Management of Biosphysical Environment 2017

About this class

This course will examine the concepts and methods used by the state to manage the natural environment. Through an investigation into contemporary environmental issues in Canada (with occasional reference to other areas of the world) we will develop an understanding of the particular rationales for and evolution of state management. Important trends and issues are treated with particular attention to Indigenous rights. As part of the course, we use our developing understanding of course material to write critical blog posts on contemporary  environmental issues.

 

University of Guelph
by Astro on November 10, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on March 29th, 2017 to terminate the Obama-era climate change regulations which restrain oil drilling and mining activities. The previous decree during the Obama-era is to lower carbon emissions from fossil fuel power plants. Thus, helping the US accomplish its commitments to a common goal reached by approximately 200 countries in Paris in 2015. Because the total carbon emission is finite, increasing carbon emissions on oil drilling and mining activities limit carbon emissions in other fields such as in policy and infrastructure.

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University of Guelph
by BrentES on November 10, 2017
Brent Eicher-Sodo GEOG 3110 Friday November 10, 2017 Britain’s Nitrogen Timebomb  

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University of Guelph
by Lizbeth on November 10, 2017
Seal hunting in Canada dates back over hundreds of years, but only more recently in the mid-20th century has it become extremely controversial. In the National Geographic article ‘Demand For Seal Products Has Fallen – So Why Do Canadians Keep Hunting?’ the author looks at the past and current status of the Canadian sealing industry and its uncertain future.

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University of Guelph
by Ziyi on November 10, 2017
This article talked about U.S. EPA’s reaction to algae blooms and eutrophication in Ohio’s western end of Lake Erie. It is trying to give out the message that EPA does not admit Lake Erie’s water in Ohio is impaired by toxic algae but only certain shorelines of Lake Erie, in which many environmental groups think Lake Erie’s water is not meeting the Clean Water Act’s standard.

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University of Guelph
by Jhunt08 on November 10, 2017
Michigan Opening the Door to the Great Lakes for Potential Invaders Justin Hunt 

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University of Guelph
by ahall12 on November 10, 2017
This article addressed the issue of coral bleaching. The Australian people, along with many others across the world, have been devastated by the news of extensive coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef. For Australians, the reef is part of their identity. For others, it is a place of wonder where many dream to visit in their lifetime. Scientists that study the reef claim that climate change is the cause of the bleaching.

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University of Guelph
by jballard on November 10, 2017
With the longest coastline in the world, Canada’s fishing industry has long been a source of food, culture and jobs for the country, with approximately 600 communities economically dependent on the industry (Johnson, 2016). However, current data is pointing to a major collapse in as many as 15 major stocks, and according to the Environment and Sustainable Development commissioner – Julie Gelfand – 12 of these stocks have no government mitigation plans in place (Johnson, 2016).

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University of Guelph
by obynR on November 10, 2017
Not many of today’s generation will have witnessed the collapse of the cod fishery in the North Atlantic. A case where heavy over fishing lead to the collapse of an entire industry, the most affected of which being Newfoundland and the Atlantic Canada. The article, ‘Remembering the mighty cod fishery,’ was taken from CBC News, written by two reporters and discusses what happened at the time of collapse, policies implemented at the time and the actors involved.

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University of Guelph
by josie on November 10, 2017
The Pacific Bluefin Tuna (PBT) has been designated as a vulnerable level of endangerment since 2014. The biggest reason for the decreasing population of PBT is overfishing. PBT is a popular type of tuna in many countries; for example, Japan is the country that fishes PBT the most, accounting for more than a half of the total global catch. Excessive PBT fishing in the country has led in catching juvenile PBT that have not spawned yet due to shortage of adult PBT and easiness of catch. As a result, PBT population has decreased, especially the population of those that can reproduce.

