Course List for GEOL and ENVS courses

Geology courses

Environmental Science courses

Note: textbooks listed are for 2022-23 academic year.

First year 1000-level Geology courses

GEOL 1013 Our Dynamic Earth
An introduction to the Earth; its composition, internal structure, external features, and physical evolution. The concepts of sea-floor spreading and plate tectonics provide a framework for the origin and development of continents, oceans, mountains and volcanoes, and lead to an appreciation of an evolving, dynamic Earth. Field trips required. (3h lab).
Text: The Changing Earth (7th edition); Monroe & Wicander

GEOL 1023 Earth History: Global Change Through Time
Changes in the Earth's continents, oceans, biosphere, and atmosphere over the past 4.6 billion years. The application of understanding of the past as a key to future global changes. Other topics include mass extinctions, plate tectonics, paleomagnetism, geologic dating, mountain-building and mineral resources. (3h lab). Prerequisite: GEOL 1013, or equivalent with a minimum grade of C-.
Text: The Changing Earth (7th edition 2015); Monroe & Wicander;
The Last Billion Years (2nd edition, 2022); The Atlantic Geoscience Society (recommended)

GEOL 1033 General Oceanography
Offshore and deep-water oceanography, emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach and including geological, biological, physical and chemical aspects. History of oceanography; exploration techniques, instruments and vessels; origin of oceans and ocean basins; physiography of the ocean basins; deep-sea sediments; continental drift, sea-floor spreading and plate tectonics; marine volcanism; waves, tides and ocean currents; climatology and sea- level changes; marine ecology; marine resources.
Text: Not required

GEOL 1073 Natural Disasters
Natural disasters, their causes and effects and the science that underlies decision-making, prediction, and remediation. Topics include volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, rivers and flooding, mass wasting and erosion, subsidence, coastal hazards, severe weather, climate change, impacts and extinctions.
Text: Natural Disasters (2022); Stephen Marshak, Robert Rauber, Neil Johnson

Second year 2000-level Geology courses

GEOL 2043 Techniques in Petrology and Stratigraphy
Origin, occurrence, composition, and classification of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. An integrated overview of petrogenetic processes in a plate tectonic framework, including magma genesis, clastic and carbonate depositional processes, stratigraphic principles, and metamorphic zones and facies. Laboratory study of rocks in hand sample and thin section. (3h lab). Prerequisite: GEOL 2133 with a minimum grade of C-; Prerequisite or Corequisite: GEOL 1023 with a minimum grade of C-.
Text: Essentials of Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (2nd edition); B.R. Frost & C.D. Frost, 2019

GEOL 2083 Field Methods
Held each spring for twelve days, focusing on field work and processing of field data to familiarize students with techniques of geological mapping. Involves electronic and manual measurement of field data including use of GPS instruments and laptop computers and subsequent preparation of maps, sedimentary sections, and cross-sections in paper and digital form. Prerequisite: GEOL 2043 with a minimum grade of C- or permission of the Department.

GEOL 2133 Mineralogy
Crystal symmetry and structure. Mineral chemistry, physical properties, associations, and uses. Identification of common minerals in hand sample. X-ray diffraction, transmitted light optical theory, and introduction to the petrographic microscope. (3h lab). Prerequisite: GEOL 1013 with a minimum grade of C- (corequisite with Department permission) Corequisite: CHEM 1013.
Text: Introduction to Mineralogy (3rd edition); W. D. Nesse (2016)

GEOL 2213 History of Life
The morphology, classification and evolution of the major groups of animals and plants in the fossil record. Emphasis will be on invertebrate paleontology, but attention will be given to the origin of life, Precambrian fossils, trace fossils, micro-fossils, fossil algae, vascular plants, lower vertebrates, dinosaurs and man. Laboratory work will include a systematic survey of the major groups of organisms having a fossil record. (3h lab). Prerequisite: BIOL 1123 or GEOL 1023 with minimum grades of C-.
Text: (Recommended, not required) Cowen's History of Life, Benton, 2019

