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Environmental Sciences

The B.Sc. specialization in Environmental Sciences, offered by the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, is designed to give students a broad perspective on the environment. The specialization concentrates on understanding the major environmental issues facing human societies and it adopts an integrative cross-disciplinary approach to the study of these issues. The specialization provides a significant background in chemistry, earth and ocean sciences, life sciences, and social sciences. The core courses, ENVR 200, 300, 400, and 449, examine environmental issues through seminars and student projects. Students are required to select an Area of Concentration that includes required and elective courses.

Students wishing to enter second-year Environmental Sciences Major or Honours specializations must apply using the online process administered by the Faculty of Science. Students will receive an email communication regarding the process in late May or June. Due to the similarity between the Major and Honours Environmental Science specializations in second year, the Faculty of Science only admits students directly to the Majors. For Honours, students require a minimum 72% average in prior courses for admission, and must maintain at least a 68% average for continuation in the program. Qualified students wishing to transfer to Honours should contact the Undergraduate Advisor for advice. The progress of continuing environmental science students will be reviewed at the end of each academic year. Students making satisfactory progress do not require annual specialization approval. The advisor will contact students with unsatisfactory standing in Honours.

A five-year Co-operative Education option is available in Environmental Sciences. The option is intended to help prepare interested and qualified students for careers in environmental sciences and related fields. This is achieved through a minimum of 14 months of approved work placement under the supervision of practicing professionals. To be eligible, students must be admissible into third year of the B.Sc. Major in Environmental Sciences. Admission is by application to the Co-op Office in term 2 of the second year. Selection of students will be based on academic performance and general suitability to the work environment as determined by resume and interview. Total enrolment in the option is subject to the availability of work placements. Work placements are arranged by mutual agreement between employers and students. Participating students must register for EOSC 398, 399, 498, and 499 as appropriate, and pay the required Co-operative Education fee per course (see Program and Course Fees). Graduation in the Co-operative Education option requires a student to complete each of EOSC 398, 399, 498, and 499, in addition to the normal requirements.

For additional information, see Environmental Sciences. Please contact Environmental Sciences at 604.822.3278 with any questions.

For details of other undergraduate Science specializations available in the department, see Atmospheric Science, Earth and Ocean Sciences, Geological Sciences, Geophysics, and Oceanography. The department also offers Geological Engineering as part of the B.A.Sc. program.

Specializations

Major (1263): Environmental Sciences (ENSC)

First Year
BIOL 121, 1401 5
CHEM 121 (or 111) 4
CHEM 123 (or 113) 4
Communication Requirement2 6
MATH 100 or 102 or 104 (180 or 184 or 120)3 3
MATH 101 or 103 or 105 (or 121)3 3
PHYS 100-level4 3
Electives 2
Total Credits 30
Second Year
BIOL 230 3
Two of CHEM 202 (or 208), 205 (or 201), 211, 23310 6
ENVR 200 3
GEOB 200 or ATSC 201 3
MATH 200 3
STAT 200 or BIOL 3005 3
Electives5,6,7,8 9
Total Credits 30
Third and Fourth Years
BIOL 306 3
ENVR 300, 400 9
EOSC 372 3
One of ENVR 410, 420, 430, 440 3
'Tools' Elective8 3
Electives6 24
Area of Concentration9 15
Total Credits 60
Minimum Credits for Degree 120
1 Students without one of Biology 11 or Biology 12 must take BIOL 111 before attempting BIOL 121 or BIOL 140.
2 For a full list of acceptable courses, see Communication Requirement. ENGL 112 is recommended.
3 MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits. Choosing a 4 credit MATH course lowers the electives by 1 credit. All of the differential calculus courses are suitable prerequisites for later MATH courses. They differ in the expected student background and the types of examples used in the problems.
4 Chosen from 100-level PHYS courses, excluding PHYS 100. Students without Physics 12 must replace 3 credits of electives with PHYS 100 before taking any other 100-level PHYS course. Students may defer taking any other 100-level PHYS course to second year.
5 Students should consider which statistics course will fulfill prerequisites for upper-level courses they intend to take. STAT 200 does not fulfil an upper-level credit requirement.
6 The Faculty of Science Breadth Requirement is satisfied by the combination of courses required in the major. Electives must be selected to ensure that the following Faculty of Science requirements are met: a) sufficient Science credits; b) sufficient upper-level credits; and c) sufficient credits of coursework from the Faculty of Arts, excluding Arts credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement.
7 Students interested in the Ecology and Conservation Area of Concentration should consider one of BIOL 204, 205, 209 or 210 in second year.
8 ‘Tools’ Elective: One of ATSC 303, CHEM 311 (requires CHEM 211), CPSC 301, EOSC 211, GEOB 309, GEOB 370, GEOB 373 or ISCI 422. Must be completed before fourth year.
9 Of the 15 Area of Concentration credits, at least 12 must be at the 3xx level or higher, including no fewer than 6 credits at the 4xx level.
10 Students who select 7 credits of second-year CHEM will need to lower the total number of electives accordingly.

