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Energy, Environment, and Sustainability



[BSc], EES, S, GC

Admission Requirements

Similarly-tagged 200- and 300-level courses.


Ensuring a stable supply of energy is a global concern and the focus of increasing attention. The extraction and use of traditional sources of energy, i.e. fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas), is associated with diverse and long-lasting environmental effects and is responsible for the majority of anthropogenic GHG emissions. The continued viability of fossil fuels as a primary energy source is beleaguered by climate-environment risks and security of supply issues affected by physical resource reserves, fuel prices, energy consumption, and unstable geopolitics in many fuel producing regions. Such concerns over climate change and security of supply represent a significant driving force for the implementation of alternative energy strategies focused on sustainable energy sources.

This course adopts an interdisciplinary focus and explores various energy-related issues through an environmental and social lens. For example, we will investigate the links between different energy resources and a range of marine and terrestrial environmental issues, as well as the social impacts of both fossil fuel extraction/combustion and renewable energy implementation. In short, we will examine fossil fuel and nuclear power as energy sources, renewable energy systems, and the sustainability of shale gas hydraulic fracturing and tar sands.

Course Objectives

Upon completing this course students should be able to:

  • Students can think holistically about energy security issues and their links to sustainable development

  • Students can describe how the exploitation and use of various energy sources impacts the environment

  • Students can critically evaluate energy policies

  • Students can discuss and identify the socio-cultural impacts of resource exploitation for energy purposes

  • Students can apply the knowledge gained in class to various contemporary energy issues


All texts will be made available via Blackboard and/or distributed in class.