GEOG 430A Rouge National Urban Park -- Field Course

Friday, November 27, 2015



GEOG 430A Rouge National Urban Park:

Geographic Interpretation, Communication, and Outreach in Practice

June 1st - 5th, 2016, Toronto, Ontario

How can national urban parks and urban environments interact?

How can competing issues of tourism, education, ecology, recreation, agriculture, and storm water management be addressed?

What role does geography have in these decisions?

How can we ensure Canada’s first national urban park does not become "loved to death"?

During this course, you will work closely with park managers, planners, ecologists, archeologists, farmers, educators, and other professionals in order to understand how both human and physical geography help describe the landscape. You will learn about the landscape through time and space – exploring the evolution of habitation, the area’s relevance in transportation and trade, and the development of agriculture in that landscape. You will be introduced to issues challenging the development of a national urban park and will be able to work with decision-makers on strategies to mitigate some of these. You will integrate knowledge and experiences and develop skills to solve environmental problems, and to connect learning to personal action.

Format: During the in-field portion of the course, your will be immersed in the development of the first urban national park in Canada. You will spend your days in Rouge National Urban Park engaging in discussions with experts, conducting field work related to environmental management, and coming up with tangible solutions to pressing issues. This time together will be busy and you be expected to start the in-class portion of the course after having contributed online in the previous weeks. GEOG 430A requires a high degree of participation and will consist of community service learning, lectures, discussions of readings, guests, trips, reflections, and presentations of your work. You will be encouraged to ask questions of yourself, your peers, your surroundings, and your interpretation of nature and relationships to it.

Prerequisites: Fourth-year course restricted to senior Honours students. Enrollment will be limited to twenty students. Students taking all majors are welcome, though having at least one GEM credit is strongly advised.

Instructor: Dr. Amanda Hooykaas (

Timeline: You will arrive the evening of Wednesday, June 1st and the course will conclude mid-day on June 5th – a perfect opportunity for both those on work terms and those on academic terms. You will be staying at the Claremont Field Centre and all meals and transportation are included (it is your responsibility to get to the start of the course).

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