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COURSE NUMBER: ENVS 450
COURSE TITLE: Environmental Impact Assessment
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Harry Spaling
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
CALENDAR DESCRIPTION: Examination of the EIA process from both institutional and scientific perspectives. Consideration of legislative and policy aspects. Survey of EIA methods. Contemporary issues in EIA, including cumulative effects and post-auditing. Monitoring of, or participation in, contemporary Canadian or Alberta cases.

This course is considered a Canadian Studies course for purposes of King's B.Ed. (AD).

Prerequisites: ENVS 300, GEOG 310
REQUIRED TEXTS: Bram Noble.  2010.  Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment.  Second Edition.  Don Mills, Oxford University Press.
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Mini-assignments (3)20%
Term tests (2)30%
Reading sheets (10)10%
Major project30%
Participation and discussion10%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: This course is an in-depth study of environmental impact assessment (EIA) from both institutional and scientific perspectives.  Major course components include the historical, policy and legislative basis of EIA, conceptual frameworks for understanding EIA, and EIA methods.  Since EIA is dependent on social systems and human values, as well as scientific understanding of ecological systems, the course requires you to integrate knowledge (theories, concepts, methods) from both the natural and social sciences.  Special attention is given to recent advances such as cumulative effects assessment, strategic assessment and community EIA.  Applications of EIA in Alberta and Canada are emphasized, including a field trip to the ALPAC pulp mill at Athabasca and an oil sands project near Fort McMurray.  International applications are also considered. 

On completion of this course, you should be able to:
  • explain the idea of EIA - its history, principles, key constructs and main steps
  • describe the legislative and institutional context of EIA - for Canada and Alberta specifically, and other countries and provinces generally,
  • identify various methods and best practices for EIA, and
  • critique specific EIA cases and applications.
COURSE OUTLINE:
  • Introduction. History. Course overview
  • Federal EIA: Guest: Mai-Linh Huynh, CEAA
  • Alberta EIA, Guest: Meghan Jurijew, AEP Screening, Guest: Mark Svenson, AB Transport 
  • Predicting impacts & EIA tools
  • Determining significance
  • Follow-up & monitoring
  • Public participation & Community-based EA
  • Cumulative effects
  • Strategic EA, Guest?


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