Environmental Studies (ENVS) 200

Introduction to Environmental Studies (Revision 3)

ENVS 200

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online with eTextbook

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None

Precluded Course: ENVS 252 (ENVS 200 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for ENVS 252.)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Environmental Studies home page

ENVS 200 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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ENVS 200 introduces students to the field of environmental studies and provides them with basic information about a variety of environmental issues, concepts, debates, events, and actors or thinkers. This survey course presents an overview of key concepts related to environmental analysis, such as resilience, carrying capacity, and environmental justice, as well as a range of topics related to contemporary environmental issues such as water, biodiversity, and ecological design. In particular, the course explores the principles of sustainable development and sustainability. Students are introduced to some of the complexity and debate regarding these concepts and are required to critically engage in applying the concepts. The course also introduces students to critical interdisciplinary analysis and provides opportunities to develop and refine such skills.


  • Unit 1: Critical Interdisciplinary Thinking
  • Unit 2: Sustainable Development and Sustainability
  • Unit 3: Biodiversity
  • Unit 4: Energy and Climate Change
  • Unit 5: Water
  • Unit 6: Forests
  • Unit 7: Food and Agriculture
  • Unit 8: Pollution and Waste
  • Unit 9: Ecological Design and Urban Sustainability
  • Unit 10: Environmental Management
  • Unit 11: Environmental Education
  • Unit 12: The Consumer Society and Environmental Citizenship


To receive credit for ENVS 200, you must write the final examination and achieve a course composite grade of at least a D (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 25%
Assignment 3A 10%
Assignment 3B 25%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

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

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Browne, M. Neil and Stuart M. Keeley. Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking (10th ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2012. Print.

A print version of the eText can sometimes be purchased from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

All other learning resources will be available online.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, and intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the ENVS 200 challenge registration, you must achieve an overall grade of at least D (50 percent).

Activity Weighting
Assignment 50%
Exam 50%
Total 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

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 3, December 10, 2013.

View previous syllabus

Updated April 03 2019 by Student & Academic Services