EASC Undergraduate Course Descriptions

1st Year Courses

EASC 101 - Dynamic Earth

Dynamic Earth

EASC 101

Dynamic Earth offers an introduction to minerals, rocks, geologic resources and processes. Plate tectonics is the unifying theory of geology and is the focus as we learn how the Earth changes over geologic time and results in the formation of volcanoes and mountain belts, faults, folds and earthquakes. Breadth-Science.

EASC 103 - The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

EASC 103

Dinosaurs ruled our planet for nearly 150 million years until the abrupt extinction of all non-avian (non-bird) dinosaurs, approximately 66 million years ago. We examine geologic time, fossils and biological classification, and investigate the rise and fall of the theropods, sauropods, ornithopods, stegosaurs, ankylosaurs, ceratopsians, and pachycephalosaurs. Breadth-Science.

EASC 104 - Earth in Turmoil

Geohazards - Earth in Turmoil

EASC 104

Explore the range of geological hazards that affect the Earth, our environment and humanity. Topics will include the hazards, risks and processes associated with potentially cataclysmic events such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis. The forecasting and mitigation of the impacts of these hazards will also be investigated. Students with credit for GEOG 312 may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Science.

EASC 106 - Earth Through Time

Earth Through Time

EASC 106

An introduction to the changes that the Earth has experienced, from its initial formation to the present day, intended for non-majors. Topics include changes in plate tectonic style, mountain building periods, glaciations during Earth history, formation of life, the fossil record and evolution, major extinctions, and the rise of man. Students may not take EASC 106 for credit towards EASC major or minor program requirements. Breadth-Science.

EASC 107 - Economic Geological Resources

Economic Geological Resources

EASC 107

An overview of Earth's major economic resources. Topics will include geologic processes which produce significant natural resources including metals, hydrocarbons and other energy resources, industrial minerals, and groundwater. Emphasis will be placed on relations between earth sciences and aspects of economics, business, history, politics, and environmental issues. Much of the focus will be on the changing nature of resource exploration and extraction, and how this may evolve in the near to distant future. Students may not use EASC 107 for credit towards Earth Sciences major or minor program requirements. Breadth-Science.

EASC 108 - Exploring the Solar System

Exploring the Solar System

EASC 108

Explore our celestial neighbourhood through a comparative study of the planets, moons and asteroids of our solar system. Students will use the latest information from interplanetary missions to study topics including the formation of the solar system, the origin and fate of the Earth, and the search for extraterrestrial life. Breadth-Science.

2nd Year Courses

EASC 201 - Stratigraphy and Sedimentation

Stratigraphy and Sedimentation

EASC 201

An introduction to the nature, origin and interpretation of stratified earth materials. Principles of lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy and chronostratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy, the facies concept. Prerequisite: or Corequisite: EASC 210 with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 202 - Introduction to Mineralogy

Introduction to Mineralogy

EASC 202

Introduction to crystallography, crystal chemistry and chemical properties and chemical principles necessary for the study of minerals. Prerequisite: EASC 101 and CHEM 121. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 204 - Structural Geology I

Structural Geology I

EASC 204

Description, classification and interpretation of earth structures: folds, faults, joints, cleavage and lineations. Elementary rock mechanics. Prerequisite: EASC 210, PHYS 101 or 120 or 125 or 140. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 205 - Introduction to Petrology

Introduction to Petrology

EASC 205

Optical phenomena related to the use of the polarizing microscope in the identification of minerals in thin section. Petrogenesis and classification of igneous sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Hand specimen and thin section identification of rocks and minerals. Prerequisite: EASC 202, CHEM 122, and one of: (PHYS 102 and PHYS 133), (PHYS 121 and PHYS 133), (PHYS 126 and PHYS 133) or (PHYS 141). All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 206 - Field Geology I

Field Geology I

EASC 206

Methods of field navigation, geological mapping and the interpretation of geological field data including cross sections, the geological time scale, and stratigraphic sections and columns. Includes two weekend field trips. Field locations may vary from year to year. All lectures and field trips are mandatory. Prerequisite: EASC 101 and prerequisite/co-requisite: EASC 210. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 207 - Introduction to Applied Geophysics

Introduction to Applied Geophysics

EASC 207

An introduction to geophysics emphasizing seismic, magnetic and gravimetric observations of the Earth. Applied geophysics. Prerequisite: MATH 152, and one of: (PHYS 102 and PHYS 133), (PHYS 121 and PHYS 133), (PHYS 126 and PHYS 133) or (PHYS 141). All with a grade of C- or better. Quantitative.