GEOL 2703 Applied Geomorphology
Basic concepts in geomorphology including fluvial systems, continental glaciation, coastal processes, mass wasting, soil development, strength of materials, weathering, periglacial geomorphology, and airphoto interpretation. Emphasis will be on the environmental application of these concepts. Laboratory work will concentrate on airphoto interpretation and mini-projects related to some of these themes. (3h lab). Prerequisite: GEOL 1013 with a minimum grade of C-.
Text: Geomorphology - A Canadian Perspective (4th, 5th, or 6th ed); A.S. Trenhaile

GEOL 2753 Atmosphere, Weather, and Climate
The composition, structure, and dynamics of the atmosphere; weather, climate, and biogeographic patterns; microclimatology; paleoclimates, paleogeography, and extinctions; human effect on air quality; climate change. (3h lab). Prerequisite: Second year standing.
Text: The Atmosphere: an introduction to Meteorology (13th or 14th ed); F.K.Lutgens & E.J.Tarbuck, 2016 or 2019

Third year 3000-level Geology courses

GEOL 3103 Introduction to Geochemistry
Investigation of chemical principles involved in geologic processes, emphasizing those acting on the surface and in near-surface environments. Topics include weathering, mineral exploration and environmental geochemistry applications. May be offered in alternate years. (3h lab). Prerequisite: GEOL 2133 with a minimum grade of C-; Prerequisite or Corequisite: CHEM 1023.
Text: Principles and Applications of Geochemistry (2nd ed); G. Faure (1998)

GEOL 3303 Clastic Sedimentology and Petroleum Geology
This course focuses on the origin, composition and diagenesis of clastic rocks. Lectures cover: clastic sediments and depositional environments, facies models, petrographic and geochemical analysis of clastic rocks; reservoir development, origin and maturation of petroleum. Field exercises emphasize depositional systems at a variety of scales, laboratory work emphasizes the petrology and diagenesis of clastic rocks and petroleum. (3h lab). Prerequisite: GEOL 2043 with a minimum grade of C-.
Text: (Recommended, not required) Facies Models 4; James and Dalrymple, 2010

GEOL 3323 Carbonate Sedimentology and Reservoir Development
This course has been replaced with GEOL 4843

GEOL 3403 Igneous Petrology
The origin of magmas, their evolution, and crystallization. Igneous provinces and the relation between igneous activity and tectonics. Patterns of igneous activity through geological time. Laboratory studies of classical and local igneous rock suites. (3h lab). Prerequisite: GEOL 2043 with a minimum grade of C-.
Text: Essentials of Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (2nd edition); B.R. Frost & C.D. Frost, 2019

GEOL 3503 Metamorphic Geology
The mineralogical, textural, and structural characteristics of metamorphic rocks and the development of metamorphic facies. Contact and regional metamorphism, metasomatism, and anatexis are considered in detail. Current ideas relating metamorphism and tectonic setting provide the framework. Laboratory studies of classical and local metamorphic rock suites. (3h lab). Prerequisite: GEOL 2043, GEOL 3603 with minimum grades of C-; GEOL 3403 recommended.
Text: An Introduction to Metamorphic Petrology; Bruce W.D. Yardley and Clare Warren, 2nd edition (1st edition is also fine, on reserve at library)

GEOL 3603 Structural Geology and Tectonics
Rock structures and their geometric representation. Principles of stress and strain applied to brittle and ductile rock deformation. Fractures, faults, folds, and foliations: classification and mechanisms of formation. Plate boundary and intraplate tectonics. Practical work includes map interpretation, graphic and computer techniques for analyzing structural data, and field studies of deformed rocks. (3h lab). Prerequisite: GEOL 2043 with a minimum grade of C-.
Text: (Recommended not required) Structural Geology (2nd ed); Fossen, 2016

GEOL 3723 Hydrogeology
Groundwater as part of the hydrologic cycle. Physical aspects of water movement in geologic materials - both saturated and unsaturated. Groundwater resource mapping and exploitation. Groundwater chemistry and biology: drinking water quality, contamination and associated health concerns. Exposure to laboratory and field techniques for groundwater monitoring. Field trips may be required. (3h lab). Prerequisite: GEOL 2703 with a minimum grade of C-.