Majors Areas of Concentration Required Courses

Students must select one of the following two Areas of Concentration. A minimum of 15 credits must be taken from the Area of Concentration courses listed below and these courses cannot be used to fulfil any other requirements of the specialization.

Land, Air, and Water Area of Concentration

Students in this Area of Concentration must include at least one course in at least three of the four following categories:

  • Land: APBI 200; EOSC 222, 250, 327, 330, 425; GEOB 206, 405, 406, 408
  • Air: ATSC 301, 303; GEOB 300, 304, 402; CHEM 302
  • Terrestrial Water: CHEM 301; EOSC 329, 428, 429, 430, 431; ENVR 420; GEOB 305, 403
  • Oceans: EOSC 373, 471, 472, 473, 474, 475, 478

Additional courses for the Land, Air, and Water Area of Concentration include:

  • EOSC 220, 250, 340, 429, 431
  • GEOB 207, 308, 373, 400, 401, 407

Students should be aware that some of these electives have prerequisites that are not explicitly listed here.

Ecology and Conservation Area of Concentration

Students in this Area of Concentration must include one of BIOL 204, 205, 209, 210, and at least two of BIOL 301, 336, 402, 404, 407, 408, 416, 418, 420; GEOB 307.

Additional courses for the Ecology and Conservation Area of Concentration include:

  • BIOL 317, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 327, 328, 332, 343, 406, 412, 413, 417, 427, 434
  • EOSC 373, 470, 474, 475
  • ENVR 430
  • MRNE 415, 425, 437
  • MICB 301

Students should be aware that some of these electives have prerequisites that are not explicitly listed here.

Specialization Objectives

Mastery of the curriculum will:

  1. prepare students for employment as technicians or entry-level consultants in environmental sciences;
  2. provide enough background in either biological sciences or physical/chemical sciences to qualify students for graduate school in atmospheric science, ecology, environmental science, oceanography, geography, or geology.

Learning Goals

Students completing this specialization will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a broad knowledge of and a broad perspective on the environment;
  2. use an interdisciplinary approach to tackling environmental issues facing human societies;
  3. understand the distinctions between, and uses of, data, experiment, theory and models in understanding natural phenomena;
  4. use at least one specific environmental science “tool” (e.g., a computational, field, or laboratory measurement technique) to address environmental issues;
  5. conceptualize, develop, and complete a major team project;
  6. write reports and communicate through oral presentations.

Honours (0589): Environmental Sciences (ENSC)