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University of Guelph
by Dog mom on November 10, 2017
Ocean acidification is a dynamic, rapidly changing, and possible catastrophic phenomena of climate change. Weber illustrates the severity of ocean acidification in the seas of the western Arctic in their Toronto Star article, World’s first large-scale area of acidified water found in Arctic Ocean. Weber uses information and research from various climate experts including Wei-Jun Cai of the University of Delaware, and Richard Feely of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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University of Guelph
by jgabriel on November 10, 2017
Salmon fisheries in BC have been under significant threat. This issues, as stated by Alex Pennock in the article “Fish tales: the Collapse of BC’s Wild Salmon”, is one that is due to insufficient funding by the government. The article states that a policy for salmon management was created in 2005 by the DFO called “Canada’s Wild Salmon Policy”. This policy was originally thought of as a hopeful change, but was later found out to be ineffective. Salmon spawns continued to decline, and the DFO was unable to figure out why.

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University of Guelph
by ekendric on November 10, 2017
                An article posted by CBC “16th North Atlantic right whale found dead off Cape Cod” addresses the most recent discovery of a small right whale found dead on an island off Cape Cod. In the past year, 16 North Atlantic right whales have been found dead along North American coastlines. With there only being 450 right whales left in the world these deaths have an enormous impact on the population. There is likely even more deaths that we are not aware of.

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University of Guelph
by madibaileey on November 10, 2017
Madison Bailey, Blog Post #2 Boundaries Set for Lancaster Sound, Nunavut, Canada's largest area of protected ocean

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University of Guelph
by niancu on November 10, 2017
Dams that were built on the Saskatchewan River during the 1960s and 1980s have had no environmental assessments and have caused difficulties for biodiversity in the river and consequently, the indigenous way of life around the river. This is being discussed in the media because their licences are being renewed which would increase and aggravate the already existing issues. The purpose of this article was to explain the political actors around the issue of relicensing the E.B. Campbell and Nipawin dams. There are quite a few actors involved in the situation:

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University of Guelph
by emilyf on November 10, 2017
Rising ocean temperatures and more extreme and frequent heat events in the past decade have lead to intense coral bleaching events across the Great Barrier Reef. 2016 recorded the most damaging bleaching event in the reefs history with approximately 30% of the northern reef, and up to 90% of the southern reef bleached. Michael Slezak’s article in The Guardian outlines the potential for further bleaching in the year to come and the risk associated with human activities on the Great Barrier Reef.

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University of Guelph
by Helen L on November 10, 2017
In 2016, the Ontario government, under Premier Kathleen Wynne, proposed a moratorium on bottled water: A blanket ban on new and increased bottled water operations gaining water taking permits for a two-year period. Those with jobs on the line opposed the ban. But for everyone else, this was a long time coming (The Canadian Press, 2016).

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University of Guelph
by Hunter on November 10, 2017
The industry of cargo shipping handles the bulk of international trade and has made it possible to ship all sorts of goods to places around the world. Cargo ships carry tens of thousands of tons of materials, which reduces costs and increases efficiency of shipping, however this efficiency presents an array of potential environmental issues, such as shipping container spills. Governments around the world must have plans or mechanisms in place that deal with spills of large magnitudes in order to properly clean up the debris to reduce environmental impacts.

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University of Guelph
by Trevor Machmer on November 10, 2017
The Wind is Being Taken Out of the Sails of Big Wind Companies  

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University of Guelph
by skeeler on November 10, 2017
             Raw sewage and untreated wastewater is polluting Canada’s pristine rivers, lakes, and oceans at alarming rates – 205 billion liters in 2015 to be exact. It is one of the biggest issues of pollution that Canada is facing in present day. This number is in no way decreasing and in some cases it is increasing. Old systems of water treatment have not been improved in many years, due to limited funding and municipalities prioritizing other local projects.

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University of Guelph
by mmccalli on November 10, 2017
  Over the past century, our marine ecosystems have been rapidly changing. This has altered the population dynamics of various species and had critical ecological consequences. A new study in the journal, Science Advances has found chemical clues in the skin cells of dolphins that suggest changes in  the length of the marine food chain. Because dolphins occupy the upper level of the food chain, they accumulate chemical information about the species that occupy the rest of the food chain.

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About the author

Associate Professor of Geography, University of Guelph.

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