GGR4151: Topics in World Geography - Climatological Changes and the Developing World

GGR4151: Topics in World Geography - Climatological Changes and the Developing World

 Instructor: Arthur Markson

 This course is about developing countries and their approach to the idea of global climate change. Not only is this course about the developing world, but it is also about the developed world. Our goals will be:

1: To understand the implications of global climate change in the global south

àby focusing on developing countries and the challenges they face due to the changing climatic conditions.

 2: To understand the connections and relationships found between the global south and the developed world on the topic of the world’s climate.

àusing a compare-and-contrast approach.

3: Assess strengths and weaknesses of the world’s approach to climate change; this will help us to link the world together into one.

àusing research from both online and print resources.

 4: Introduce us to some advanced monitoring techniques.

àwith the help of specialists in the global climate change fields and data provided by Environment Ministry and GIS technologies.

5: Allow us to gain a better understanding of climatologic data in an effort to comfortably speak about climate issues.

àthrough instructor support.

 6: Write a research paper on climate issues in 1 developing country/city/state/nation and the like and connect it to 1 developed country/city/state/nation.

    àusing a comparative studies paradigm, research available both online and in-print as well as in video format.

7: Present our findings to the class in fairly small groups.

àpeer discussions will help us with our analytical skills. In turn these will help us become active communicators within the realm of our field(s) of choice.

 8: Work together to understand climate change and policies of the said.

àthrough lectures, videos, IPCC reports and other data as appropriate to our cause.

9: Work together to understand the ideas behind climatological innovations.

àusing our ideas by working in teams, discussing with one another the basics of climate change and the detrimental impacts it will have on future generations.

10: Understand the viewpoints of both the developed and the developing world and issues of climate change.

àusing resources that will help us to understand the issues surrounding climate change, the ways in which climate change is controversial and the question of how to aid the planet.

Primary Textbook and Resources:

Lydia Dotto: Storm Warning: Gambling with the Climate of Our Planet (Doubleday Press, Canada: 1997) Note: This book is absolutely essential for this course. Please purchase it from the UBOOKSTORE and you should expect to read at least 1 chapter per each lecture.

On-line articles accessible via Bb: These are free and will be available for you to use and print as per library guidelines.

Secondary (Suggested) Textbooks:

N. Patrick Peritore: Third World Environmentalism: Case Studies from the Global South (University Press of Florida, USA: 1999)

Williams, Meth and Willis Geographies of Developing Areas: The Global South in a Changing World (2009)

I will add more as necessary

 What will we learn?

In this course, we will look in depth at issues of climate change in the developing world and how these countries try to “deal” with each issue.

 We will focus on a set of countries in different continents from South America to Eastern Europe to Africa to Asia and we will read, investigate and write about their approaches to climate change.

 Furthermore, this course will also look at the developed world and connect our own climate changes and initiatives to help reduce the impacts with that of the developing world. It is expected that this course will further analytical skills.

 How will we learn these things?

 Our learning about climate change in the developing world will not only come from our primary textbook. The instructor will also use other readings as well as visual materials such as films to discuss and open up your minds to the ideas of climatic change.

 We will also do “quiet work” such as a little bit of writing each week or so in an effort to assess how and what you are learning.

 This class is not only about reading textbooks or other texts in general, but it is about discussing what you have read and watching films in relation to what we have read and discussed. A big part of this course will be a written research paper.

 How will we be evaluated?

 Evaluation for this course will be as follows:

Required Reading Responses 40% (or 4 worth 10% each)

Research Paper 40% (divided into 2 main parts. Part 1 Bibliography (annotated in APA style 10% and Research Paper worth 30% of your grade) Research paper should be 2500-4000 words. It must also be typed and double spaced in Times New Roman size 11 or 12 font or equivalents. Do not use any citing techniques but APA style only. Please see me if you need help in this regard. When submitting your paper you might be asked to input it into please see the school’s policy on the use of this software. You should also read the website’s policies.

 Required Reading Responses 40% (or 4 worth 10% each)

Research Paper 40% (divided into 2 main parts. Part 1 Bibliography (annotated in APA style 10% and Research Paper worth 30% of your grade)

 Participation (20%) – This means coming to class, talking in class discussions or typing your thoughts on Bb.

 What is each evaluation about?

 I will give more details on handouts, but here are some preliminary goals:

Required Reading Responses 40% (or 4 worth 10% each)

 You will summarize what the main point of the chapters of the text/reading(s) is/are about then you will provide an analysis. This means you have to tell me why whatever you have decided to summarize is important in your opinion. These responses should be about 1-3 pages and no more than 5 pages. These assignments should be fairly easy provided that you have READ the text and READ the text CAREFULLY. Be certain that you think about the underlying significance of the readings linking them to either course goals/expectations and, or course themes/lectures.

