Certificate in Environmental Citizenship


Developed from a social science perspective, in partnership with the School of Environmental Sciences, this certificate is beneficial if you wish to explore global environmental issues facing us today and in the future. You will gain in-depth knowledge about environmental changes, their global impact, and how you can directly contribute to the environment's sustainability.

About the Certificate in Environmental Citizenship

The University of Guelph is a leading institution in Environmental Sciences. The School of Environmental Sciences, recognized for its excellence and contributions to the environmental science industry, was established in 1992. With a fresh and future-oriented outlook, the School of Environmental Sciences' programs are based on a long-standing tradition of environmental research. 

With a total of six courses to complete, this certificate will help you gain insight and develop a sound knowledge of the environment. 

How to Register

University of Guelph Degree Students

If you are a University of Guelph degree student, please register for your courses through WebAdvisor.

Open Learning Program Students

For your convenience, you can register for courses using OpenEd's new secure online registration system.

Register button.

Visit our How to Register page for alternative ways to register and for methods of payment.

Please note that some courses and programs have an approval process that must be completed prior to confirming enrolment. See specific individual course description pages for details.

If you have any questions about registration, please email our main office or phone us at 519-767-5000.


You can take individual courses or achieve certification by successfully completing six degree-credit courses, including at least two at the 3000 or 4000 level. All courses are delivered entirely online through CourseLink, the University of Guelph's online learning management system.* A variety of courses are offered to allow you to customize your program to your area of interest or profession. The courses may be taken in any order, as long as prerequisite requirements are met. It takes approximately two years to complete the program.

Required Course

It is recommended that you take this required course early in the sequence:

ENVS*2070DE - Environmental Perspectives and Human Choices

This is an interdisciplinary approach to environmental issues which offers opportunities to investigate social processes and philosophical considerations with respect to the position and influence of humankind, and the development of social conditions, values and economic activities that have led to our present situation. These investigations are carried out within the context of physical environmental considerations, such as the state of the earth, forests, air water and our use of energy, and will lead the student to a detailed consideration of the future. (Offered through Distance Education format only.)

View the ENVS*2070DE course description page.

Elective Courses

Choose two or three of the following courses:

BOT*2000DE - Plants, Biology and People

The course deals with the biology of plant species of historical and cultural importance. It will focus on plants used as a source of drugs, herbal medicines, industrial raw materials, food products, perfumes and dyes. Examples of plant products that will be looked at include cocaine, chocolate, tea, opium, hemp and ginseng. The relevant morphology, physiology, distribution and ethnobotany of these plant species will be discussed.

View the BOT*2000DE course description page.

ECON*1050DE - Introductory Microeconomics

An introduction to the Canadian economy: price determination, market structure and resource allocation; the behaviour of consumers and firms; market intervention by government. Some of the economic issues addressed may include agricultural price supports, rent control, the NAFTA, environmental regulation, price discrimination, pay equity, and taxation. 

View the ECON*1050DE course description page.

ECON*2100DE - Economic Growth and Environmental Quality

This course examines the implications of economic growth on the quality of the environment employing the basic principles of economic analysis.

View the ECON*2100DE course description page.

EDRD*3500DE - Recreation and Tourism Planning

Application of planning theory to recreation and tourism in the private and public sectors, approaches to implementing plans, and strategies for involving stakeholders in the planning process. Focus will also be on the impact of various approaches to planning recreation and tourism. (Offered through Distance Education only.)

View the EDRD*3500DE course description page.

ENVS*2120DE - Introduction to Environmental Stewardship

This course provides an introduction to the concepts of resource management, environmental planning and assessment, land stewardship and sustainable development. Case studies of specific issues such as parks and natural heritage conservation, agricultural land loss, and integrated rural resources management will provide insight on approaches to decision making. Included will be discussion of the concept of stewardship as an environmental ethics. (Offered through Distance Education only.)

View the ENVS*2120DE course description page.

GEOG*1220DE - Human Impact on the Environment

A global overview of the changing relationships among society, technology and the environment. This course emphasizes the major stages of human use of resources and the environmental consequences of global changes in production systems. It contrasts Third and First World experiences, focusing on core-periphery relationships.

View the GEOG*1220DE course description page.

HIST*2250DE - Environment and History

An introduction to the field of environmental history - its nature and uses. This course provides a historical perspective to environmental issues. It examines the causes and impact of human-induced modification of the natural world in selected areas of the globe, the evolution of attitudes and ideas about the natural world over time and the growth of conservation/environmental issues and movements.

View the HIST*2250DE course description page.

