Earth & Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science

EESC: Earth & Environmental Sciences


  1. EESC 101 (3) Environmental Science

    A quantitative and scientific approach to the understanding of global energy, water and nutrient cycling; growth of human populations and their effects on the environment and ecosystem function. Functional understanding of modern environmental issues, and the requirements of, and opportunities for, sustainability. [3-0-0]

  2. EESC 104 (3) Four Billion Years and Counting

    The geological history of what is now Canada from the formation of Earth to the present day. Practical applications of geology to Canadian society and the economy. [3-0-0]

  3. EESC 106 (3) The Catastrophic Earth

    The causes, physical characteristics, and consequences of natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, severe weather, landslides, tsunamis, floods, meteor impact, and mass extinctions. [3-0-0]

  4. EESC 111 (3) Earth Science

    Origin, structure and composition of Earth. Plate tectonics as the unifying mechanism for mountain building, formation of ocean basins, and assembly and break-up of continents. Minerals, rocks, Earth surface processes, geological maps, natural resources and hazards. [3-2-0]

  5. EESC 112 (3) Environmental Earth Science

    Earth systems and environment: atmosphere, climate, water cycle, oceans, surface water, groundwater, earth surface processes, soils, and biogeochemical cycling. Applications of environmental science to solving modern environmental problems. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: EESC 111 and one of CHEM 111, CHEM 121.

  6. EESC 121 (3) Earth History

    Origin of rocks, oceans, atmosphere and the record of life on Earth. Scientific methods of studying Earth history. Geologic time, dating methods, the stratigraphic record. Organic evolution, the fossil record, and extinctions. [3-2-0]

    Prerequisite: EESC 111 recommended.

  7. EESC 200 (3) Mineralogy

    Crystallography and the physical and chemical properties of minerals. Recognition and identification of common minerals. [2-3-0]

    Prerequisite: EESC 111 and one of CHEM 111, CHEM 121.

  8. EESC 201 (3) Optical Mineralogy and Petrology

    Identification of common rock-forming minerals using the polarizing microscope. Use of minerals and rock textures as a means of determining the classification and petrogenesis of igneous and metamorphic rocks. [2-3-0]

    Prerequisite: One of EESC 111, EESC 200.

  9. EESC 205 (3) Introduction to Hydrology

    Principles of hydrology at site, watershed, and regional scales. Techniques of measurement and analysis. Emphasizes surface water hydrology of western North America. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 205 or GEOG 205. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: Either (a) two of EESC 101, EESC 111, EESC 121 or (b) all of GEOG 108, GEOG 109 or (c) second-year standing in the Bachelor of Science.

    Equivalency: GEOG 205.

  10. EESC 212 (3) Atmospheric Environments

    Physical principles underlying weather and climates. Thermal, moisture, and wind climates at scales from valleys to the globe. Daily weather, air pollution, global change. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 212 or GEOG 200. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: Either (a) GEOG 108 and GEOG 109; or (b) two of EESC 101, EESC 111, EESC 121 or (c) second-year standing in the Bachelor of Science.

    Equivalency: GEOG 200.

  11. EESC 213 (3) Introductory Forest Science and Management

    Global forests, classification, silviculture, forest tenure systems, forest policy evolution, forest regulations, and the profession. Overview of forest disturbance impacts, eco-forestry, sustainable forest management, eco-certification, the role of information technologies and research. [3-0-0]

    Prerequisite: Either (a) two of BIOL 125, EESC 101, EESC 111, GEOG 108, GEOG 109 or (b) two of BIOL 125, EESC 111, GEOG 108, GEOG 109, SUST 100 or (c) one of BIOL 201, BIOL 210, GEOG 207.

  12. EESC 222 (3) Geomorphology

    Landform assemblages and processes of landscape evolution on Earth. Fundamental concepts, including system equilibrium, thresholds, complex response to external forces, and scale dependency, with application to mountains, rivers, coasts, and glaciated terrain. Laboratory exercises require field work in lab time. Required one-day, weekend trip. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 222 or GEOG 222. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: Either (a) GEOG 108 and GEOG 109; or (b) MATH 100 and EESC 111 or (c) second-year standing in the Bachelor of Science.