First Year
BIOL 121, 1401 5
CHEM 121 (or 111) 4
CHEM 123 (or 113) 4
Communication Requirement2 6
MATH 100 or 102 or 104 or (180 or 184 or 120)3 3
MATH 101 or 103 or 105 (or 121)3 3
PHYS 100-level4 3
Electives 5
Total Credits 33
Second Year
APBI 200 3
ATSC 201 3
BIOL 230, 306 6
Two of CHEM 202 (or 208), 205 (or 201), 211, 2335 6
ENVR 200 3
MATH 200 3
STAT 200 or BIOL 3005 3
Electives5,6,7,8 6
Total Credits 33
Third and Fourth Years
CHEM 301, 302 6
ENVR 300, 4499 9
EOSC 372, 373 6
Two of ENVR 410, 420, 430, 440 6
'Tools' Electives8 6
Electives6,7,8 15
Area of Concentration10 18
Total Credits 66
Minimum Credits for Degree 132
1 Students without one of Biology 11 or Biology 12 must take BIOL 111 before attempting BIOL 121 or BIOL 140.
2 For a full list of acceptable courses, see Communication Requirement. ENGL 112 is recommended.
3 MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits. Choosing a 4-credit MATH course lowers the electives by 1 credit. All of the differential calculus courses are suitable prerequisites for later MATH courses. They differ in the expected student background and the types of examples used in the problems.
4 Chosen from 100-level PHYS courses, excluding PHYS 100. Students without Physics 12 must replace 3 credits of electives with PHYS 100 before taking any other 100-level PHYS course. Students may defer taking any other 100-level PHYS course to second year.
5 Students who select 7 credits of second-year CHEM will need to lower the total number of electives accordingly. Students should consider which statistics course will fulfil prerequisites for upper-level courses they intend to take. STAT 200 does not fulfil an upper-level credit requirement.
6 Electives must be selected to ensure that the following Faculty of Science requirements are met: a) sufficient Science credits; b) sufficient upper-level credits; and c) sufficient credits from the Faculty of Arts, excluding Arts credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement.
7 Students interested in the Ecology and Conservation Area of Concentration should consider one of BIOL 204, 205, 209 or 210 in second year.
8 'Tools’ Electives: Two of ATSC 303, CHEM 311 (requires CHEM 211), CPSC 301, EOSC 211, GEOB 309, GEOB 370, GEOB 373 or ISCI 422. Consult credit exclusion list before choosing 'Tools' electives. Must be completed before fourth year.
9 ENVR 449 must be taken in the fourth year, after completing ENVR 300.
10 Of the 18 Area of Concentration credits, at least 15 must be at the 3xx level or higher, including no fewer than 9 credits at the 4xx level.

Honours Areas of Concentration Required Courses

Students must select one of the following two Areas of Concentration. A minimum of 18 credits must be taken from the Area of Concentration courses listed below and these courses cannot be used to fulfil any other requirements of the specialization.

Land, Air, and Water Area of Concentration

Students in this Area of Concentration must include at least one course in each of the four following categories:

  • Land: EOSC 222, 250, 327, 330, 425; GEOB 206, 405, 406, 408.
  • Air: ATSC 301, 303; GEOB 300, 304, 402.
  • Terrestrial Water: EOSC 329, 428, 429, 430, 431; ENVR 420; GEOB 305, 403.
  • Oceans: EOSC 471, 472, 473, 474, 475, 478.

Additional recommended courses for the Land, Air, and Water Area of Concentration include:

  • EOSC 220, 250, 340, 429, 431
  • GEOB 207, 308, 373, 400, 401, 407

Students should be aware that some of these electives have prerequisites that are not explicitly listed here.

Ecology and Conservation Area of Concentration

Students in this Area of Concentration must include one of BIOL 204, 205, 209, 210 and at least two of BIOL 301, 336, 402, 404, 407, 408, 416, 418, 420; GEOB 307.

Additional recommended courses for the Ecology and Conservation Area of Concentration include:

  • BIOL 317, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 327, 328, 332, 343, 406, 412, 413, 417, 427, 434
  • EOSC 470, 474, 475
  • ENVR 430
  • MRNE 415, 425, 437
  • MICB 301

Students should be aware that some of these electives have prerequisites that are not explicitly listed here.

Specialization Objectives

Honours will provide more depth than the Major. Mastery of the curriculum will:

  1. provide enough background in either biological sciences or physical/chemical sciences to qualify students for graduate school in atmospheric science, ecology, environmental science, oceanography, geography, or geology;
  2. prepare students for employment as technicians or entry-level consultants in environmental sciences.

Learning Goals

Students completing this specialization will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a broad knowledge of and a broad perspective on the environment;
  2. use an interdisciplinary approach to tackling environmental issues facing human societies;
  3. understand the distinctions between, and uses of, data, experiment, theory and models in understanding natural phenomena;
  4. use at least two specific environmental science “tools” (e.g., computational, field, or laboratory measurement techniques) to address environmental issues;
  5. define, conduct, and present the results of an individual research project;
  6. write reports and communicate through oral presentations.

Minor (3085): Environmental Sciences (ENSC)

The Minor consists of 21 credits: ENVR 200, 300, 400; one of ENVR 410, 420, 430; and two of EOSC 372, BIOL 306, GEOB 305.

Page last updated: March 14, 2017

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