Courses

course-info-2

(Last updated on August 30, 2018).

 

All RES students must register in the appropriate RES thesis course below for every term of their program, including all summer terms:

  • RES 599 for master’s students
  • RES 699 for doctoral (PhD) students

 

2018W Term 1 (September 2018 – December 2018)

RES 500B: Directed Studies

Directed Studies courses are designed by a student and faculty instructor to meet the needs of a student in an area that is not addressed in the current curriculum. RES students may register in an RES Directed Studies course with the approval of their supervisor and the RES Graduate Advisor. You must have an approved RES Directed Studies Form prior to registering in this course.

RES 500E: Exploring the food-water-energy-nexus

Instructor: Mark Johnson

Day/Time: Tuesdays 2:00pm - 5:00pm

Location: AERL 107

Enrollment: Graduate Students (or advanced undergraduates with instructor approval and completed G+PS form)

 

Description

Feeding one billion people requires the annual provision of one quadrillion (10^15) calories (kcal). Because plants use an average of 1 L of water during crop growth for each calorie of food energy produced, the projected growth in the global population from today’s 7.5 billion to 9.5 billion in 2050 will increase agriculture’s portion of the water footprint of humanity by two quadrillion L – or more, since meat has a water footprint 20X greater than cereal grains. These changes will greatly increase agriculture’s impacts on the water cycle, deepening its effects on surface water flows, water pollution and groundwater levels. Global food security is thus intimately tied to freshwater availability, with increasing challenges due to declining water tables and issues related to water quality and changing precipitation patterns. Coupled to that are energy considerations – energy required to produce fertilizers, operate farm equipment, process and distribute food, as well as food used as energy (i.e. biofuels). In this graduate seminar course, students will explore these and other dimensions of the food-energy-water nexus.

RES 507: Human Technological Systems

Instructor: Hadi Dowlatabadi

Day/Time: Thursdays 9:00am - 12:00pm

Location: AERL 107

Enrollment: Graduate Students (or advanced undergraduates with instructor approval and completed G+PS form)

 

Description

This course introduces students to the role and influence of science and technology in society, and its relationship to public policy, human development and the environment. The influence of science and technology on public policy is bidirectional. Science and technology (S&T) is influenced by policy decisions (policy for science) and in turn influences public policy (science for policy). The course introduces students to basic models for understanding this bidirectional interaction. The approach is multidisciplinary, drawing upon literature in a wide range of disciplines including environmental studies, philosophy of science, economics of technological change, social studies of science, and history of technology. We will also rely upon the extensive literature written by scientists and engineers in their role as policy observers and advisors. While this literature draws heavily on the North American and European cases, the course will also incorporate findings from the developing world.

Current RES 507 Course Outline

2017-18 RES 507 Course Outline

RES 520: Climate Change: Science, Technology and Sustainable Development

Instructor: Hadi Dowlatabadi

Day/Time: Tuesdays 9:00am - 12:00pm

Location: AERL 107

Enrollment: Graduate Students (or advanced undergraduates with instructor approval and completed G+PS form)

 

Description

This course will introduce students to the policy debates and responses created by climate change, which has emerged as the most complex environmental challenge facing the planet. On the one hand, changes in global climate are likely to have significant impacts in many parts of the world, and while a small number of regions / sectors may benefit many others could be devastated. On the other hand, reducing greenhouse gas emissions poses significant technological, economic and political challenges. Reductions of greenhouse gas gases will be made in the presence of incomplete information and continued scientific and economic uncertainty. Changes in human behaviour and technological innovations of the magnitude needed to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions may be difficult to achieve.

Current RES 520 Course Outline

2017-18 RES 520 Course Outline

 

2018W Term 2 (January 2019 – April 2019)

RES 500B: Directed Studies

Directed Studies courses are designed by a student and faculty instructor to meet the needs of a student in an area that is not addressed in the current curriculum. RES students may register in an RES Directed Studies course with the approval of their supervisor and the RES Graduate Advisor. You must have an approved RES Directed Studies Form prior to registering in this course.