    Equivalency: GEOG 222.

  13. EESC 301 (3) Limnology

    Integrated approaches to freshwater science and its place in environmental science. Ecosystem ecology of inland waters relating to aquatic organisms with their physical and chemical environment. Participation in a one-day weekend field trip in September or early October is required. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 301 or BIOL 307. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: All of BIOL 116, BIOL 125. Third-year standing in Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Environmental Chemistry, or Freshwater Science. One of BIOL 201 or BIOL 375 is recommended.

    Equivalency: BIOL 307.

  14. EESC 303 (3) Oceanography

    Geological, chemical, physical and biological oceanography using a multi-disciplinary approach. Origins of oceans, plate tectonics and ocean basins, marine sediments, physical properties and composition of seawater, ocean-atmosphere interactions, surface and deep currents, waves, tides, primary productivity, pelagic and benthic ecosystems, methods of ocean investigation. [3-0-0]

    Prerequisite: Either (a) two of EESC 101, EESC 111, EESC 121, GEOG 108, GEOG 109 or (b) one of EESC 301, BIOL 307, CHEM 301, EESC 309. Third-year standing.

  15. EESC 304 (3) Anthropogenic Climate Change

    Mechanisms of anthropogenic climate change and its impact on the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and oceans since the Industrial Revolution. Use of computer models to forecast 21st century climate changes. Credit will be granted for only one of GEOG 304 or EESC 304. [3-0-0]

    Prerequisite: One of GEOG 108, GEOG 200, EESC 212. Third-year standing.

    Equivalency: GEOG 304.

  16. EESC 305 (3) Land-Use Hydrology

    Interaction between vegetation and water. Effects of land use on the hydrology of watersheds. A range of topical aspects of land-use hydrology. Specific practices such as the hydrological effects of clearfelling, regrowth of forest (tree planting), grazing, cultivation, irrigation, and wildland fire. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: Third-year standing.

    Corequisite: One of EESC 205, GEOG 205.

  17. EESC 309 (3) Global Biogeochemistry

    Functional processes and reactions of our living planet. Cycles of materials and energy among the atmosphere, lithosphere, and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Case studies on the degradation of ecosystem function from anthropogenic alterations of natural cycles. [3-0-0]

    Prerequisite: One of CHEM 113, CHEM 123 and either (a) two of EESC 101, EESC 111, EESC 121 or (b) all of GEOG 108, GEOG 109 or (c) one of BIOL 201, BIOL 203 or (d) one of CHEM 301, CHEM 302.

  18. EESC 313 (3) Management of Forested Watersheds

    Effects of watershed management on water quality and quantity, channel morphology, in-stream wood, and aquatic habitat. Emphasizing integrated land use management and the maintenance of critical watershed functions and services. [2-2-0]

    Prerequisite: One of EESC 111, EESC 213, GEOG 108, GEOG 109. Third-year standing.

  19. EESC 314 (3) Environmental Impact Assessment: Process, Regulation and Administration

    Legal, administrative and project management aspects of environmental impact assessment (EIA). EIA regulations, processes and systems. Assessment approaches and methods for cumulative effects, social/economic impacts, strategic and regional assessment, risk assessment and public participation. Canadian federal, territorial and provincial EIA systems. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 314 or GEOG 314 [3-0-0]

    Prerequisite: Either (a) 6 credits of EESC or (b) 6 credits of GEOG. Third-year standing.

    Equivalency: GEOG 314.

  20. EESC 315 (3) Environmental Impact Assessment: Techniques and practice

    Practical techniques and methods for environmental impact assessment. Technical approaches, evaluation and estimation tools, and project management skills used for environmental assessment work. [3-2-0]

    Prerequisite: Either (a) 6 credits of EESC or (b) 6 credits of GEOG. Third-year standing. EESC/GEOG 314 is recommended.

  21. EESC 322 (3) Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

    Description, classification, and petrogenesis of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Igneous and metamorphic processes. Past and present plate tectonic implications. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: EESC 201.

  22. EESC 323 (3) Geochemistry

    Origin, distribution, and cycles of elements in Earth. Low-temperature aqueous solution chemistry, fluid-rock interaction, mineral stability, isotopes. [2-2-0]

    Prerequisite: One of EESC 111, EESC 200, GEOG 109, CHEM 201, CHEM 210 and either (a) CHEM 113 or (b) CHEM 123.

