Course Descriptions

Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

EESC: Earth & Environmental Sciences

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. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 101, SUST 100, GEOG 213. [3-0-0]
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]
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.
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.
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.
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) successful completion of first-year Science.
Equivalency: GEOG 205.
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) successful completion of first-year Science.
Equivalency: GEOG 200.
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: One of EESC 111, GEOG 108.
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) MATH 100 and 6 credits of first-year lab science.
Equivalency: GEOG 222.
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 Freshwater Science, Earth and Environmental Sciences, or Environmental Chemistry. One of BIOL 201, BIOL 203 or BIOL 375 is recommended.
Equivalency: BIOL 307.
EESC 303 (3) Oceanography
Geological, chemical, physical and biological oceanography using a multidisciplinary 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.
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.
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: Either (a) EESC 101 and EESC 111; or (b) GEOG 108 and GEOG 109; or (c) one of BIOL 201, BIOL 203 or (d) one of CHEM 301, CHEM 302.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 are covered. [3-3-0]
Prerequisite: One of CHEM 113, CHEM 120 and one of EESC 111, EESC 200, EESC 201 and third-year standing.
EESC 335 (3) Field Techniques
Techniques of geological mapping; acquisition/interpretation of environmental field data. Two-week (12 day) course; daily field exercises; equivalent to a standard 3-credit Winter Session course. Offered in the spring following final exam period. Students must arrange their own transportation to and from field locations.
Prerequisite: One of EESC 111, EESC 121, EESC 200, EESC 205, EESC 212, EESC 222, GEOG 200, GEOG 205, GEOG 222 and successful completion of 48 academic credits.
EESC 341 (3) Quaternary Paleoecology and Environmental Change
Recent natural and anthropogenic environmental changes interpreted from paleoecological records, with an emphasis on Quaternary micropaleontology. Impacts of environmental changes on North American terrestrial and aquatic communities. Students are expected to participate in a one-day weekend field trip. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 341 or GEOG 341. [3-3*-0]
Prerequisite: One of CHEM 111, CHEM 121. Third-year standing.
Equivalency: GEOG 341.
EESC 342 (3) Hydrogeology
Introduction to the theory of groundwater flow; flow nets; regional groundwater resource evaluation; well hydraulics; role of groundwater in geologic processes. [3-2-0]
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) ENGR 340. Third-year standing.
EESC 350 (3) Exploration Geophysics
Instrumentation, application, and limitations of gravity, magnetic, electromagnetic, electrical, acoustic, and seismic methods in the exploration for mineral and energy resources and in engineering applications; survey navigation. [3-3-0]
Prerequisite: Either (a) MATH 101 and one of EESC 111, EESC 121 and one of PHYS 102, PHYS 122; or (b) ENGR 340. Third-year standing.
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. [2-2-0]
Prerequisite: One of EESC 121, EESC 222, GEOG 222.
Equivalency: GEOG 356.
EESC 360 (3) Geologic Resources
Mineral deposits, their geologic settings, genetic classification and models of formation. Metalliferous, non-metalliferous and industrial materials deposits. [2-2-0]
Prerequisite: EESC 200 and EESC 201.
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.
EESC 380 (3) Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science I
Spatial data representation; raster and vector models; spatial database structure; coordinate reference frames and projections; spatial statistics; metadata and data standards; associated technologies and data sources. Laboratory exercises require ArcGIS. Credit will be granted for only one of GEOG 370, GEOG 380 or EESC 380 [3-3-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing.
Equivalency: GEOG 380.
EESC 381 (3) Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science II
GIS, remote sensing, GPS; geostatistics, spatial analysis and neighbourhood analysis; visualization, 3D rendering, and animation; principles of geocoding; online mapping and open-source GIS; applied project and workflow management. Laboratory exercises require ArcGIS. Credit will be granted for only one of GEOG 370, GEOG 381 or EESC 381 [3-3-0]
Prerequisite: One of EESC 380, GEOG 380.
Equivalency: GEOG 381.
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 EESC 356.
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. [2-4-0]
Prerequisite: 3 credits of 200-level courses in BIOL, CHEM, EESC or GEOG courses cross listed with EESC, and third-year standing.
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 230 and one of EESC 205, GEOG 205, ENGR 341, ENGR 342 and third-year standing.
EESC 418 (3-9) d Special Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences
Advanced or 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 unit head.
EESC 419 (3) Special Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences II
Advanced or 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 unit head.
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. [3-0-1]
Prerequisite: One of EESC 222, GEOG 222, APSC 253.
Equivalency: GEOG 422.
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.
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.
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.
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. [3-3-0]
Prerequisite: One of EESC 222, EESC 356, GEOG 222, GEOG 356.
EESC 434 (3) Sediment Transport Mechanics
Fundamental concepts and theories describing fluid flow and sediment transport; particle settling; particle entrainment; transport modes (suspension, saltation, bedload); mass flux prediction; transport in fluvial, coastal, aeolian, and engineered environments. [3-2*-0]
Prerequisite: Either (a) one of EESC 422, EESC 222, GEOG 222 or (b) APSC 253.
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.
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.
EESC 436 (3) Coastal Geomorphology
Geomorphic forms and processes along coasts; waves and currents; sediment transport mechanics; beach and nearshore morphodynamics; aeolian forms and processes. May include one or more required one-day weekend field trips. Credit will be granted for only one of EESC 436 or GEOG 436. [3-3-0]
Prerequisite: One of EESC 222, GEOG 222, APSC 253.
Equivalency: GEOG 436.
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.
Equivalency: GEOG 437.
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 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.
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 unit head and faculty supervisor.
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 and presentation of the research at a public seminar or in a poster presentation are required.
Prerequisite: Fourth-year standing with a minimum overall grade average of 75% and permission of the department head.
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.
EESC 501 (3) Natural and Threatened Environments of Southern BC
Facilitates student research by introducing students to the natural environments of Southern BC and the risks imposed on these systems by human activities. [3-0-0]
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]
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.
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.
EESC 550 (3) Research Seminar 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.
EESC 551 (3/6) d Special Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences
Explores aspects of earth and environmental sciences outside of the core offerings.
EESC 552 (3/6) d Directed Readings in Earth and Environmental Sciences
Individual exploration of aspects of earth and environmental sciences outside of the lecture course offerings.
EESC 599 (12/18) d M.Sc. Thesis
Pass/Fail.
EESC 699 (0) Ph.D. Dissertation
Pass/Fail.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Enrolment Services
University Centre, Room 322
3333 University Way, Kelowna BC, Canada V1V 1V7