This blog was written by Marissa during her 3rd year in the Environmental Management stream.
The Bachelor in Environmental Studies has many ways that you can enhance your degree. One of these ways is certificates which are extra certifications that can easily be achieved within your degree requirements. They don't cost more time or more money, but just guide your course selection within your degree. Some of these certificates include include Sustainable Energy, (Sanya also talks about this certificate in her post), Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing, Urban Ecologies (Eva talks about this certificate in her blog) and more. I choose the Cultural and Artistic Practices for Environmental and Social Justice certificate or CAP for short.
The CAP Certificate combines Environmental Studies and Arts to address social injustice issues around the world. This certificate breaks down to 4 components and 3 mandatory courses. The 4 components are Environmental Education, Art, Critical Social Analysis, and a work placement. The mandatory courses are ENVS 2122, ENVS 3122 and ENVS 4122. Every student must take courses required under each component and the mandatory ones.
Each mandatory course ENVS 2122, ENVS 3122 and ENVS 4122, build off of each other. For example, ENVS 2122 is the introductory course of community arts and using arts for social justice change. All these courses are workshops built to help you further your artistic abilities while applying them to a social justice issue.
3 credits must be taken in the "Environmental Education" component. Currently I am taking ENVS 3140 Environmental and Sustainability Education. This course focuses on aspect of environmental education and what it means to you. A lot of the course is experiential learning and has many hands-on assignment and activities. This course is also great in developing creative ways to use art and education to teach others.
The "Critical Social Analysis" component is very easy to obtain 3 credits in. This is because one of the options is the course mandatory for all BES students: ENVS 2000, Environmental Politics, Justice and Arts. This shows how wonderful it is because many courses within these certificates are already required to your degree. Therefore, it doesn't add any additional time to your studies.
The "Art" component has many options you can take. This includes Environmental Studies courses, Photography, Visual Arts, Music, and Dance. I choose to take one Environmental Studies and a Photography course. These courses are all wonderful because you can choose what you would like to improve on or learn for the first time. I took ENVS 3100: Environmental Arts and Media: Skills, Methods, and Action. Coming from absolutely no arts background, this course gave me many new skills and introduced me to media theory. This course is hands on but delves into multiple forms of art including painting, drawing, videography and writing.
In future, I will be doing a work placement that involves both the environment and arts. These can take you all over Canada or even the world! This a great way to get practical experience, while obtaining this certificate!