  23. EESC 325 (3) Structural Geology

    Description and classification of geologic structures. Stress, strain and their relationship to deformation processes. Mechanics of faulting, folding, and shear zone development. Interpretation of physical deformation processes and the resulting geologic structures. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: EESC 111 and Third-year standing in EESc Major or EESc Minor.

  24. EESC 333 (3) Analytical Geochemistry

    Application of chemical and instrumental methods to the analysis of water, silicate rocks, sediments, soils, and minerals. Sampling problems in geochemistry. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: One of CHEM 113, CHEM 123 and one of EESC 111, EESC 200, EESC 201. Third-year standing in Earth and Environmental Sciences or Freshwater Science.

  25. EESC 335 (3) Field Techniques

    Techniques of geological mapping; acquisition/interpretation of environmental field data. Begins after Winter Session Term 2, ends before Summer Session Term 1, and includes 12 field days. Students must arrange their own transportation to and from field locations. A special fee must be paid in advance.

    Prerequisite: EESC 111 and 6 credits of 200-level or higher EESC or of GEOG designated as science. Third-year standing. Permission of the Department Head.

  26. EESC 341 (3) Quaternary Paleoecology and Environmental Change

    Recent natural and anthropogenic environmental changes interpreted from geologic, geochemical and paleontological records. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 341 or GEOG 341. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: One of EESC 111, EESC 121, GEOG 108 and one of CHEM 111, CHEM 121. Third-year standing.

    Equivalency: GEOG 341.

  27. EESC 342 (3) Hydrogeology

    Introduction to the theory of groundwater flow; flow nets; regional groundwater resource evaluation; well hydraulics. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: Either (a) MATH 100 and one of PHYS 111, PHYS 112 and one of EESC 111, EESC 121, GEOG 109, EESC 205, GEOG 205; or (b) one of ENGR 340, ENGR 341. Third-year standing.

  28. EESC 350 (3) Geophysics

    Instrumentation, application, and limitations of gravity, magnetic, electromagnetic, electrical and seismic methods in the exploration for mineral and energy resources and in environmental and engineering applications. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: Either (a) one of MATH 101, MATH 103 and one of EESC 111, EESC 121 and one of PHYS 121, PHYS 122; or (b) ENGR 340. Third-year standing.

  29. EESC 356 (3) Stratigraphy and Sedimentology

    Origin, classification and interpretation of sediments and sedimentary rocks. Weathering, erosion, transportation, sedimentation, and lithification of clastic materials. Non-clastic sediments. Sedimentary environments, facies and stratigraphic methods. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 356 or GEOG 356. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: One of EESC 121, EESC 222, GEOG 222.

    Equivalency: GEOG 356.

  30. EESC 360 (3) Geologic Resources

    Mineral deposits, their geologic settings, genetic classification and models of formation. Metalliferous, non-metalliferous and industrial materials deposits. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: EESC 200 and EESC 201.

  31. EESC 367 (3) Energy Resources Management

    Key energy systems and resources management from both global and Canadian perspectives. Supplies, distribution, consumption, resilience and sustainability of energy resources. Alternative energy sources, conventional and unconventional fossil fuels, energy production and delivery systems. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 367 or GEOG 367. [3-0-0]

    Prerequisite: One of GEOG 108, GEOG 129, EESC 101, EESC 111. Third-year standing

    Equivalency: GEOG 367.

  32. EESC 390 (3) Geological Field Mapping

    Collection, interpretation, and presentation of geological data in the field. Typically held in the two weeks preceding the start of Winter Term 1. A special fee must be paid in advance.

    Prerequisite: EESC 200 and EESC 325 and one of EESC 356, GEOG 356. Permission of the Department Head.

  33. EESC 395 (1-6) d Special Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences

    Specialized topics in Earth and environmental sciences. May include required field trips. Course may be taken more than once with a different topic. [3-1-0]

    Prerequisite: Third-year standing and permission of the department head.

