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 dash on November 10, 2017
                  Canada’s boreal forest spans across the most easterly part of Newfoundland and Labrador to the far reaches of Yukon, making it one of the world’s largest carbon sinks and is home to an abundance of wildlife species. According to an article written by Ainslie Cruickshank, reporter for the Toronto Star, called ‘U.S. environmental group raises alarm on clear-cutting in boreal forest’, details that Canada’s logging industry has significantly increased net total of carbon emissions equivalent to 5.5 million car emissions annually.

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University of Guelph
by Soupzilla on November 10, 2017
              With the increasing relevance of climate change, there are numerous changes to environmental conditions around the world. Whether it be increased natural disasters, changing temperatures, ocean acidification or water scarcity, these have connective traits which span across current governmental boundaries. In an article by the Asia Times, published October 11th, 2017, Brahma Chellaney brought to the World’s attention the power China has over water resources that flow to neighbouring countries.

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University of Guelph
by gidget on November 10, 2017
Living Conditions in Canada are equivalent to those of Third World Countries: How Indigenous Communities across Canada are living with water advisories

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University of Guelph
by leilit on November 10, 2017
Studies have shown that the “oceans fastest shark is being threatened by overfishing” (Science Daily, 2017). It has been stated that the shortfin mako shark shows dramatic mortality rates than had previously thought (SD, 2017). This article in question takes a deep dive into the world of unsustainable fishing, and how “satellite tags for makos and possibly other fish species can be a time-efficient way and a fisheries-independent tool for gathering useful fisheries-interaction data, including answering fundamental questions about the levels of fishing survival and mortality” (SD, 2017).

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University of Guelph
by shasenac on November 9, 2017
Emma McIntosh’s article in the Toronto Star (27/10/2017) demands attention for two cases of longstanding pollution on Indigenous reserves identified by Dianne Saxe, the environmental commissioner of Ontario, as extreme examples of government inertia.

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University of Guelph
by jeehopaik on November 9, 2017
         The Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans prior to the Harper era, incorporated a law within the Fisheries Act that prohibited the harmful alteration, disruption, and destruction of fish habitats (HADD), which was imperative to integrating the ministry’s fundamental mantra of “no habitat, no fish”.

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University of Guelph
by alexJscott11 on November 9, 2017
Bottled water is an industry that, although extremely successful, has come under much scrutiny over the course of the (one could say) environmental revolution that has occurred over the past few decades.

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University of Guelph
by Schieck on November 9, 2017
Rapid Rate of Glacier Ice in Greenland GEOG 3210 Matt Schieck 0851997    

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University of Guelph
by APoirier on November 9, 2017
Fishing is a vastly important industry in coastal communities, as fish is a highly valued commodity as well as a staple of most human diets. Fishing relies on preservation of fish populations and successful management of the common resource pool and any damage to this pool could have a wide-spread ripple effect throughout the community’s economy and food supplies. The article chosen for this reflection was titled Socio-economic vulnerability due to climate change: Deriving indicators for fishing communities in Mumbai and was penned by Sibananda Senapati and Vijaya Gupta.

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University of Guelph
by Saila on November 9, 2017
                 The article “First Nation traditional hunters harvest 6 animals in Jasper National Park” talks about how First Nations were pushed off their traditional land in the Jasper National Park area and how this effected them.  They lost part of their culture when they were not allowed to hunt in this area.  Through the process of reconciliation between the First Nations and the government things are starting to change.

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University of Guelph
by JulieWG on November 9, 2017
Renewable fuel in planes attempting to reduce climate change

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University of Guelph
by gib96 on November 9, 2017
An article released by the CBC titled “ Will escaped Atlantic salmon survive – and thrive – in B.C. waters?” discusses the issue of thousands of Atlantic salmon escaping from a salmon farm in Washington State. Nets containing over three hundred thousand Atlantic salmon were damaged releasing an unknown number of fish into the B.C. waters. The issue here is that Atlantic salmon are not native to British Columbia and there is uncertainty as to what effects these escaped fish will have.

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University of Guelph
by kserafin on November 9, 2017
              The North Atlantic Right Whale suffered a brush with devastation as it was found nearly extinct in the mid 1900’s. As of today, it is estimated a mere 500 whales are still alive (Kraus et Al; 2016). The article in question examines current innovation and conservation techniques revolving around the NARW. Its main actors are fishermen and fisheries, regulators such as federal/provincial governments, and researchers of the species themselves.

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University of Guelph
by salmond on November 9, 2017
In this article written by Matthew Berger, it was discussed that the Blue Fin Tuna population was predicted to rebound and become very economically valuable and it actually showed the opposite. The stocks returned with numbers well below predicted values, indicating unsustainable fishing practices. Discussed in this blog will be some ideas why the overfishing phenomenon keeps repeating itself, like in the case with Blue Fish Tuna, and what can be done about it.

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University of Guelph
by jamieb97 on November 8, 2017
This news article (Schlossberg, 2017) reported on a study published in July 2017 was responsible for informing the public about the inevitable increase of eutrophication, an excessive nutrient enrichment, in water systems caused by the recent increase in climate change. Eutrophication comes from artificial fertilizers applied to crops, that are carried in runoff from farmland into streams and lakes. Excess nitrogen from fertilizers can lead to deadly algal blooms that leave water systems with dangerously low levels of oxygen and lead to the slow death of the ecosystem.

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University of Guelph
by arseneam on November 8, 2017
Overfishing has become a global concern for those who strive for sustainability and conservation and is heading down a dark path of species extinction. This problem has created fear for the future of the fishing industry and the livelihoods of everyone involved. Managing resource extraction and overfishing can prove difficult when economies rely on the income generated through said resources. Finding a balance between conservation and sustainability of our oceans is key to the success of every party involved.

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About the author

Associate Professor of Geography, University of Guelph.

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