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Our Environment: A Canadian Perspective, 5th Edition

By Ann Zimmerman, Dianne Draper
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Soft Cover
ISBN-10: 0176502602
ISBN-13: 9780176502607
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 5th

This fully revised and updated fifth edition of Our Environment engages students and encourages them to critically evaluate potential solutions to environmental problems we now face. The authors outline specific environmental issues and provide the scientific underpinning required to enable students to understand the complexities at the root of these issues. The authors provide many examples of policy success to help students see that environmental concerns are not insurmountable, and that a sustainable future is something that can be attained. Sometimes issues are resolved relatively quickly – removal of phosphorus from various detergents or replacements for chlorofluorocarbons for example. Other issues such as acid rain can take a decade or more to address. Highly complex issues – loss of global biodiversity or global environmental change – remain unresolved. The text acknowledges that important in moving these issues forward has and will continue to be both environmental professionals and a critically informed public. Team up with Draper and Zimmerman’s fifth edition of Our Environment and inspire your students to create a successful future for our environment.


  • *NEW* Why it Matters feature raises important questions about chapter topics and provides students with a critical understanding of why they are important.
  • *NEW* Offsets appear throughout the chapters providing additional explanations or quotations that are relevant to the material.
  • *NEW* Chapter Debates ask students to think critically about issues related to the chapter topics.
  • *NEW* The fifth edition of Our Environment contains significant changes and updates throughout. This edition contains enhanced coverage of the science that underpins many environmental issues. The text now has 18 shorter chapters, grouped into four parts, including four new chapters on Canada (Chapter 5), Managing Ecological Resources (Chapter 6), Waste (Chapter 15), and Environmental Hazards and Human Health (Chapter 16).
  • EnviroFocus boxes identify a range of personal interest/impact issues ranging from a list of Canada's special places to proposals to re-wild North American ecosystems, to the challenges in managing the discharge of municipal sewage to our ocean environment and the competition between wild species and humans for habitat that affects grizzly bears in Banff National Park.
  • Each chapter ends with a Making a Difference case study that provides not only real illustrations of environmental problems but also demonstrates how people have applied the principles and concepts discussed in the text to the resolution of environmental issues at various geographical scales.
  • Chapter Questions at the end of each chapter will engage students in development of observational and critical thinking skills.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Part One: Our Environment
  • Chapter 1: Environmental Change
  • Chapter 2: Human Relationships with Nature
  • Chapter 3: Science and Environment
  • Chapter 4: Our Planet
  • Chapter 5: Canada
  • Part Two: Ecological Resources
  • Chapter 6: Managing Ecological Resources
  • Chapter 7: Biodiversity
  • Chapter 8: Agroecosystems
  • Chapter 9: Fresh Water
  • Chapter 10: Oceans and Fisheries
  • Chapter 11: Forests and Forestry
  • Part Three: Commonly Held and Legacy Resources
  • Chapter 12: Atmosphere and Climate
  • Chapter 13: Energy
  • Chapter 14: Mining
  • Part Four: Getting to Tomorrow
  • Chapter 15: Waste
  • Chapter 16: Environmental Hazards and Human Health
  • Chapter 17: Cities
  • Chapter 18: The Way Forward
  • Glossary
  • Index

Author Information

Dianne Draper

Dianne Draper is a full professor in the department of geography at the University of Calgary, Alberta. She is the founding author of Our Environment: A Canadian Perspective. She is recognized for her research in sustainable tourism, ecotourism and tourism growth management, as well as planning and policy in water resources and coastal zone management. Her current research focuses on governance and quality of life issues in tourism and other communities as they are working toward sustainability, and on managing growth and its impacts on communities, including wildlife, water resources, and parks and protected areas.

Ann Zimmerman

I started my academic career at the University of Toronto in 1976 in what was then the Department of Zoology. My first assignment was to teach ZOO471: Limnology or the physics, chemistry, and biology of freshwater ecosystems. The department was an epicentre of freshwater research and I was soon invited to join the Lake Ecosystems Working Group, which over the next decade focused on both basic and applied research in Ontario lakes. The issue of acid rain quickly brought home to me the interdisciplinary nature of this environmental issue. My broadening interest in environment – writ larger than I had previously recognized – brought me into contact with colleagues in departments as diverse as philosophy, economics and sociology, in addition to the science departments in our faculty, and with individuals in the faculties of medicine, applied sciences, forestry and architecture. The university was recognizing the desirability of finding ways to work collaboratively across the disciplines interested in environment and I had the opportunity to work with numerous colleagues as the founding Director of the Division of the Environment, a unit that has subsequently morphed into the university's School of Environment. One of the courses I had already developed – ENV200 or Global Change: Science and Environment – became the introductory course for the Division's BA program. I was also able to contribute to ENV234: Environmental Science, the foundation course for our B.Sc. program. These experiences culminated in my last administrative position at the university: founding Director of our newly acquired research centre: the Koffler Scientific Reserve at Jokers Hill. I retired after my term there but remain engaged with the academic community as Professor Emerita, a position that has afforded me the luxury of the time to contribute to this edition of Our Environment.