  34. EESC 396 (1-6) Special Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences II

    Specialized topics in Earth and environmental sciences. Format includes required labs. May include required field trips. Course may be taken more than once with a different topic. [3-1-0]

    Prerequisite: Third-year standing and permission of the department head.

  35. EESC 398 (3) Technical Communication

    Written and oral communication. Report preparation, business correspondence, and oral presentation of technical material. Advanced grammar and writing styles. Logical writing; referencing; and editing. Presenting technical information to scientists and non-scientists. [3-0-2]

    Prerequisite: Three credits of APSC 176, CORH 203, ENGL 109,112, 113, 114, 150, 151, 153, 154, 155, or 156.

  36. EESC 402 (3) Freshwater Resources

    Integrated approach to freshwater resources and their place in environmental science. Topical issues with emphasis on management options and consequences. Required field trips during lab times. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: 3 credits of 200-level courses in BIOL, CHEM, EESC or GEOG courses cross listed with EESC, and third-year standing.

  37. EESC 413 (3) Analytical Methods in Hydrology

    Application of advanced analytical methods to hydrological data for watershed or water resource planning and management. Frequency analysis, storm design, regionalization, flow routing, geographic information systems (GIS) application, time series analysis and modelling. [2-3-0]

    Prerequisite: One of GEOG 271, ENGR 360, BIOL 202, STAT 121, STAT 230 and one of EESC 205, GEOG 205, ENGR 341, ENGR 342 and third-year standing.

  38. EESC 422 (3) Fluvial Geomorphology

    Geomorphic forms and processes within and along streams and rivers; flow hydraulics; sediment transport and bedform mechanics; hydraulic geometry; channel and floodplain dynamics; sediment yield; river habitat and stream rehabilitation. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 422 or GEOG 422. [3-0-2]

    Prerequisite: One of EESC 222, GEOG 222, APSC 253.

    Equivalency: GEOG 422.

  39. EESC 423 (3) Tracers of Natural Processes

    Stable and radiogenic isotopes in the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. Fractionation processes, dating methods. Selected topics in the use of isotopic tracers. [3-0-0]

    Prerequisite: EESC 111 and one of CHEM 113, CHEM 123. Third year standing.

  40. EESC 425 (3) Tectonics and Orogenesis

    Large-scale Earth structure, tectonic environments, Archean geology and the initiation of plate tectonics. Analytical toolsets. Orogenesis within the Canadian Cordillera, the Andes, the Alps, and the Himalaya. [3-0-0]

    Prerequisite: EESC 323 and EESC 325.

  41. EESC 429 (3) Contaminant Transport

    Chemical and biological processes in groundwater systems: water quality; fluid-sediment interactions; contaminant transport and dispersal; remediation of contamination; numerical modelling; case studies. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: EESC 342 and one of EESC 323, CHEM 301, ENGR 347.

  42. EESC 431 (3) Quaternary Glacial Environments

    Origin, nature, and distribution of glacial landforms and landform assemblages. Evaluation of hypotheses and theories on formation of glacial landforms and sediments, glacial mechanics, hydrology, and Quaternary stratigraphy. Students are required to attend several field trips on weekends. [3-1-0]

    Prerequisite: One of EESC 222, EESC 356, GEOG 222, GEOG 356.

  43. EESC 435 (3) Fluvial Field Techniques

    Field measurement and analysis techniques for assessment of fluvial systems. Channel morphology, flow hydraulics, sediment transport, flooding potential, habitat considerations, restoration methods. Twelve days of field instruction over a two week period following Winter Session Term 2 (spring) exams. Students must arrange their own transportation to/from field sites. A special fee must be paid in advance.

    Prerequisite: One of EESC 205, EESC 222, EESC 305, EESC 422, EESC 434, GEOG 205, GEOG 222, GEOG 422, ENGR 341, ENGR 342. Third-year standing. Permission of the Department Head.

  44. EESC 437 (3) Terrain Analysis

    Identification, mapping, and quantification of terrain morphologies in the field and from remote sensing following professional codes of practice. Twelve days of field instruction over a two week period following spring exams. Students must arrange own transportation to/from field locations. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 437 or GEOG 437.

    Prerequisite: One of EESC 222, GEOG 222, GEOG 317, ENGR 340. Third-year standing. A special fee must be paid in advance. Permission of the Department Head.

