Earth & Environmental Sciences
Introduction to Earth Sciences
An introductory course focusing on physical geology. Topics include minerals, rocks (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic), plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanic activity, Earth resources, and the many processes that have shaped the Earth. The course includes practical hands-on labs. A field trip may be required.
History of the Earth
This course is concerned with Earth history and the events that have shaped the development of the Earth. Topics include: the origin of the Earth, movement of Earth's tectonic plates over time, origin and evolution of life, mass extinction events, and ancient climates. Techniques used to date and interpret events of the past and reconstruct ancient environments will be discussed. The course includes practical hands-on labs. A field trip may be required.
This course is about using fossils to reconstruct the origin, evolution, behaviour and extinction of dinosaurs. We will look at changes in the public perception and scientific interpretation of dinosaurs in the time since their initial discovery, with particular emphasis on relationships, adaptations and Mesozoic history.
Global Environmental Change
The survival of this planet will, in large part, depend upon people acquiring an understanding of the intricate interrelationship of the physical, chemical and biological systems found in nature and the impact upon them of human activity. In this context, this course will provide an overview of contemporary changes to our global environment, the driving forces and the observed and foreseen consequences, from a natural science and social science perspective.
Introduction to Environmental Science
Within the framework of marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, this course explores the natural environment and the dynamic biological, physical and chemical interactions that characterize it. The role of humans in altering the natural biogeochemical cycles will be explored through focused discussions of topics such as natural resource exploitation (forestry, agriculture, mining, oil & gas, alternative energies), pollution (waste management, soil and water contamination, atmospheric pollution and climate change), and land use changes (e.g., urbanization). Emphasis will be placed on the local and regional environment. Field trips may be required.
This course helps students develop an understanding of the ocean environment and interactions with other Earth systems. Students will learn about the physical, chemical, geological and biological factors affecting the Earth's oceans. Current issues such as climate change, sea level rise, and pollution will be examined. A field trip may be required.
Field Methods 1
This course introduces students to field methods used by Earth Scientists. Topics include identification and interpretation of minerals, rocks and geological features in the field, recording of information, field safety and use of field equipment. Most of the course will take place in a field setting, where activities will involve hiking and working on steep rock slopes.
Resources from the Earth
This course is an overview of resources that are extracted from the Earth. Origin, extraction, use, economic effects and environmental impact will be discussed. Resources to be studied include energy, metals, industrial minerals, other minerals, soil, water and groundwater. A field trip may be scheduled.
Sedimentology & Stratigraphy
This course investigates the sedimentary rock record with the aim of determining depositional environments and their ages. The principles of stratigraphy and sedimentology will be used to show how environmental information can be interpreted from the rocks. Field trips will be required.
Introduction to Mineralogy
This course provides an introduction to the physical and chemical properties of minerals. The course will cover identification and classification of rock-forming and economic minerals, crystallography and analytical methods, mineral occurrences and associations. Field trips will be required.
Introduction to Petrology
This course will investigate the origin/formation, occurrence, and classification of igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic and economically important rocks. This course will also serve as an introduction to the petrographic microscope and the use of the microscope to identify minerals and rocks. Field trips will be required.
Field Methods 2
Building on Field Methods 1 and other courses, this course broadens and deepens knowledge and field skills used by Earth Scientists. Topics include description and identification of minerals and rock units, integration of cross-sections and geologic maps, advanced use of field tools for positioning and measurement.
Earth Science Project
This course enables Earth Science students to learn extensively about a focused topic. Projects will involve learning the geology of a locale or a region, and other associated aspects of interest (e.g.: a resource deposit, paleontology of specific fossil beds, unusual minerals, earthquakes). Projects are determined through agreement between a student and a sponsoring instructor (Guided Study). Field work and travel may be required, and additional fees may apply for transportation and other expenses.
Environmental Science Project
This course enables Environmental Science students to learn more about a focused topic. Projects will involve learning about the environment of a locale and associated environmental issues. Projects are determined through agreement between a student and a sponsoring instructor. Field work and travel may be required, and additional fees may apply for transportation and other expenses.
This course describes the deformation of rock. Students will learn about stress and strain, plate tectonics, structural analysis, techniques of collecting structural data, and some economic applications. Field trips will be required.
This course explores the interaction between Earth and human activities. Students will investigate how geology is applied to solving environmental problems such as natural hazards, exploitation of resources and global issues of environmental change. Field trips may be required.
Geological Mapping 1
This course is about the techniques of collecting and mapping geological information and applications to sedimentary mineral and coal deposits. Some field trips will be required.
Geological Mapping 2
This course is about the techniques of collecting and mapping geological information as applied to the characteristics of magmatic, hydrothermal and supergene ore deposits. Field trips will be required for this course.
Geological Information Systems
This course will introduce students to the use of computer applications for analysing geological and mining exploration data, and producing a variety of outputs including maps, cross-sections, statistical plots, and others.
Exploration and Mining 1
This course covers the various stages of the mineral exploration process, from reconnaissance to pre-development. Field trips may be required.
Exploration and Mining 2
This course covers mining issues such as reserve evaluation, mine development, mining methods, environmental assessment and protection, mine closure and reclamation, and case studies of projects (advanced exploration to closure). Field trips may be required.