Research Paper 40% (divided into 2 main parts. Part 1 Bibliography (annotated in APA style 10% and Part 2 Research Paper worth 30% of your grade)

 You will be asked to first, pick a topic then find, research and annotate in a bibliographic form (we will look at this in class).

 Choose a topic in relation to climate change in the developing world making sure you have picked 1 country of interest

 Next, pick a country of interest in the developed world. In your essay you will be asked to write about how these countries face climate change issues with an emphasis on WHAT those issues are.

 Your essay MUST be balanced using both descriptive and analytical forms. You are also more than welcome to use a comparative perspective in which you discuss the pertinent issues in the countries of your choosing and their similarities and differences if applicable. The choices are yours, but you should consult with your instructor throughout the writing process.

 Participation (20%) – This means coming to class, talking in class discussions or typing your thoughts on Bb. You must come to every class to get full points or 20%.

 In order to get good marks for this portion of your grade you are encouraged to participate in in-class discussions. However, in an effort to be equal to all those of you who are shy are more than welcome to type your thoughts up on Bb.

 In fact, you are all encouraged to do so in an effort to earn as many points as possible for this portion. Please note though that the quality of your contributions to both in-class and Bb discussions will give you good grades and it is not the quantity of them that will be assessed.


Welcome to this course! I hope we have a great semester together!

Any questions, comments or concerns will be dealt with in class 1.

Required Readings

There are a wide variety of books on global climate change with specific details about developing countries. Here are only a few of the many websites that we will be looking at and reading as resources. You are more than welcome to use them in your papers if they are sound for your purposes and you will not lose marks for doing so: - this is a heavy read when you consider online sources are only a few pages in length. It is quite detailed and gives a lot of information to the reader about the climatic issues facing the world’s developing nations. Perhaps instead of printing it all out, take note on some important portions as you are reading on-screen. It will give you much to work with for your research papers so try to read as much of it as you can. - how to overcome the consequences of global warming through afforestation in the developing world. This is not a long read, but it is interesting to look into. If you plan on doing your paper on deforestation this would be an interesting reading to look at in order to argue how deforestation creates a significant amount of problems and how the developing world should try to stop deforestation in order to help the Earth. - the title says all. - how countries in the developing world will have to adapt to climate change. - how climate change impacts human health in developing and developed countries - a comparison. - food security in developing countries and climate change. - climate change and agricultural impacts. - the impacts that deforestation of the tropics has on global warming and using the REDD-plus technique to solve it. Overall, an interesting read. - this article looks at the impacts of global warming on the cities in the developing world.

I shall post more later.

Accessibility Policy

All students are welcome in GGR4151: Topics in World Geography - Climatological Changes and the Developing World. Those of you who need extra assistance with your learning such as help with taking notes and different settings for test taking days you are encouraged to visit the Academic Skills and Resources Facility as soon as possible so that you can be appropriately accommodated. Conversely, the Facility is also there for all students to use so please make full use of the services available as necessary.

Policy for Contacting Instructor

Your instructor is available during office hours in room S2116G. Office hour times will be posted separately. Furthermore, e-mail will be given in class as well as telephone numbers which you can use to contact the instructor.  The instructor will provide as much assistance to all students as possible on all of the evaluations. Please come in and discuss your progress with me at least once in this course. Do not e-mail the instructor if you happen to have a question which cannot be answers via e-mail. Save these questions for in class and office hours respectively.

Querying Marks

The instructor will be responsible for grading all of the student assignments. If you ever have questions as to why you have received a mark, please review fully all comments that I give you before you query a grade as soon as possible.

General Policy

·   Please be polite in all matters. Come inside the classroom with a positive attitude and be ready to share your thoughts with the class.

·   Complete all readings for the class.


·   Do not use lap tops in this course. It is a small class. Lectures will look at major points which you must write using a pencil/pen and paper. No need to have high technology. If you require note-taking assistance and, or you would like to record the lectures you must obtain written permission from the instructor as soon as classes begin.

·   Attend all classes. Record your name on the sign-in attendance sheets. If you miss more than 3 classes without legitimate excuses you will not be successful in this course. Thus, illegitimate excuses will not be tolerated under any circumstances whatsoever.

Lateness Policy

Late work will be penalized as follows:

Required Reading Responses will be deducted 0.5% for each day they are not submitted. After 5 days students who have not submitted their responses will receive a mark of 0 for that particular response.

Bibliography for Research Paper – if you do not submit this in on the due date you will receive a mark of 0 unless you have a legitimate excuse.

Research Paper will be deducted 2% for each day it is not submitted. After 5 days students who have not submitted their research papers will receive a mark of 0 for this assessment.

Required Films

We will be looking at films as per the course when trying to analyze the affects that global climate change will have on parts of our world. The following is a list of the films we will be watching and their URLs in case you happen to miss class. All films must be viewed by students in this course.

National Geographic: Global Warming 101 -

I shall provide more links later if the films are available online. If not, you will have to view these films at our school library or your local library/video rental place.