Environmental Studies (ENVS) 305

Environmental Impact Assessment (Revision 1)

ENVS 305 Course website

Delivery Mode: Individualized study. Online enhanced.
Video component*.
*Overseas students, please contact the University Library before registering in a course that has an audio/visual component.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Environmental Studies Home Page

ENVS 305 is not available for challenge.

Course website

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Environmental Studies 305: Environmental Impact Assessment, a three-credit, senior-level course is designed to introduce you to a systematic process for predicting, and evaluating the significant environmental consequences of a proposed action or undertaking. This process—environmental impact assessment—has been applied primarily to new infrastructure projects, such as power plants, highways, pipelines, dams, mines, airports, incinerators and landfills. Assessment processes have also been used to consider the implications of new technologies, plans, and policies that may result in significant social and biophysical effects. This course focuses on environmental assessment processes—what they are meant to accomplish, and how they are designed or should be designed to be effective, efficient and fair.


  • Unit 1: History and Key Features of Environmental Assessment
  • Unit 2: Setting a Standard for Environmental Assessment in Canada: The Berger Inquiry on the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline
  • Unit 3: Setting a Standard for Environmental Assessment in Canada: The Ecosystem Approach
  • Unit 4: Legislated Environmental Assessment at the Federal Level in Canada
  • Unit 5: Legislated Environmental Assessment at the Provincial Level in Canada
  • Unit 6: The Role of the Public in Environmental Assessment
  • Unit 7: Biophysical Impact Assessment and Cumulative Environmental Effects
  • Unit 8: Social Impact Assessment
  • Unit 9: Case Study: Environmental Assessment of the
    Proposed Red Hill Creek Expressway
  • Unit 10: The Prospects for Advancement of Environmental Assessment


To receive credit for ENVS 305, you must complete all assignments; achieve a minimum grade of at least 60 percent on the final examination and a composite course grade of at least "C-" (60 percent ). The weighting of the course grade is as follows:

Preliminary submission for the major assignment Short essay Major assignment Final Exam Total
5% 20% 35% 40% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Nishihata, J., & Pape, A. (1977). The Inquiry film. [s.l.]: Inquiry Films.

Richardson, M., Sherman, J., & Gismondi, M. (1993).
Winning back the words: Confronting experts in an environmental public hearing. Toronto: Garamond.

Other Materials

The course materials also include a student manual, study guide and a reading file.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, June 17, 2004.

Updated May 11 2016 by SAS