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Earth and Environmental Sciences Courses


66-100. Introduction to Geomorphology
The landscapes of the earth, with particular reference to the glaciers, coastlines, rivers, and northern permafrost regions of Canada. (3 lecture hours a week.)

66-102. Atmosphere and Climate
An introduction to the atmosphere and the basic principles of meteorology and climatology. Topics include weather systems, atmospheric pollution and inadvertent climate modification, climate change and relationships between climate and living organisms. (3 lecture hours a week.)

66-110. Natural Hazards and Disasters
The Earth’s component systems and their interrelationships. Earth hazards and the Earth’s interior processes: volcanism and earthquakes. Hazards and surface processes: landslides and floods. Atmospheric hazards: storms, hurricanes and tornadoes. (May be taken by Science students for credit, but does not count as a Science option towards the fulfillment of the specified requirements for a Science degree). (2 lecture hours per week)

66 -111. Our Changing Earth
Origin of the universe and solar system; focus on the Earth and moon; earliest life forms. Measurement of geological time. Global climatic change in geological history; drifting continents; deserts, floods and ice sheets. Fossils and evolution; extinctions and probable causes. Human evolution and migrations; early technologies. (May be taken by Science students for credit, but does not count as a Science option towards the fulfillment of the specified requirements for a Science degree). (2 lecture hours a week)

66-112. Introduction to Planetary Science
An introduction to the origin of the Universe and Solar System. Topics include: the Big Bang theory; origin and organization of matter; and formation of galaxies, nebulae, stars, and planetary systems. The focus is on the geological features of planets, moons, asteroids, and comets. Coverage includes historical perspectives and current theory on astronomy, measurement of the ages of the Universe and Solar System, space exploration, Moon and Mars missions, analyses of NASA satellite images, the origin and evolution of life in the Solar System, and the search for possible extra-terrestrial life and intelligence in the Universe. (May be taken by Science students for credit, but does not count as a Science option towards the fulfillment of the specified requirements for a Science degree.) (3 lecture hours a week.)

66-140. Introduction to Earth Science
An introduction to Earth’s physical character and the processes that shape our planet. The focus is on the geosphere: Earth materials, weathering, sedimentation, magmatism and volcanism, metamorphism, deformation, earthquakes, mountain building, and Earth’s internal structure. These will be examined in the context of the origin of Earth, geologic time, and plate tectonics. The nature of mineral and energy resources will also be examined. This course is designed for Science majors. (2 lecture, 2.5 laboratory hours a week).

66-141. Introduction to Environmental Science
An introduction to the components of Earth’s environment (geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere) and the principles and processes defining and influencing environmental systems (energy and matter cycles). Human interactions with, and influences on, the environment will be examined (resource and land use, waste and pollution, development, conservation and sustainability). This course is designed for Science majors. (3 lecture hours a week, optional field trips).

66-200. Principles of Resource Management
Systems analysis methodologies, scientific theories, ecological approaches, and sustainable resource management principles will be presented to examine the interrelationships governing the availability and cumulative impacts of utilizing both renewable and non-renewable resources. Resource management auditing methods and techniques will be applied for the assessment of several indicators, including carrying capacity, ecological footprints, demographic transition, energy flows, agrosystems, land degradation, air and water quality, deforestation, biodiversity and successional changes. Discussions will also focus on integrative and adaptive resource management techniques and best management practices. (Antirequisite: 42-200.) (3 lecture hours a week.)

66-201. Science, Technology, and Society
This course is designed to explore the complex inter-relationships between science, technology, and society. The nature of science and scientific method and selected current issues in science and technology will be discussed. Topics may include chemicals in society, biotechnology and related issues, nuclear energy, and the impact of these technologies on society. Technology, as it relates to human values and public awareness, will also be considered. (Not open to Semester 1 and 2 students.) (May not be taken for credit towards a B.Sc. Degree in Environmental Science.) (Antirequisite: 03-200.) (3 lecture hours a week.)

66-202. Earth Materials
An introduction to the fundamental properties and characteristics of Earth materials. Topics include the nature of minerals (the principal components of sediments, soils and rocks), and the general chemical, mineralogical and physical characteristics of Earth materials. Coverage includes how geochemical and geophysical methods are used to determine the properties of Earth materials. (2 lecture and 3 laboratory hours/week.)(Prerequisites: 66-140 and 66-141 or consent of instructor.)