EASC 208 - Introduction to Geochemistry

Introduction to Geochemistry

EASC 208

Distribution and cycles of elements, minerals and rocks on and within Earth. Understanding and evolution of Earth systems through high and low temperature fluid-rock interaction, aqueous geochemistry, stable and radiogenic isotopes. Prerequisite: EASC 202, CHEM 121, 122 and 126. All with a grade of C- or better. Quantitative.

EASC 209W - Environmental Geoscience

Environmental Geoscience

EASC 209W

Environmental geology is a branch of Earth science that deals with the relationship of people to their geological habitat. Topics covered will include environmental impact of mineral extraction and logging; erosion and sedimentation in rural and urban environments; and mass movements in mountainous terrain. The course includes two 1-day field trips that usually occur on Saturdays. This course is primarily designed for EASC program students and those pursuing degrees in other Departments and Faculties that require a strong foundational course in Environmental Geoscience. Students with credits for EASC 303W may not take this course for credit. Prerequisite: EASC 101 with a grade of C- or better. Writing.

EASC 210 - Evolving Earth    

Evolving Earth

EASC 210

The Earth has evolved dramatically over its 4.6 billion-year history. We explore the evolution of Earth's tectonic plates, oceans and atmosphere through time. We also review the appearance of life, its evolution and diversification, biological-geological interactions, and the occurrence and impact of mass extinction events. Prerequisite: EASC 101 with a grade of C- or better. Breadth-Science.

3rd Year Courses

EASC 301 - Igneous Petrology

Igneous Petrology

EASC 301

Integrated theoretical and practical investigation of igneous rocks. Topics include melt generation, ascent and modification of magma, and solidification of magma in plutonic and volcanic environments. Emphasis will be placed on mineralogy, geochemistry and petrography. Relations between magmatic and tectonic processes will be explored. Prerequisite: EASC 205 and 208. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 302 - Sedimentary Petrology

Sedimentary Petrology

EASC 302

Description and classification, field and microscopic identification of sedimentary rocks; petrogenesis and paleoenvironmental reconstruction. Prerequisite: STAT 201 or 270, EASC 201 and 205. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 304 - Hydrogeology

Hydrogeology

EASC 304

An introduction to the basic concepts and principles governing the flow of groundwater in the subsurface environment. These are used to develop an understanding of aquifers and their physical properties, groundwater sustainability and management, and interaction of groundwater with surface water. In addition, as a foundation course in fluids in geologic media, this course has relevance to the oil and gas and mining industries, as well as to engineering applications such as dewatering. Prerequisite: EASC 101 and PHYS 102 or 121 or 126 or 141; and 12 additional units in earth sciences, physical geography or environmental science. All with a grade of C- or better. Quantitative.

EASC 305 - Quantitative Methods for the Earth Sciences

Quantitative Methods for the Earth Sciences

EASC 305

Implementation of mathematical methods and numerical techniques for problem solving in the Earth Sciences. Examples and lab assignments will use Excel spreadsheets and/or Matlab computer programming/display software. Concepts covered include quantitative techniques for field data and error analysis in the geosciences, basic computer programming concepts and numerical modeling of Earth processes. Prerequisite: EASC 101; MATH 152, PHYS 121 or 126 or 102 or 141, and STAT 201 or 270 (all with a grade of C- or better), and six units in any 200 division or higher EASC courses. Quantitative.

EASC 306 - Field Geology II

Field Geology II

EASC 306

A 10-14 day field camp held after final exams in the spring term. Students will learn how to observe, record and interpret geological features, and will carry out geological mapping and analysis. Lectures on field methods, equipment and safety may precede the field camp. Field locations may vary from year to year. Prerequisite: Prerequisite/Corequisite: EASC 201, 204, 205, and 206. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 307 - Applied Geophysics

Applied Geophysics

EASC 307

Application, instrumentation and limitations of electrical, electromagnetic, ground penetrating radar and seismic methods for engineering and geoscience applications. Prerequisite: EASC 207 with a grade of C- or better. Quantitative.

