Global Studies (GLST) 243

Environmental Change in a Global Context (Revision 3)

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Revision 3 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None

Precluded Course: GLST 243 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under 2 different disciplines— ENVS 243. GLST 243 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for ENVS 243. As well, students who have obtained credit for GLST/ENVS 253 cannot take GLST/ENVS 243 for credit.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
Centre: Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies

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GLST 243 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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This course is devoted to the study of the interaction between human society and the rest of the ecological world. The course will introduce the methodology needed for that study and will examine such topics as atmospheric change, biodiversity loss, resource use, and agriculture. The course will also explore how societies can move toward sustainable development and moderate their effects on the biosphere. The central questions of this course—how human societies are affecting the biosphere, and how societies’ harmful influences can be moderated—are the questions humanity must ask in order to ensure long-term survival.


  • Unit 1: Studying Global Climate Change
  • Unit 2: The Earth's Atmosphere
  • Unit 3: The Ozone Story
  • Unit 4: Greenhouse Gases and Global Climate Change
  • Unit 5: Biodiversity Loss
  • Unit 6: Energy Production and Climate Change
  • Unit 7: Agriculture and Global Environmental Change
  • Unit 8: Respecting Ecological Limits
  • Unit 9: Sustainable Development


To receive credit for this course, students must complete four assignments and write the final closed book examination. They must receive 50% on the final exam and achieve a course composite grade of at least a “D” (50 %). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Assignment 3 Assignment 4a Proposal Assignment 4b Essay Final Exam Total
15% 15% 20% 5% 25% 20% 100%

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

Course Materials


Suzuki, David, & Dressel, Holly. (2010). More good news: Real solutions to the global eco-crisis. Vancouver: David Suzuki Foundation/Greystone Books.

Other Materials

All other course materials are 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, 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 GLST 243 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “D” (50 percent) on both activities.

Assignment Exam Total
35% 65% 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, April 11, 2017.

View previous syllabus