PHIL*2070DE - Philosophy of the Environment

Environmental Philosophy asks questions such as: How has `nature' been conceptualized in the Western philosophical tradition, in aesthetics, science, and ethics? What arguments have been offered for the view that humans are superior among creatures? What connections might there be between the ways that nature, humankind, and animals have been conceptualized and the ways that humans have tended to act toward the non-human natural environment? This course may cover such topics as: climate change, resource extraction and justice, biotechnology, obligations to future generations, risk assessment and discount rates, species lost, conservation vs. preservation.

View the PHIL*2070DE course description in the Undergraduate Calendar.

POLS*3370DE - Environmental Politics and Governance

This course examines environmental politics and governance in Canada as well as in comparative and international contexts. This is accomplished by surveying how various political, legal, administrative, and private-public actors and processes influence the development and implementation of environmental policy. 

View the POLS*3370DE course description page.

Choose two or three of the following courses:

BIOL*1500DE - Humans in the Natural World

This course will examine past and present human interactions with Nature from an ecological perspective. It investigates current global issues that require multi-disciplinary environmental analysis.

View the BIOL*1500DE course description page.

BIOL*2060DE - Ecology

This course discusses the ecology of plants, animals, fungi and bacteria as individual organisms, interacting populations, communities and ecosystems. Lectures and discussion groups are used to demonstrate the difficulty of interpreting ecological data derived from field studies. The value of laboratory-based research in ecology will also be discussed. The course will be important for anyone who wishes to understand what we know and need to know about the way ecological systems work.

View the BIOL*2060DE course description page.

BOT*1200 - Plants and Human Use

This course will examine past and present interactions between humans and plants with emphasis on major changes in civilization and cultures as a result of these interactions. The approach will be to consider several case studies of how unique structural and chemical properties of various plant organs have played a role in their use by humans. Not an acceptable course for students in B.SC. Biological Sciences Programs.

View the BOT*1200 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar.

EDRD*3450DE - Watershed Planning Practice

An introduction to the principles and practice of watershed-based planning, with an emphasis on Ontario, but with reference to other parts of Canada, the U.S. and international contexts. History of water resource use and abuse, basic concepts of hydrology, water resource management, ecosystem approaches, and planning theory are also included. (Offered through distance education format only.)

View the EDRD*3450DE course description page.

EDRD*4010DE - Tourism Planning in the Less Developed World

This course will provide a discussion and investigation of tourism from an interdisciplinary point of view. The subject of tourism development cuts across many disciplines and is fundamental to a variety of scholars and practitioners working in tourism and development generally. While a variety of important theories and planning practices from a variety of disciplines have been selected for study, planning and community development theory will provide the overarching perspective. The features of planning theories and models stress analysis and intervention into human and environmental systems. This perspective begins with the view that tourism is a complicated human construct and as such needs to be structured and guided in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the negative impacts to all stakeholders in the system. (Offered through Distance Education only.)

View the EDRD*4010DE course description page.

ENVS*3000DE - Nature Interpretation

This course explores communication and experiential learning theories and their application to natural history interpretation and environmental education program design and delivery. Students will develop interpretive materials, plan an interpretive walk and deliver the interpretive walk to a community group.

View the ENVS*3000DE course description page.

GEOG*2210DE - Environment and Resources

This course examines the interrelationships between people and biophysical processes. The main themes are: 1) characteristics of natural resources and processes through which they are developed and used and 2) human response to environmental conditions, including natural hazards and global change. Contemporary Canadian case studies will be presented at the regional and national scales.

View the GEOG*2210DE course description page.

GEOG*3020DE - Global Environmental Change

Major global environmental issues examined include climate change, deforestation, desertification and global fisheries. This course is interdisciplinary, exploring the interactions of bio-physical processes with human socio-economic dynamics, including policy initiatives. Particular attention is given to global climate change, its causes, its nature and extent, its implications for ecosystems and societies, and its governance implications.

View the GEOG*3020DE course description page.

GEOG*3210DE - Indigenous-Settler Relationships in Environmental Governance

This course provides an examination of resource management, focusing on public and private decision-making processes and considers techniques for evaluating resources, including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and risk analysis. Emphasis is on the economic, social and environmental implications of resource development and use. Contemporary Canadian case studies will be presented at appropriate scales.

View the GEOG*3210DE course description page.

GEOG*3490DE - Tourism and Environment

An integrative perspective on tourism, addressing diverse interactions between people and tourist resources. Emphasis is on experiences derived from the use of resources, the environmental, economic and cultural impacts of tourism, and approaches to managing these impacts.

View the GEOG*3490DE course description page.

*Please note that course codes ending with the letters "DE" indicate the course is offered online.

Additional Information

When you have completed all the requirements for this certificate, you can request your parchment through the OpenEd Student Portal.

If you would like additional information on distance education, please visit our Online Learning at U of G page. For specific program-related inquiries, please email the Open Learning program Counsellor.