66-210. Introduction to Oceanography
Examination of the physical, chemical, geological and biological aspects of the oceans. Topics will include the interconnectedness of global climate, ocean currents, waves and tides, anthropogenic stressors, and their influence on marine biodiversity and ecosystems. (Does not count as a Geography course. Cannot count towards the fulfillment of the degree requirements that are used to calculate the major average of any B.Sc. degree.) (3 lecture hours a week.)

66-213. Geology and the Environment
Effect of geological factors on the environment; pollution of groundwater, ground subsidence, nuclear waste disposal, subsurface disposal of liquid wastes, earthquake prediction and control. This course is designed specifically for the non-scientist. (May not be taken for credit towards a B.Sc. Degree in Environmental Science.) (2 lecture hours a week or equivalent.)

66-214. Geology and International Development
Aid, international development, and Earth processes; integration of water-resource management, soil conservation and agroforestry; geological hazards in a tropical setting; small-scale mining and conservation of mineral resources; engineering an improved quality of life in developing nations. (May not be taken for credit towards a B.Sc. Degree in in Environmental Science.) (2 lecture hours a week or equivalent.)

66-215. Introduction to Aerial Photography and Cartography
Basic concepts involved in cartographic theory and design, including map projections, longitude, latitude and UTM grid systems, and thematic and topographic maps, and the fundamentals of aerial photographs and other remotely sensed data (visible spectrum, infra-red and radar), satellite imagery, photogrammetry and photointerpretation. (2 lecture, 2 laboratory hours a week.)

66-216. Principles and Applications of Geographical Information Systems
This course emphasizes the principles, techniques, and applications of GIS. Lectures and laboratory exercises will focus on how to acquire, store, manipulate, and analyze spatial and non-spatial data. Data conversion, data reformatting, and data base development techniques will be explained. Students will create geographic coverages and learn techniques in the operation of a GIS by completing "hands-on" projects with modern GIS software. (It is recommended that students take 66-215 before taking this course.) (2 lecture, 3 laboratory hours a week.)

66-220. Climatology
A study of the major climatic elements, with special emphasis on the radiation budget, energy systems, and the hydrological cycle of Earth and the human environment. Climate classification, climatic change, climatological techniques, and aspects of applied climatology also will be examined. (Prerequisites: 66-102.) (2 lecture, 2 laboratory hours a week.)

66-221. Environmental Geomorphology
The study of landforms and Earth surface processes, and the impact of these processes on the environment. (2 lecture, 2 laboratory hours a week.)

66-224. Introduction to Geochemistry
An overview of the chemical composition of Earth and the factors governing the cycling of chemicals throughout Earth from the core through to surface environments. Principles of crystal chemistry, chemical reactions and equilibria, oxidation and reduction, adsorption and ion exchange and isotope chemistry and their relevance to Earth processes. (Prerequisites: 59-140, 59-141.) (3 lecture and/or tutorial hours per week.)

66-230. Hydrology
Fundamental processes in physical hydrology that control movement and storage of water within a watershed or catchment basin. Components of the water balance (precipitation, interception, infiltration, evapotranspiration, runoff, storage) and their variations in space and time. Theoretical and practical approaches to measurement and forecasting of components and their linkages. Special consideration of snowmelt, streamflow, wetlands, and human impacts. ( Prerequisites: one of 66-100, 66-102 or 66-141; and one of 02-250, 65-205, or other University-level mathematics or statistics course; or consent of instructor.) ( 3 lecture, 2 laboratory hours a week.)

66-231. Introduction to Petrology
Petrography, textures, composition and classification of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Evolution of magmatic systems. Nature and causes of metamorphism. Relationship between global tectonics and magmatic and metamorphic processes. (Prerequisite: 66-202 or consent of instructor.) (2 lecture, 3 laboratory hours a week.)

66-232. Soils and Sediments
An introduction to the properties and characteristics of soils and sediments, the materials that cover much of Earth’s surface and underlie surface water bodies. Topics include the formation and structure of soils and sediments, and how they are described, classified, and analyzed. Coverage includes the geographic distribution of soils and their importance as an environmental resource. (3 lecture and 2 laboratory hours per week.)(Prerequisites: 66-140 or 66-141, and 66-202 or consent of instructor.)

