Course Description

Course Name

Environment and Society

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Fundamentals of the Earth?s environmental systems; human impact on natural systems at global, national and regional scales. Environmental hazards, concerns and issues; ethical, legislative, economic, and political responses and constraints.

Teaching Arrangements
- Essay 1: (international topic) 40%
- Essay 2: (New Zealand topic) 15%
- Environmental Advert (group assignment) 10%
- Final Examination 60%

Course Structure.
This paper consists of four 1-hour lectures per week.

Learning Outcomes.
By the end of this paper, it is our intention that you will have:
- A greater awareness of the nature of environmental problems facing global, national and regional communities at the present
- An understanding of some of the "drivers" of environmental change
- An understanding of the range of values different people have for environmental systems and natural resources
- An awareness of some of the institutional responses seen in New Zealand, and other countries, to cope with environmental concerns

Text books are not required for this paper.

Recommended text:
Middleton, N. (5th ed) (2013). Global Casino: An Introduction to Environmental Issues. Routledge, London. 614p (two copies will be placed on close reserve in the Science Library).

Supplementary Sources:
Hay, I. 2012. Communicating in Geography and the Environmental Sciences. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
Matthews, J.A. (2012). The SAGE handbook of environmental change, SAGE, Los Angeles
Slaymaker, et al. (eds) 2009. Geomorphology and global environmental change. Cambridge University Press.
W.P. & M.A. Cunningham, & B.F. Saigo. (10th ed) (2008). Environmental Science: A Global Concern, McGraw-Hill, Boston. 618p.
Kemp, D.D. (2004). Exploring Environmental Issues: an Integrated Approach. Routledge, London. 444p.
Environment New Zealand 2007, Ministry for the Environment. Wellington

Copies in the Science Library. Available free from the Ministry ( Individual chapters available from the MfE website, as PDF files:
This is a follow-up to the State of the New Zealand Environment 1997 report from MfE.

More up-to-date and specialised reports are available from:

*Course content subject to change