Mining Practices and the Environment, Sault College, since 2010

  • Lecturer: Robert Rattle
  • Program: Natural Environment Technologist – Conservation and Management
  • Duration: one semester, 3h per week, Bachelor level (3rd year); 10-15 students
  • Focus: mining techniques; environmental impacts and mitigation strategies; with an emphasis on relating mining to personal consumption. Materials and exercises allow students to explore their choice architecture in relation to consumption to help them better understand the dynamics of consumer decision making in the context of global resource extraction activities and relate this to social, political and economic structures.
  • Novel approach: site visits to mines; group term paper on the environmental impacts of an electronic device, considering the complete life cycle, as well as social/health issues, etc. Bonus points: if students can identify and associate specific minerals in their selected device to a particular mining company, operation or mine.
  • Student evaluation: assignments (3-4), class participation, examinations (mid and final), and term project (1). Assignments are related to mining in Canada and include case studies. There are plans to increase the number of assignments, rather than rely on a mid-term or final exam.
  • Course evaluation: students appreciate site visits and relating mining to personal experiences.