66-246. Environmental Decision Analysis
Earth systems, including climatic extremes, the industrialized ecosystem; decisions under uncertainty in mineral-resource exploration and development; rational approach to decision making, alternatives to decision analysis; environmental impact assessment and risk management, expert systems approach to environmental problem solving, applications in less developed countries. (3 lecture hours a week.)

66-247. Environmental Auditing in Mineral Resource Development
Cyclical flow of energy and matter in nature, human interaction with environmental processes, elements of policy analysis; environmental management systems and environmental impact assessment; environmental audit processes, steps in design and delivery; mineral resource development and the audit protocols; from audit to action plan, auditing the audit. (3 lecture hours a week.)

66-300. Scientific Writing and Data Management
Effective communication is fundamental to society and is particularly important in scientific endeavours. The ability to collect, process, analyze, and interpret data, and then communicate the significance of data to others, is fundamental to the scientific researcher and consultant. Students will develop skills in the written and oral communication of scientific thought through exercises in specific grammatical, writing, data processing, and management techniques. (2 lecture, 1 tutorial and 2 laboratory hours per week.) (Prerequisites: 66-141, 65-205 or consent of instructor.)

66-305. Environmental Sedimentology
Description and analysis of depositional and diagenetic processes, facies, environments and sequences. The impact of natural processes and anthropogenic activities on the nature, production, and accumulation of sediments. Effects of changes in hydrologic reservoirs and fluxes. (3 lecture hours per week, field trips). (Prerequisite: 66-232 or consent of the instructor.)

66-316. Environmental Modelling and Decision Analysis
An overview of different types of environmental models (e.g., conceptual, mathematical and statistical, process, and spatial) and how these models are used within a decision analysis framework. Learned theory is applied to a variety of problem scenarios in a series of hands-on lab exercises. Emphasis is on spatial problems that use GIS and spreadsheets as the principle problem-solving tools. Scenarios demonstrate how environmental practitioners constrain problems, express important model parameters, transform data, and make informed decisions in the face of uncertainty. (3 lecture and 2 laboratory hours per week.)(Prerequisite: 66-216 or consent of instructor).(Credit may not be obtained for both 66-316 and 67-310).

66-320. Analysis of Environmental Materials
Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of the chemistry and crystallography of minerals and other natural materials. Topics will include techniques used to characterize natural materials (e.g., optical microscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, spectroscopic techniques, elemental and isotopic microanalysis, and X-ray diffraction) and application of these methods to understanding environmental issues (2 lecture and 3 laboratory hours per week.)(Prerequisites: 66-140 and 66-202 or consent of instructor.)

66-327. Structural Geology
Rock deformation; primary and secondary structures; analysis and classification of folds and faults; interpretation of geologic maps; solution of structural problems. (Prerequisite: 66-231 or consent of instructor.) (3 lecture, 3 laboratory hours a week.)

66-328. Environmental Geochemistry
Processes such as water-rock interactions, element cycling, and contaminant mobility in near-surface geologic settings will be studied using the principles of geochemistry, thermodynamics and chemical kinetics. Topics covered in this course will include: the laws of thermodynamics, aqueous complexation, solutions and activities, redox reactions, solubility, phase equilibria and chemical kinetics in natural systems. (Prerequisite: 59-240 or 66-224 or consent of instructor.) (3 lecture and/or tutorial hours per week.)

66-330. Environmental Geophysics
An introduction to the use of seismic, electrical, electromagnetic and other geophysical methods used in near-surface environmental assessment studies. (Prerequisite: 66-202 or consent of instructor) (2 lecture, 3 laboratory hours a week.)

66-332. Issues in Resource and Environmental Systems
The complexities and nonlinear feedback mechanisms influencing the dynamic interactions between the allocation and utilization of biotic and abiotic resources in the spatial and temporal domains will be addressed within the conceptual framework of resource management paradigms, theories, and analytical methodologies. Contemporary problems and issues in resource and environmental systems will then be critically assessed, and best management practices will be appraised. (Prerequisites: 66-200 or consent of instructor.) (3 lecture and/or tutorial hours per week.)

66-334. Environmental Impact Assessment
This course provides an overview of the biogeophysical environment, and introduces peristametrics. The history, theories, and principles of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be examined and various methodologies for the preparation of an EIA report will be evaluated. Aspects of ethics, environmental laws, and administrative requirements for EIA studies in Canada are considered. EIA case studies are assessed and prepared. (Prerequisite: 66-332 or consent of instructor.) (3 lecture hours a week.)

