Environment and Society

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Environment and Society

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Fundamentals of the Earth?s environmental systems; human impact on natural systems at global, national and regional scales. Environmental hazards, concerns and issues; ethical, legislative, economic, and political responses and constraints.

    Teaching Arrangements
    - Essay 1: (international topic) 40%
    - Essay 2: (New Zealand topic) 15%
    - Environmental Advert (group assignment) 10%
    - Final Examination 60%

    Course Structure.
    This paper consists of four 1-hour lectures per week.

    Learning Outcomes.
    By the end of this paper, it is our intention that you will have:
    - A greater awareness of the nature of environmental problems facing global, national and regional communities at the present
    - An understanding of some of the "drivers" of environmental change
    - An understanding of the range of values different people have for environmental systems and natural resources
    - An awareness of some of the institutional responses seen in New Zealand, and other countries, to cope with environmental concerns

    Text books are not required for this paper.

    Recommended text:
    Middleton, N. (5th ed) (2013). Global Casino: An Introduction to Environmental Issues. Routledge, London. 614p (two copies will be placed on close reserve in the Science Library).

    Supplementary Sources:
    Hay, I. 2012. Communicating in Geography and the Environmental Sciences. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
    Matthews, J.A. (2012). The SAGE handbook of environmental change, SAGE, Los Angeles
    Slaymaker, et al. (eds) 2009. Geomorphology and global environmental change. Cambridge University Press.
    W.P. & M.A. Cunningham, & B.F. Saigo. (10th ed) (2008). Environmental Science: A Global Concern, McGraw-Hill, Boston. 618p.
    Kemp, D.D. (2004). Exploring Environmental Issues: an Integrated Approach. Routledge, London. 444p.
    Environment New Zealand 2007, Ministry for the Environment. Wellington

    Copies in the Science Library. Available free from the Ministry (publications@mfe.govt.nz). Individual chapters available from the MfE website, as PDF files:

    This is a follow-up to the State of the New Zealand Environment 1997 report from MfE.

    More up-to-date and specialised reports are available from:

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.