This course will be conducted primarily in English (reports will be in English).It is therefore primarily for students who have been able to enter the upper division (“C” or “D”levels) of the English programme, with reasonable grades for the academic writing courses. Students should have a minimum TOEFL score of at least 480.
To give a broad introduction to the field of environmental studies. In addition, as the course is mainly (but not necessarily all) in English, it is hoped that students’language ability will develop to the point where they reach a standard where they could (if they wish) have no trouble entering foreign universities, or being able to be manage well in international situations (e.g. in companies, NGOs etc.)
Class time will consist of informal discussions, often based on assigned readings; some discussions will be instructor-led and some student-led. Students may also take part in a group project, with the topic selected by students (subject to instructor approval).
In the first year, some of the basic concepts will be introduced, with these developed over the course by consideration of a number of case studies. Typical topics are listed below; the precise order of topics covered will depend on current events and student interest etc.
Students will also prepare and submit a short individual report in the first year of the course, which will act as a foundation for an extended in-depth report (5,000 words) in the final year. The topics will depend on student interest, with students allowed as far as possible to research the topics in which they have the greatest interest. Students will be given regular guidance during the preparation of reports, which must be fully and accurately referenced with all sources cited. Plagiarism will not be tolerated.
Week 1 A tourism boom in an environmentally sensitive area
Week 2 Population growth and climate change
Week 3 Was it your last-ever car?
Week 4 UN IPCC report on global warming
Week 5 Removing CO2 from the atmosphere
Week 6 Geo-engineering
Week 7 Biodiversity - humanity and wildlife
Week 8 Coral reefs
Week 9 Cycling in Groningen and Odense
Week 10 Overfishing (including illegal fishing)
Week 11 Becoming fossil-free
Week 12 Oil or biodiversity for Ecuador?
Week 13 Individual presentations
Week 14 Group presentations
Prerequisites are regular, timely and attentive attendance. Students will be expected to satisfactorily prepare for (and participate in) classes and to submit homework assignments on time; late submission will be heavily penalized, and plagiarism will not be tolerated.
Assuming these requirements are met, approximately 60% of the marks will be for reports, with the remainder given for class preparation and participation (including group or individual presentations).
Students will use a range of materials instead of concentrating on one textbook. Handouts will be provided; these will often be from foreign newspapers or websites (e.g. The Guardian, The Independent, BBC etc.). Students will also be expected to perform individual research of both English- and Japanese-language materials (including internet resources).
At present no external activities are planned other than group or individual research work.