Course Description

Functional ecosystems are the basis for our health, social, and economic wellbeing. This course focuses on current environmental issues and introduces fundamental knowledge about ecosystem functioning to better understand the underlying reasons for the challenges our growing world population is facing. Understanding ecosystem functioning and the factors limiting their development and resilience when disturbed by human activities is essential for their sustainable use and appropriate management.  In-class discussions and case studies will be used to directly apply learned concepts. This course includes a half-day field trip to an area near Calgary.

Formerly: Environmental Systems, Ecosystems: From Impact to Ethics

Course Details

By completion of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • Describe basic components of ecosystems and their ecological role;  
  • Explain in general terms how climate impacts ecosystem formation and distribution;
  • Describe the value of biodiversity and inter-species connectivity;
  • Compare ecological constraints for different ecosystems in terms of their responsible utilization and sustainable management;  
  • Explain common principles of ecology; and  
  • Apply those principles to current environmental issues. 


Applies Towards the Following Certificate(s)


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Apr 07, 2020 to Jun 15, 2020
Delivery Options
Course Fees
Flat Fee non-credit $550.00
Reading List / Textbook

Required Textbook

Title: Living in the Environment
Edition: 4th
Authors: G. Tyler Miller, Dave Hackett and Carl Wolfe
Publisher: Nelson Education Ltd.
ISBN: 978-0176587185


Section Notes

This course uses Desire2Learn (D2L), an online learning management system. The instructor will post your course outline and other materials in D2L. For more information about D2L, please visit our Online Learning Resources.

Unless notified, all online courses are available at 9 am MT the day before the start date. Students who register on (or after) the start date will receive access within one day of registration.

Students who are unfamiliar with Desire2Learn or Adobe Connect are recommended to take BMC 352 Learning Online prior to enrolling in this course.

Unless otherwise stated, notice of withdrawal or transfer from a course must be received at least seven calendar days prior to the start date of the course.

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