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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: IRLS409 Course ID: 4000 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course provides an overview of environmental security by examining environmental threats such as climate change, water scarcity, consumption patterns, urbanization, resource extraction and usage, food security, and globalization. The course provides students with a thorough understanding of how environmental security and human security are intertwined.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
08/31/20 - 01/29/21 02/01/21 - 03/28/21 Winter 2021 Session I 8 Week session
11/30/20 - 04/30/21 05/03/21 - 06/27/21 Spring 2021 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to

CO 1: Identify the issues impacting environmental security

CO 2: Explain how environmental security is linked to human security

CO 3: Compare and contrast various strategies used by international organizations, nation states, and non-state actors are working to protect complex ecosystems

CO 4: Evaluate the threats posed to human security by environmental threats such as natural disasters, climate change, water scarcity, food security, consumption patterns, infectious disease, infrastructure risks, urbanization and human migration, resource extraction and usage, and weapons of mass effect.

Each assignment will be evaluated by the instructor using a rubric scoring guide and comments inserted into the Word document. Forum grades will be determined using a rubric scoring guide. Additionally, comments may be given informally within the forum or in more detail within the forum grader tool.

LATE ASSIGNMENTS: Late assignments and late forum posts will be accepted under certain circumstances. A student request for late submission must be initiated twenty-four (24) hours prior to the assignment deadline. Without prior permission by the instructor, late work will be assessed a five (5) percent penalty per day.

CITATION AND REFERENCE STYLE: All assignments for the School of Security and Global Studies (papers, essays, exams, and Forums) must follow the Turabian citation method. An online copy of may be found at: Students should be aware that in-text citations are the preferred method for citing sources (rather than in footnotes or endnotes). Any notes used in essays or assignments should be limited to extraneous information that the student wishes to include. The format for in-text citations is given in the Turabian guide linked above. Students are to use the parenthetical form (P) within the text of the document and the reference list form (R) in providing a list of sources. See more information on citation style in the Week 1 Lesson.

Forum discussions – One initial post by Thursday; two follow-up posts to classmates by Sunday. Specific questions found in Forums tab of the classroom.

Midterm assignment – Four-page evaluative essay. Specific instructions found in Assignments tab of the classroom.

Progress assignments – Four page current events essay. Specific instructions found in Assignments tab of the classroom.

Final assignment – Four-page case study. Specific instructions found in Assignments tab of the classroom.

NameGrade %
Assignments 75.00 %
Midterm Assignment 25.00 %
Progress Assignment 25.00 %
Final Assignment 25.00 %
Forums 25.00 %
Forum 1 3.13 %
Forum 2 3.13 %
Forum 3 3.13 %
Forum 4 3.13 %
Forum 5 3.13 %
Forum 6 3.13 %
Forum 7 3.13 %
Forum 8 3.13 %

Journal articles and video lectures posted within the Sakai classroom platform.

Aning, Kwesi , Atta-Asamoah, Andrews. 2011. Demography, environment and conflict in West Africa. Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre. 27 pages

Barber, Charles Victor. 1997. The case of Indonesia, project on environmental scarcities, state capacity, and civil violence. University of Toronto and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved from:

Bates, Diane C. 2002. Environmental refugees? Classifying human migrations caused by environmental change. Population and Environment. New York. Iss. 5; pg. 465 (6 pages)

Berger, Matthew. 2009. Environment: debate on sea-dumped chemical weapons revived. Global Information Network. New York.(2.5pages)

Brown, Valerie J. 2004. Battle scars. Environmental Health Perspectives. Vol. 112 Issue 17, pA994-A1003 (10 pages)

Cedillo, Cristina. 2011.. Better access to remedy in company-­community conflicts in the field of csr: a model for company ­ based grievance mechanisms. Institute for Environmental Security. (34 pages)

CNA Corporation. 2007. National security and the threat of climate change. Retrieved from: (35 pages)

Col. Randall Larsen (Ret.) 2009. Bioterrorism Threat to US. C-SPAN Video Library. (26.57 min)