GEOL 3823 Exploration and Environmental Geophysics
Principles and applications of geophysical methods used by the exploration and environmental geologist, including seismic, magnetic, gravimetric, electromagnetic, electric, and radiometric methods. May be offered in alternate years. (3h lab). Prerequisite: GEOL 2043 with a minimum grade of C-.
Text: An Introduction to Geophysical Exploration; P. Keary, M. Brooks, & I. Hill (2002)

Fourth year 4000-level Geology courses

GEOL 4013 Global and North American Geology
Global tectonics, processes at convergent plate margins, worldwide Phanerozoic orogenic belts and Precambrian tectonics. An integrative study of the geological evolution of North America, including stratigraphy, structural development, and Quaternary history but with an emphasis on comparative tectonic evolution of the Cordilleran, Appalachian, and Precambrian orogenic belts. Laboratory work includes map interpretation and petrological studies of rock suites (3h lab). Prerequisite: GEOL 3603 with a minimum grade of C-.

GEOL 4083 Field School
Held for about 12 days preceding fall term and continuing into the term. Advanced field methods of geological mapping with preparation of a map and report. Prerequisite: GEOL 2083, GEOL 3603, both with a minimum grade of C-.

GEOL 4303 Carbonate Sedimentology Field School
This course focuses on the sedimentology, oceanography, and diagenesis of carbonate sediments and rocks of Bermuda. Investigation of Nova Scotia limestones introduces key concepts. Lectures and field exercises focus on carbonate depositional environments and the development of groundwater and hydrocarbon reservoirs in limestone. Assignments use sedimentologic, ecologic, and chemical techniques to understand the deposition of carbonate facies. Prerequisite GEOL 3323 or by permission of the instructor.

GEOL 4713 Quaternary Geology
An advanced treatment in Quaternary Geology with emphasis on methods of investigating environmental change. Topics covered will include Quaternary paleoenvironments, methods of paleoclimate reconstruction, dating techniques, records of Holocene climate change, mapping in Quaternary environments, exploration in glaciated terrain. Prerequisite: permission of the Department.
Text: Quaternary Environments: selected readings

GEOL 4803 Mineral Deposits
The nature, occurrence and origin of mineral deposits, with emphasis on metallic deposits. (3h lab). Prerequisite: GEOL 3403, GEOL 3603, both with a minimum grade of C-.
Text: Introduction to Ore Forming Processes; Laurence Robb, 2005

GEOL 4843 Energy Sources in Earth Science
Overview of nonrenewable and renewable sources of energy that are associated with earth processes including carbon-based, geothermal, nuclear, tidal, and hydroelectric energy sources. Topics include formation of, exploration for, and development of these resources. (3h lab). Prerequisite: GEOL 3303.

GEOL 4853 Geochemical Material Transfer
Introduction to the theory of material transfer and its use in interpreting geochemical and mineralogical controls on rock composition and formation, including water-rock and melt-crystal reactions and physical grain fractionation. Interpretation of results using petrologic hypothesis testing and error propagation. Corequisite: GEOL 3403 or GEOL 3503. Offered only when the corresponding graduate course (GEOL 5823) is taught.

GEOL 4913, 4923, 4933 Special Projects
Guided study in an area of particular interest under the direction of a staff member. Such work may be based on lecture, field, laboratory or library study, or all four, focusing on aspects of earth science not normally covered in the scheduled course offerings. The student may have responsibility in programming the research in addition to its conduct. Prerequisite: permission of the Department.

GEOL 4996 Honours Thesis


First year 1000-level Environmental Science courses

ENVS 1013 Introduction to Environmental Science 1
This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary nature of environmental science and the skills necessary for success in the discipline. It integrates fundamental science concepts from a number of disciplines (e.g. earth science, chemistry, biology, atmospheric science) and examines current environmental issues (e.g. global warming, acidification, deforestation, contaminants) within a multidisciplinary scientific context. Restricted to ENVS, ENGO and ESST majors.
Text: Environment: The science behind the stories.(3rd Cdn ed) Pearson Canada; Withgott, Laposata & Murck (editors), 2017

ENVS 1023 Introduction to Environmental Science 2
This course is a continuation of the introduction to environmental science presented in ENVS 1013. Students approach issues of current environmental concern and develop interdisciplinary strategies for study and resolution. In addition, the overarching themes of environmental ethics, risk management and environmental policy are investigated. Prerequisite: ENVS 1013 or permission of the instructor.
Text: Environment: The science behind the stories.(3rd Cdn ed) Pearson Canada; Withgott, Laposata & Murck (editors), 2017

Second year 2000-level Environmental Science course

ENVS 2523 Field Course: Environmental Science
Field techniques in environmental science, data analysis, and communication skills. Interdisciplinary approaches to field work and environmental analysis are incorporated into all exercises and discussions. Specific skills include geological mapping, field sampling, quality assurance/quality control, water quality measurement, and development of final report. (10-day course at the end of winter term). Prerequisite: Minimum second year standing in Environmental Science.

