CCST9013 Scientific and Technological Literacy
Our Living Environment


Non-Permissible Combination:
CCST9016 Energy: Its Evolution and Environmental Impacts

 

Course Description

This course will introduce to students the diverse ways in which human society has interacted with the natural environment, raise their awareness of the complexity of environmental issues, and encourage them to explore various aspects of global and local environmental problems. The teaching will focus firstly on how scientific and technological development has influenced human society in gaining economic benefits from understanding and being able to modify and manage the natural environment. It will then draw students’ attention to the consequences of human’s modification of the natural environment, including an increase in the scale of natural hazards recently occurring across the world. Students will be guided to examine global (resources, climate change, economic growth, etc.) and local (pollution and resource depletion in China and Hong Kong) environmental issues, and explore possible scientific and technological solutions along with political, social and economical considerations to these environmental problems.

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Recognize and describe the reciprocal relationships between humans and their environment influenced by scientific discovery and technological development.
  2. Analyze the impacts of scientific discovery and technological development on the natural environment and human societies at different spatial and temporal scales.
  3. Demonstrate an awareness of the impacts of science within the broader economic, environmental and socio-cultural context, and apply knowledge gained to evaluate solutions appropriate to the specific cultures and environments.
  4. Produce written evidence, in the form of individual course work, of their aquisition of knowledge and analytical skills in the topic.
  5. Present, in the form of internet searching for relevant information and group digital presentation of research results, their IT and communication skills.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

Second semester (Wed)


Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 8
Laboratory 4
Fieldwork / Visits 2
Reading / Self-study 84
Workshops on essay writing 2
Assessment: Essay / Report writing 16
Assessment: Presentation (incl preparation) 8
Assessment: Quizzes 2
Total: 146

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Tutorial exercises 20
Environmental Awareness Survey 20
Online quiz 15
Concept mapping with explanations 20
Multiple choice quiz 25

Required Reading

Sections from:

  • Jones, G. E. (2004). People and environment: A global approach. New York: Pearson Prentice Hall.
  • Simmons, I. G. (1989). Changing the face of the earth: Culture, environment, history. Oxford: Blackwell.

Recommended Reading

  • Goudie, A. (2000). The human impact on the natural environment (5th ed.). Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Penna, A. N. (2010). The human footprint: A global environmental history. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr S.C. Chang
Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science
Tel: 3917 7838
Email: suchin@hku.hk
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr S.C. Chang
Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science
Tel: 3917 7838
Email: suchin@hku.hk
Dr R. McKenzie
Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science
Tel: 2859 8047
Email: ryan00@hku.hk
Professor Y.Q. Zong
Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science
Tel: 2219 4815
Email: yqzong@hku.hk