocentric, biocentric and ecocentric viewpoints. The course considers the impacts of ethical considerations on a range of real world environmental situations including ethics in stakeholder consultation, working with Indigenous peoples and ethics within environmental management. The course will provide case studies to assist build student understanding of how world views and ethical considerations influence and shape decision making and develop environmental management.
Course Coordinator: Professor Melissa Nursey-Bray
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
On completion of this unit students will be able to:
1. Read and reflect on efforts to formulate an environmental ethic
2. To demonstrate understanding of the social movements which correlate with and carry various perspectives on human responsibility toward the environment.
3.To apply environmental ethical theory to real-world environmental conflicts and issues.
4.To demonstrate understanding of a range of ethical theories and their applications in debates about the environment
5. Demonstrate understanding in key areas in debates about environmental matters
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2, 3, 4 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2, 3, 5 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3, 4, ,5 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4, 5 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 2 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 2, 3, 4 A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 4 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Students are not required to read any particular core text. However, it is expected that readings provided will be read prior to class, and that students will undertake their own research and reading as relevant to course themes.
Some good texts to start with are: -
Eugene C. Hargrove, Foundations of Environmental Ethics (Prentice-Hall, 1989)
Mark Sagoff, The Economy of the Earth: Philosophy, Law, and the Environment (Cambridge University Press, 1988)
Joeseph Des Jardins, Environmental Ethics: An Introduction to Environmental Philosophy
Jan E. Dizzard, Going Wild (Massachusetts University Press, 1994)
Students will have many resources available to them on Canvas. These will be sufficient to pass the course and do the assessments. However, students are encouraged to do further research via journals and other documents/resources to value add to their information.
The Canvas website for the course will provide you with access to the following features to help manage your study:
Course outlines; and,
Any additional materials
You are advised to regularly visit the Canvas website for the course to receive course announcements and reminders.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching Modes
The teaching and learning mode for this course will be delivered via one block activity, i.e. a weekly seminar, one field trip, a core online task and a number of tutorial exercises.
No information currently available.
Learning Activities Summary
Module 1: What is Ethics
Introduction: What is environmental ethics?
History of environmental ethics (Gaia to Bookchin)
Ecological footprint analysis
Module 2: Environmental Ethics and World Views
Indigensou world views
Socially Just Conservation
Module 3: Global Ethics in Practice
Global ethics in practice
Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
Module 4: Ethics in (Individual) Practice
Module 5: Environmental Ethics and Management – why does it matter?
A summary session.
Small Group Discovery ExperienceTute work is small group work that simulates real life ethical problems and asks students to solve them.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment SummaryTASK WEIGHTING Learning OUTCOMES
1. World Views Assessment (1500 words) 25% 1, 2, 3,
2. Participation and attendance in two hour seminars and tutes 20% 1, 2, 3, 4,5
(including article/ notes/activity summary
and ecological footprint analysis)
3. Online Ethical Conundrums (2000 words) 30% 3, 4, 5
4. Consumption Ethics Report (1000 words) 25% 1, 3
Attendance and participation 20%
Assessed seminar exercises and activities, including participation and attendance. You are also required to hand up your ongoing review notes and evidence of having undertaken the seminar and tutorial activities. Altogether this is worth 20% and you have to attend at least 70% of all sessions (tute and seminars).
World Views Assessment: 25%
Using peer reviewed literature and case studies to justify your points, write an essay that
answers ONE of the following questions: -
Which world view (or components of various world views) most closely accords with your own
world view? Explain.
Using case studies and references, discuss why different world views matter when it comes to
resolving environmental issues?
Online ethical dilemmas exercise
This task is designed to get you thinking about environmental ethics in global practice.
You will divide into pairs.
Over a period of six weeks you will each research and find three ethical dilemmas (ie one a week as there will be the two weeks mid term break in the middle of this time).
You will email a description of the dilemma and your suggested response to it to each other.
You will then each respond to each other’s dilemmas
At the end of the period, you will print out your email exchange and then write a summary reflection the ethics in practice in environmental management and their implications for policy.
You will be expected to support your reflection with peer reviewed literature.
You will be shown an example in class of how to do this and receive further detailed
Consumption Ethics Reports
This task is meant to get you thinking about how individuals can change their own ethical
practice. It does so by asking you to document and then report on you own shopping practice
over a period of two weeks.
No information currently available.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
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