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UTSC partners with Storefront on environment course

UTSC will partner with the East Scarborough Storefront on a course called Understanding Your Environment, which will provide community members with an introduction to environmental issues and research.

UTSC faculty including Nick Eyles, professor of environmental science and host of the CBC documentary Geologic Journey, will present lectures, while classes, hands-on demonstrations and field trips will be arranged by course leader Katharina Bräutigam, a post-doctoral researcher in the lab of Malcolm Campbell, vice-principal, research.

 “This is an excellent way of exposing people to the scientific research about our environment,” says Campbell. “Not only will we be presenting contemporary issues around the environment, but we’ll be explaining what’s being done at the cutting edge of research.”

The course has been a long-time dream of Fazilatun Nessa Babli, a resident and leader of the Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park community, and has now been made possible because of Storefront’s partnership with UTSC, says Ewa Cerda-Llanos, coordinator of community/university initiatives for the East Scarborough Storefront, a partnership of community members and service providers. 

 “It’s meant to be a fun, interactive course that will help residents expand their understanding of the environment,” Cerda-Llano says. The non-credit course will run for six weeks. In addition to regular classes and hands-on activities, three UTSC faculty will give visiting lectures.

Eyles’ seminar will be titled “The Physical World,” and will explore the way that geography and geology underpin the environment.

One field trip will take residents down to the Highland Creek for an interpretive nature walk created by Ivana Stehlik, lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Another field trip will take the class to the Rouge Valley, which will also be the site of Canada’s first national urban park. UTSC is a major academic partner with Parks Canada in the planning process for the park.

Campbell says that helping to present the course makes sense for the university, given its strength in environmental science, its commitment to the surrounding community, and its involvement with Park’s Canada planned national urban park.

© University of Toronto Scarborough