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Quantitative Studies for Environmental Science

Course Code: SCIE 1108
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Environmental Science
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course explores mathematics with applications for environmental science, and related topics in biology and geology. The course will review algebra, and focus on environmental applications of linear and non-linear functions, descriptive statistics, geometry and trigonometry. Problems and cases will illustrate "real world" situations in environmental science.

Course Content

  1. Lecture examples and case studies will utilize environmental science, related life and earth science situations.  The course will be instructed and lectured from an applied environmental science perspective.
  2. Algebra skills review:  Real numbers, polynomials, factoring,  rational expressions, integer expressions, rational exponents and radicals, quadratic equations, inequalities, absolute value, graphing.
  3. Descriptive Statistics:  Populations and samples, measures of central tendency and dispersion. 
  4. Calculation of distance, area and volume, using lines, rectangles, triangles, polygons, cubes, circles, spheres, and others. 
  5. Calculation of dimension and angles using trigonometry (sine, cosine, tangent).
  6. Description and solution of linear equations, functions, and systems of equations (2 variables), including graphing.
  7. Description and solution of non-linear relationships and functions (logarithmic, exponential, power and quadratic), including graphing.
  8. Use of scientific calculator, linear, semi-log and log graph paper, scientific notation.
  9. Some applications explored during the course may include:  surveys of populations of wildlife in a suburban region; volumetric assessment of groundwater contamination; volume and surface area of soil and rock bodies; rate of change in the local environment due to urbanization; growth and decay (of populations, pollutants, bacteria, radioactivity, value of future assets, groundwater  flow).

Methods of Instruction

Instruction will utilize lectures, and seminars.  Text and other readings will be assigned, problem sets will be completed by students.  Case studies in environmental science will be used to provide context, and a geometry / trigonometry supplement will be provided.  A field trip may be conducted.

Means of Assessment

Term exams 40%
Problem sets, cases, reports, presentations 25%
Participation 5%
Final exam 30%

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, a successful student will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the role of mathematics and quantitative analysis in environmental science.
  2. Describe the central tendency and dispersion of single variable data.
  3. Measure and describe length, area and volume using geometry and trigonometry.
  4. Solve problems and equations involving linear equations and functions, and involving systems of linear equations.
  5. Solve problems and equations involving exponential, logarithmic, power, and quadratic functions.
  6. Derive equations and graph linear and non-linear functions.

course prerequisites

Principles of Math 11 C- or DVST 0411 C- or  Math 11 exemption test or equivalent

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.