Spring 2020 - EVSC 100 D300

Introduction to Environmental Science (3)

Class Number: 4222

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    AQ 3181, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 14, 2020
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    Location: TBA



Introduces students to the study of environmental science. Lecture material spans contributing disciplines, emphasizing integration of diverse concepts to understand environmental problems. Tutorials develop core academic skills in environmental science context. Students who have completed EVSC 200 may not complete this course for further credit. Breadth-Science.


EVSC100 introduces students to environmental science: a highly interdisciplinary, collaborative field of study that integrates understanding of physical and biological processes to research both natural and anthropogenically-influenced environments. The importance of understanding Earth systems in assessing impacts of human activities is emphasized. Students will develop an appreciation of the science that underlies environmental problems and fields that can be further studied in Environmental Science. Environmental science is a critically important field of study for understanding the complex environmental problems that face us today.

Students will learn about Earth systems (lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere), ecosystems and flows of energy and matter, which are the foundations for understanding environmental science. This underlying knowledge is used to examine the environmental problems that have arisen from human activities, and possible solutions to those problems including: humanity's lack of environmental literacy, over-extraction of non-renewable resources, water scarcity and pollution, biodiversity crisis, toxic substances, stratospheric ozone depletion, landscape change and biodiversity loss, overfishing, the impacts of agriculture and overgrazing, deforestation, climate change, ocean acidification and plastic waste.

EVSC100 emphasizes core skills that are important for environmental scientists including critical thinking and accurate, effective communication of knowledge, along with science literacy, information literacy and environmental literacy.


✓describe key Earth systems, cycles, properties and processes
✓identify human activities and attitudes that alter Earth systems, cycles, properties and processes
✓describe the environmental problems that stem from these activities and attitudes
✓assess solutions to environmental problems
✓demonstrate basic data, scientific, and environmental literacy skills
✓communicate environmental science knowledge in oral and written formats
✓collaborate successfully with peers


  • Participation (in-class) 10%%
  • Tutorial Assignments 20%%
  • Midterm Exam 30%%
  • Final Exam 40%%




Environmental Science for a Changing World, 1st Cdn Ed. Branfireun, Karr, Interlandi & Houtman, 2014, W.H. Freeman & Co. and Scientific American (MacMillan Learning), New York, NY.

There is only one Canadian edition, no substitutes. Available new (paperback /online e-book w access code), used (paperback).

Limited copies on 24 hour reserve at SFU libraries.

*Reading and studying the text is critical for success.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html