    Equivalency: GEOG 437.

  45. EESC 444 (3) Dynamic Modelling of Human-Environment Systems

    Design and use of dynamic models of complex systems; spatial modelling of the environment; agent- and individual-based models; applications to biodiversity conservation, environmental management, land use change and natural resource management. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 444, EESC 544, BIOL 444, or BIOL 544. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: One of MATH 100, MATH 101, MATH 103 and one of APSC 254, BIOL 202, GEOG 271, PSYO 271, STAT 121, STAT 230. Third-year standing. At least three credits of second-year BIOL/EESC and three credits of third-year BIOL/EESC are strongly recommended.

    Equivalency: BIOL 444.

  46. EESC 448 (3-6) d Directed Studies in Earth and Environmental Sciences

    Investigation of a specific topic as agreed upon by the student and a faculty supervisor.

    Prerequisite: Third-year standing and permission of the department head and faculty supervisor.

  47. EESC 449 (6) Honours Thesis

    Students undertake an individual research project as agreed upon by the student and the supervising faculty member. A written thesis is required and the research must be publicly presented as a seminar or poster.

    Prerequisite: Admission to the Earth and Environmental Sciences or Freshwater Sciences Honours program.

  48. EESC 456 (3) Soil Science

    Physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils, soil formation and classification. Soil physics and water movement. Soil productivity, conservation, and sustainability. The application of soil science to land use, environmental quality, global change, and sustainable development. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 456 or GEOG 466. [3-3-0]

    Prerequisite: One of EESC 111, EESC 200, GEOG 109, CHEM 111, CHEM 121, PHYS 111, PHYS 112. Third-year standing.

    Equivalency: GEOG 466.

  49. EESC 495 (1-6) d Advanced Special Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences

    Specialized topics in Earth and environmental sciences. May include required field trips. Course may be taken more than once with a different topic.

    Prerequisite: Third-year standing and permission of the department head.

  50. EESC 496 (1-6) d Advanced Special Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences II

    Specialized topics in Earth and environmental sciences. Format includes required labs. May include required field trips. Course may be taken more than once with a different topic.

    Prerequisite: Third-year standing and permission of the department head.

  51. EESC 502 (3) Environmetrics

    Foundation for the use of statistical concepts/methods in environmental sciences (ES) and management. Overview of methodology relevant to ES, followed by the study of specific topics drawn from current or classical environmental problems. Emphasis on scientific problem solving using statistical methods. Integration of the formulation of objectives, study design, and quantitative methods will guide the study of chosen topics. Key component: the role and use of statistical software packages. [3-0-0]

  52. EESC 512 (3) Applied Data Analysis in Geosciences

    Quantitative analytical methods used in data-rich branches of geosciences including: data acquisition, mining and quality assessment; data transformation strategies; data representation and pattern discovery; and alternative data models. Practical problem solving.

  53. EESC 544 (3) Dynamic Modelling of Human-Environment Systems

    Design and use of dynamic models of complex systems; spatial modelling of the environment; agent- and individual-based models; applications to biodiversity conservation, environmental management, land use change and natural resource management. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 544, EESC 444, BIOL 444 or BIOL 544.

    Equivalency: BIOL 544.

  54. EESC 550 (3) Research in Earth and Environmental Sciences

    Practical and theoretical grounding in professional research. Critical assessment of the logic, reasoning, and structure of research ideas. Research proposal development. Presentation of scientific ideas in written and oral forms. Seminar presentations by faculty and external speakers, as available.

  55. EESC 551 (1-6) d Special Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences

    Explores aspects of earth and environmental sciences outside of the core offerings.

  56. EESC 552 (1-6) d Directed Readings in Earth and Environmental Sciences

    Individual exploration of aspects of earth and environmental sciences outside of the lecture course offerings.

  57. EESC 560 (1) Graduate Seminar

    Students present a public lecture about a topic jointly decided upon with the instructor and/or supervisory committee. Students will be assessed on their seminar and a companion paper. [0-0-2]

  58. EESC 599 (23) d M.Sc. Thesis

    Pass/Fail.

  59. EESC 699 (0) Ph.D. Dissertation

    Pass/Fail.


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