Dalby, Simon and Tessitore, John. 2009. EIA Interview: Simon Dalby on Environmental Security. Carnegie Council. Retrieved from:

Detraz, Nicole, and Michele M. Betsill. 2009. Climate change and environmental security: for whom the discourse shifts. International Studies Perspectives 10, no. 3: 303-320. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed February 18, 2012). (17 pages)

Detraz, Nicole. 2009. Environmental security and gender: necessary shifts in an evolving debate. Security Studies 18, no. 2: 345-369. International Security & Counter Terrorism Reference Center, EBSCOhost (accessed February 18, 2012). (24 pages

DeWeerdt, Sarah. 2008. War and the environment. world watch, 08960615, Vol. 21, Issue 1 (8 pages)

Ejigu, Mersie Ejigu. 2006 Post Conflict Liberia: Environmental Security as a Strategy for Sustainable Peace and Development. Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability. Retrieved from: (30 pages)

Gasana, James, K. .2002. Natural Resource Scarcity and Violence in Rwanda” in Richard Matthew, Mark Halle and Jason Switzer, eds., Conserving the Peace: Resources, Livelihoods and Scarcity. Winnipeg, Manitoba: International Institute of Sustainable Development. 199-246. (47 pages)

Glenn, Jerome C., Gordon, Theodore J. and Perele, Renat. 1998. Defining environmental security: implications for the US Army. U.S. Army Environmental Policy Institute. Contract No. AEPI-IFP-1298 (29 pages)

Haldén, Peter. 2011. The past, present and future(s) of environmental security studies. Cooperation & Conflict 46, no. 3: 406-414. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed February 18, 2012). 8 pages

Homer-Dixon, Thomas F. 1994. Environmental scarcities and violent conflict: evidence from cases, International Security, Vol. 19, No. I, pp. 5-40 (35 pages)

Howard, Philip and Homer-Dixon, Thomas.. 1996. The Case of Chiapas. University of Toronto and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved from:

Kaplan, Robert D. 1994. The coming anarchy.. The Atlantic Monthly 273, No. 2. Pgs. 44-76 (32 pages)

Kelly, Kimberley and Homer-Dixon, Thomas.. 1995. The Case of Gaza. University of Toronto and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved from:

Li, Jennifer Li. 2008. Environmental impact assessments in developing countries: an opportunity for greater environmental security? Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability. : (38 pages)

Li, Jennifer. 2006. China's Rising Demand for Minerals and Emerging Global Norms and Practices in the Mining Industry. Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability. Retrieved from: (44 pages)

Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service. (n.d.) Terrorism: Background on Chemical, Biological, and Toxin Weapons and Options for Lessening Their Impact. (15 pages)

Lubovich, Kelley. 2009. Cooperation and competition: managing transboundary water resources in the Lake Victoria Region. Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability. Retrieved from: (28 pages)

Orme, Jacob. and Nielson, Daniel. 2008. environmental scarcity as an impetus for conflict. International Studies Association, 2008 Annual Meeting. (28 Pages)

Percival, Valerie and Homer-Dixon, Thomas. 1995. The Case of Rwanda. University of Toronto and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Retrieved from:

Renner, Michael. 2006. Introduction to the Concepts of Environmental Security and Environmental Conflict. Institute for Environmental Security. The Hague. Retrieved from: (16 pages)

Stark, Jeffrey, Li, Jennifer, and Terasawa, Katsuaki. 2006. Environmental Safeguards and Community Benefits in Mining: Recent Lessons from the Philippines. Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability Retrieved from: (22 pages)

The International Development Research Centre. (n.d.) IDRC President on Food Security in India. (34 minutes)

Tuchman- Mathews, Jessica. 1989. Redefining security. Foreign Affairs 68, No. 2: 162-177 (15 pages)

United Nations Environment Programme. 2011. Rwanda: From Post-Conflict to Environmentally Sustainable Development. (chapters 3, 7, 10 and 12 will not be read.) 170 pages

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.