Summer 2023 - REM 100 OL01

Global Change (3)

Class Number: 2673

Delivery Method: Online


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 13, 2023
    Sun, 3:30–6:30 p.m.



This course provides students with an overview of global environmental change and its causes from a social science perspective, historically and at the present time. Population growth, an increasing ecological footprint and changes in ideology, social organization, economy and technology will be critically reviewed. New ways of thinking in natural and social science will be considered in relation to specific issues such as land, soil and food; energy, raw materials and solid waste; air pollution and transportation; water, oceans and fisheries; climate change; forestry and biodiversity; urbanization, and alternative futures. Breadth-Social Sciences.


This course provides students with an overview of global environmental change and its causes, from a social science perspective, historically and throughout the contemporary era. The course is organized into four sections:

  • The first section introduces the basics of ecological systems, environmental history and thinking, including the area of environmental ethics and philosophy, and environmental economics.
  • The second section explores the notion of environmental change, including a review of several models of environmental change and conflicting positions on where we are headed.
  • The third section addresses the emerging concept of sustainable development and looks at strategies to get us there.
  • The fourth section of the course includes a selection of case studies and applications.


Once you complete this course you should be able to:

  1. Define and explain some major global environmental issues, their causes, and consequences.
  2. Critically evaluate the strengths and drawbacks of ways for dealing with these issues.
  3. Apply course concepts to real-world environmental problems (for example, in the media).
  4. Challenge your own assumptions regarding environmental issues, and understand/develop your personal values.
  5. Feel empowered with knowledge and ways to act to address global change issues.


  • Assignments 40%
  • Group Discussions 15%
  • Midterm exam 20%
  • Final exam 25%



Required and optional readings on individual topics are provided in Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.