66-370. Climate Change
A study of the causes of climate and climate change. Topics include the record of past climates, projection of future climate based on models incorporating anthropogenic factors, modification of local and regional climates, and the impact of these changes on the natural and human environment. (Prerequisite: 66-102 required, 66-220 recommended, or consent of instructor.) (3 lecture hours a week.)

66-380. Field Methods in Environmental Science
Field sampling and measurement techniques in the environmental sciences. Special consideration will be given to the measurement, evaluation and reporting of spatial and temporal data and to the collection and interpretation of geochemical data. Designed for Environmental Science students. (Prerequisites: 66-141, 66-202 and 66-224 or consent of instructor.) (1 week of fieldwork preceding Fall semester and 3 field or laboratory hours per week).

66-381. Field Measurement and Mapping Techniques
Introduction to sediment and water sampling, mapping methods, and field measurements. Interpretation of topographic maps, use of compasses and GPS units. Integration of field data into a GIS. Designed for Environmental Studies students. (Prerequisites: 66-100, 66-141 and 66-216 or consent of instructor.)(1 week of fieldwork preceding Fall semester and 3 field or laboratory hours per week).

66-402. Remote Sensing
An integrated course dealing with contemporary principles and applications of aerospace remote sensing. Emphasis will be placed on scanning systems; multispectral sensors; the identification and interpretation of spectral signatures; how the imagery obtained by sensors is analyzed optically or digitally to yield Earth resource information; and the manipulation and display of remotely-sensed data. (Prerequisite: 66-215 or 66-216, or consent of instructor.) (2 lecture, 1.5 laboratory hours a week.)

66-410. Environmental Assessment and Monitoring
An overview of the methods and procedures used for environmental site assessment (ESA) and monitoring as applied to unimpacted (‘greenfield’) and impacted (‘brownfield’) properties. Coverage includes the major elements of site characterization (e.g., Phase I & II ESA, BEA, RI-FS, RA and CAP), and applicable standards and guidelines (e.g., ASTM E1527 and E1903). Also included are an introduction to monitoring approaches and techniques for air, water, soil, sediment and waste, and an overview of the laws, rules and regulations governing ESA activities (3 lecture hours per week.) (Prerequisites: 66-224, 66-232 and 66-328 or consent of instructor.)

66-415. Ecosystem Health
The fundamental mechanisms and processes that structure ecosystems, anthropogenic activities that can alter them, and the policy and management used to protect them. Through class discussions and case studies, students develop a practical, problem-solving approach to issues associated with ecosystem health. Topics include food web and ecosystem ecology, ecosystem models, anthropogenic stressors, management methods and models, and national and international policies. (3 lecture hours per week.)(Prerequisites: 55-210 and 66-141 or consent of instructor.)

66-436. Hydrogeology
Fundamental physics and properties of groundwater flow in porous geologic material, develops an intuitive, problem-solving approach to hydrogeologic problems. Topics include: groundwater flow equations, flow nets, aquifer pumping, contaminant transport processes, two-phase flow, and dense non-aqueous phase liquids. Computer application will be emphasized. (Prerequisites: 66-141, 62-130 or equivalent, 66-230 recommended, or consent of instructor.) (3 lecture, 2 laboratory hours a week.)

66-437. Contaminant Hydrogeology
Application of elements of geology, geochemistry, physical chemistry, toxicology, biogeochemistry, and physical hydrogeology toward understanding and quantifying the movement, fate and toxicity of organic and inorganic substances (i.e., contaminants) in environmental systems. Selected topics include site characterization, physicochemical properties of contaminants, human and environmental toxicology, risk assessment, remediation technologies and feasibility, and contaminant transport and attenuation modeling. (2 lecture and 2.5 laboratory/tutorial hours per week.)(Prerequisites: 66-224, 66-328 and 66-436 or consent of instructor.)

66-440. Biogeochemistry
An investigation of global change focusing on the chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes that cycle elements through Earth's systems. Topics covered in this course will include: The origin of Life, global element cycles, mineral weathering and the global CO2 budget, microbe-water-rock interactions (including: sorption, oxidation-reduction, and methylation of metals; biological degradation of organic molecules; application of molecular biology and stable isotope techniques to environmental problems). (Prerequisites: 66-224 or consent of instructor) (3 lecture and/or tutorial hours per week.)