Third year 3000-level Environmental Science courses

ENVS 3113 Legal Issues in Environmental Science
A course designed to explore the constitutional, legislative and regulatory context of environmental law from a science perspective. A comparison and contrast of international environmental law responses for specific issues will be conducted in relation to Canada’s treaty obligations and the common law system. Prerequisite: 6h science and third year standing.

ENVS 3423 Environmental Impact Assessment
An interdisciplinary approach to the principles, practices, and methods involved in environmental impact assessments. Impacts covered include socio-economic, soils and geology, ecology, air, water, climate, and noise. Prerequisite: third year standing in ENVS, ENGO, GEOL or permission of the instructor.
Texts: (1) Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment; Noble. (2) Environmental Impact Assessment; Hanna

ENVS 3503 Borders, Scale and the Environment
This course draws on interdisciplinary geographic perspectives to explore the spatial dimensions of environmental decision-making. It provides students with the tools to a) think critically about interactions between social and biophysical systems, and b) understand critical perspectives on borders and scale. Topics include state/nature relations, ecosystem management, local/global interactions, transboundary resource governance, and the politics of protected areas. Prerequisite: Open to all ESST and ENVS majors who have completed 54 credit hours. Antirequisite: Credit cannot be obtained for both ENVS 3503 and ESST 3503.

ENVS 3513 Climate Change for Environmental Practitioners
A broad-ranging study of the causes and effects of changing climate incorporating the physical basis, historical record and anticipated future impact of the changing atmosphere. Investigation of the current public perception of global warming and its effects. Examination of the political, economic, and cultural frameworks within which climate-changing human activity, mitigation, and adaptation take place. Prerequisite(s): 54h university credits.
Text: A thinking Person’s Guide to Climate Change 2nd Edition. Author: Robert Henson. Publisher: America Meteorological Society Books. Available at the bookstore or online.

Fourth year 4000-level Environmental Science courses

ENVS 4013 Environmental Science Project
An independent study course in which students conduct literature, laboratory or field investigations on some particular issue in Environmental Science. The work must be sponsored and supervised by a member of the department. Students participate in planning the experiments and developing suitable procedures and techniques. Prerequisite: permission of the Department.

ENVS 4023 Special Topics in Environmental Science
Selected current topics on environmental issues. Prerequisite: third year standing in environmental science or permission of the department.

ENVS 4423 Communications and Critical Analysis in Environmental Science
In this course, students will be challenged to synthesize the knowledge they have gained from contributing disciplines into an understanding of structures and processes in natural and disturbed environments. The goal will be to refine skills of critical analysis and interpretation of data and relationships among environmental variables and ecological systems. Prerequisite: third or fourth year standing in ENVS or ENGO program.

ENVS 4613 Contaminants in the Environment
This course will examine the historical release, fate, and risk assessment of chemicals in ecosystems. Lectures will cover: (i) the major classes of chemical contaminants; (ii) factors affecting contaminant fate in ecosystems (ii) methods of ecological risk assessment for contaminants (toxicity, persistence, bioaccumulation, and long range transport). Laboratory exercises will explore methods of assessing contaminant fate. Prerequisite: CHEM 1012 or 1123.

ENVS 4996 Honours Thesis
This course requires the student to propose and carry out an original study and submit and defend a thesis. As a component of an interdisciplinary degree, the thesis should reflect an interdisciplinary approach to the issue under study. Prior to registering in 4996, students should normally have completed a thesis proposal and successfully established their ability to complete interdisciplinary work. Prerequisite: Completion of the first three years (90h) of the BScH ENVS program; minimum CGPA of 3.0.