Overview of the Course
This course offers an overview of Canadian agriculture and natural resources (forestry and energy) from an environmental sciences perspective. The course begins with an introduction to the major crops grown in Alberta and Canada, and examines how crop production is managed. This is followed by an introduction to food production systems. Forestry, as a very important component of the natural resources sector, is then discussed. Students are provided with examples of competing uses of forest resources, e.g., the need for wildlife conservation versus use for timber extraction. In the last part of the course, students are introduced to the energy sector, with an overview of the sector and a focus on environmental issues related to the extraction of energy from the oil sands, e.g., the need to reclaim the disturbed land.
To support learning outcomes, the lectures are supplemented with several field trips, including trips to Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, the Edmonton Waste Management Centre, the St Albert Research farm, and the Agri-Food Discovery Place, among others.
The ultimate goal of this course is to provide students a basic understanding of the unique Canadian agriculture and natural resources sectors, the opportunities and the challenges Albertans face, and the contribution of those sectors to the global community.