66-441. Resource Development and Environmental Impact
Geochemical processes and environmental impact that may result from the development of natural resources (minerals, hydrocarbons), with special emphasis on the approaches used to extract and develop raw materials, and sustainable strategies to protect the environment. Topics include acid mine drainage, tailings disposal, oil sands development, groundwater contamination, metal toxicity, and an integrative assessment of the role of metals and their influence on biota. (3 lecture hours per week.)(Prerequisites: 66-202, 66-224 and 66-328 or consent of instructor.)

66-470. Special Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences
Selected topics of current interest. (Prerequisite: consent of instructor and a program advisor.) (3 lecture or project hours a week.) (May be repeated for credit if content changes.)

66-499. Thesis Research in Environmental Science
Each student will be required to carry out an original research project in Environmental Science and write a report under the supervision of one or more faculty members. The results of the research will also be presented in a public seminar. Students must consult with an Environmental Science counselor prior to enrolling in this course. (A 6.00 credit, two-semester course.) (Restricted to semester 7 and 8 students with a major average of 70% higher.)


58-100. Introduction to Environmental Studies
This course introduces concepts, issues, and practices of Environmental Studies, emphasizing social, political, cultural, ethical, and ecological interactions between nature and society and involves concepts and research strategies from across the social and physical sciences. Topics may include conservation and development, forestry management, desertification and agricultural sustainability, energy production and use, the politics and science of global climate change, and the role of geographic scale in framing environmental problems. (Open only to students in the BES program.)

58-110. Humans and the Environment
Humans use energy and resources from our natural surroundings to live, and to develop our societies and cultures. This use has an impact on other animals and plants, and on the air, water, and land. Our impact is now so great that we are in danger of depleting or destroying many of the natural systems on which we depend. This course examines our relationship with the environment: the impact of our activities on the environment, and the natural world’s impact on us. Key concepts for understanding this relationship are developed through a survey of current environmental issues, which may include topics such as: resources and sustainability, energy, population growth, globalization, urbanization, food and agriculture, and climate change. (May not be used to fulfill the major requirements for the B.E.S. degree.) (Can be taken as a Social Science option.) (Three lecture hours per week)

58-210. Canadian Regional Environments
Canada is a complex and varied nation. The environmental issues that concern each region of the country are also complex and varied. This course surveys the dominant environmental issues and impacts in each region of Canada, and explores the reasons for the regional variation through a variety of lenses: its physical landscape, its resource opportunities and challenges, its historical settlement patterns and economic development, and its social, cultural, and demographic structure. This context is used to develop an understanding of current environmental news and events across the country. (Can be taken as a Social Science option.) (Three lecture hours per week.)

58-310. The Living Earth: Biogeography and the Biosphere
Biogeography is the study of the spatial distribution of both plants and animals. This course will examine the nature of populations and communities influenced by geological, geographical, and biological processes and the factors leading to their distribution past and present (Prerequisites: 58-100 or consent of instructor).

58-470. Special Topics in Environmental Studies
Students will examine selected environmental topics of current interest, to meet a demonstrated academic need that cannot be satisfied by regular course offerings. This course may be given as a seminar course, or as a directed, self-study course. (Prerequisite: consent of instructor and program counselor.)(Students may repeat the course for credit if the content changes.)

58-480. Environmental Research/Leadership Experience
Students will participate in research and/or leadership training in a field or applied regional, national or international setting, focused on environmental, conservation, and/or sustainability issues. (Prerequisite: permission of program counselor.) (May be repeated for credit if host program or content changes.)
Several regional, national, and international programs invite students to participate in environmental research or leadership training in environmental settings around the world. Academic credits are granted through a host University, and may be transferred to the University of Windsor via a Letter of Permission, arranged before the program begins. Because enrolment in these programs may be limited, and visa or other immigration documents may be necessary for international programs, students should apply as early as possible. For further information, contact the program counselor.

58-499. Environmental Studies Research Project
Each student will be required to carry out an original research project in environmental studies and write a report under the supervision of one of more faculty members. The research topic can be in an area relevant to Environmental Studies (e.g., physical geography, sociology, philosophy, political science, etc.) Or be interdisciplinary. (Prerequisite: Restricted to students in the BES program with semester 7 or 8 standing, and with a minimum major average of 73%. Students must consult with an Environmental Studies Coordinator and an appropriate faculty supervisor prior to enrolling in the course.) (6.0 credit hour course which counts as two courses, 2 semester course.)