RES 500T: Global Food Security and Sustainability

Instructor: Navin Ramankutty

Day/Time: Tuesdays 2:00pm - 5:00pm

Location: AERL 107

Enrollment: Graduate Students (or advanced undergraduates with instructor approval and completed G+PS form)

 

Description

Achieving food security for 10 billion while enhancing the sustainability of our food production system is a major challenge of the next century. This graduate seminar course will discuss papers on the multiple dimensions of this challenge, including biophysical, economic, nutritional, socio-political, and institutional. We will take a global perspective on the issues, drawing upon both global-scale research as well as case studies from different regions of the world to understand the geography of agricultural production, its environmental footprint, and of malnutrition.

2017-18 RES 500T Course Outline

RES 502: Master's Interdisciplinary Case Analysis and Research Design

Instructor:  Stephanie Chang

Day/Time:  Wednesdays 9:ooam-12:oopm

Location: AERL 107

Enrollment: Graduate Students (or advanced undergraduates with instructor approval and completed G+PS form)

 

Description

This is a course in which case studies are used to teach how sustainability questions are turned into researchable topics and what research methods (qualitative and quantitative) are used to arrive at answers.  The case studies will reflect the various foci of research at IRES.  The case studies will begin with simple questions and grow in sophistication and complexity.  Case studies will be used to explore similarities and differences in how questions in different domains are structured and researched. The students in the class will then be encouraged to develop the research questions and proposed methods for their own thesis by work-shopping their ideas in the class setting and through one-on-one mentoring with class instructors.

The case studies will be selected with the aim of highlighting key features of good research design, how different perspectives (theoretically, conceptually and methodologically) can lead to different kinds of research and how there is value in these different approaches, and foster the search for even better hybrid approaches.

Given the wide range of incoming academic and professional backgrounds among the students, peer mentoring will be used within the class to help bolster knowledge of and familiarity with qualitative and quantitative methods.
The goals of this course are to:

  • foster literacy in research methods and bring about familiarity with good research design;
  • initiate design of the research proposals for every student.

2017-18 RES 502 Course Outline *Master's

 

RES 510: Social Ecological Systems

Instructor: Leila Harris

Day/Time: Thursdays 2:00pm - 5:00pm

Location:  TBA

Enrollment: Graduate Students (or advanced undergraduates with instructor approval and completed G+PS form)

 

Description

Dynamics of environmental issues across temporal and spatial scales using disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to integrating sociological, cultural, and ecological perspectives.

2017-18 RES 510 Course Outline

RES 602: Doctoral Interdisciplinary Case Analysis and Research Design

Instructor: Jiaying Zhao

Day/Time: Tuesdays 9:00am - 12:00pm

Location:  AERL 419

Enrollment: Graduate Students (or advanced undergraduates with instructor approval and completed G+PS form)

 

Description

This is a course in which case studies are used to teach how sustainability questions are turned into researchable topics and what research methods (qualitative and quantitative) are used to arrive at answers.  The case studies will reflect the various foci of research at IRES.  The case studies will begin with simple questions and grow in sophistication and complexity.  Case studies will be used to explore similarities and differences in how questions in different domains are structured and researched. The students in the class will then be encouraged to develop the research questions and proposed methods for their own thesis by work-shopping their ideas in the class setting and through one-on-one mentoring with class instructors.

The case studies will be selected with the aim of highlighting key features of good research design, how different perspectives (theoretically, conceptually and methodologically) can lead to different kinds of research and how there is value in these different approaches, and foster the search for even better hybrid approaches.

Given the wide range of incoming academic and professional backgrounds among the students, peer mentoring will be used within the class to help bolster knowledge of and familiarity with qualitative and quantitative methods.
The goals of this course are to:

  • foster literacy in research methods and bring about familiarity with good research design;
  • initiate design of the research proposals for every student.

2017-18 RES 602 Course Outline *Doctoral (was previously named 502)

 

2019S Summer Session (May 2019 – August 2019)

 

No formal RES courses taught in the summer session.