EASC 308 - Field Geology III

Field Geology III

EASC 308

A 10-14 day field school held at the end of the summer term. Students will observe and interpret sedimentary and glacial geomorphic features, investigate natural hazard mechanisms and become acquainted with environmental geoscience topics. Students will carry out geological, geotechnical and geophysical surveying and analysis. Field locations may vary from year to year. Students with credit for EASC 406 may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: EASC 201, 206 and 209W. Recommended: EASC 207. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 309 - Global Tectonics

Global Tectonics

EASC 309

The study of motion and deformation of the earth's crust and upper mantle at a regional and global scale. A detailed examination of plate tectonic theory: plate boundary types, mechanics of plate movements, basin formation and mountain building. Case studies of major orogenic belts of the world highlighting regional structural deformation processes in response to tectonic stresses. Students are required to attend a weekend field trip during this course. Students with credit for EASC 407 prior to fall 1998 may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: EASC 201, 204, 205, 206 and 207. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 310W - Paleontology

Paleontology

EASC 310W

Principles of classification, morphology and development of the major groups of animals and plants in the geological record; the paleoecologic significance of fossils. Students with credit for EASC 203 or EASC 310 may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: EASC 210. Recommended: BISC 102. All with a grade of C- or better. Writing.

EASC 311 -Metamorphic Petrology

Metamorphic Petrology

EASC 311

Investigation of the physicochemical processes responsible for the origin of metamorphic rocks. Integrated study of the mineralogy, textures and phase relations through examination of hand sample and petrographic thin sections. Prerequisite: Pre/Co-requisite: EASC 301 and 302. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 312 - Stratigraphy

Stratigraphy

EASC 312

The principles of stratigraphy, and their integration with sedimentary facies analysis. Techniques applicable to outcrop and subsurface correlation, as well as the principal stratigraphic paradigms and their application to the rock record are discussed. Prerequisite: EASC 201 and 204. Recommended: EASC 206, 302. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 313 - Introduction to Soil and Rock Engineering

Introduction to Soil and Rock Engineering

EASC 313

An introduction to the engineering properties and behavior of soil and rock. Laboratory and field measurements of soil and rock properties. Applications in engineering design will be illustrated with case studies of slope stability, road design, foundations and underground excavations. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of soil and rock mechanics in the resources sector. Prerequisite: EASC 101, 204 or permission of instructor. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 314 - Principles of Glaciology

Principles of Glaciology

EASC 314

An introduction to the study of ice in the modern environment from a geophysical perspective, with a focus on glaciers and ice sheets. Topics include the physical and chemical properties of ice, glacier mass and energy balance, glacier and ice-sheet hydraulics and dynamics, fast ice flow and the relationship between ice and climate. Prerequisite: 60 units, including MATH 152, PHYS 102 or 121 or 126 or 141, and any 100-level EASC course or permission of the instructor. Recommended: EASC 101. All with a grade of C- or better. Quantitative.

EASC 315W - Geochemistry of Natural Waters

Geochemistry of Natural Waters

EASC 315W

Emphasis is on the fundamentals of water-rock interactions and the chemistry of natural waters, developing an understanding of the physical and chemical principles that govern the geochemistry of water within Earth's crust. Topics will include water sample collection and analysis, chemical thermodynamics, gas-water-rock interactions and geochemical modeling. The applications range from weathering and recharge to acid rock drainage and diagenesis. Students with credit for EASC 412 and/or EASC 315 may not complete this course for further credit. Prerequisite: CHEM 122 and 126. Corequisite or prerequisite: EASC 304. All with a grade of C- or better. Writing.

EASC 317 - Global Geophysics

Global Geophysics

EASC 317

Application of geophysical methods to the study of the Earth's evolution and its interior structure: geometrical nature of plate tectonics on a sphere; the Earth's magnetic field and its use in reconstruction of past plate motions; earthquake seismology and understanding the deep interior, gravity and lithospheric flexure, radioactive decay and an absolute geological time scale; heat loss and mantle convection; structure of oceanic lithosphere; structure of continental lithosphere; the early Earth and the tectonics of other planets. Prerequisite: EASC 207 with a grade of C- or better, or permission of instructor. Quantitative.

4th Year Courses

EASC 400 - Selected Topics in Earth Sciences

Selected Topics in Earth Sciences

EASC 400

An advanced, in-depth treatment of a specialized area of earth sciences. Prerequisite: To be determined by instructor.

EASC 401 - Mineral Deposits

Mineral Deposits

EASC 401

The petrology and genesis of metalliferous ore deposits; description of classic ore deposits; the occurrence and exploitation of industrial and non-metallic minerals. Prerequisite: EASC 201, 204, 208, and 301. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 402 - Sedimentology

Sedimentology

EASC 402

Sediment transport in fluids, the formation, character and classification of internal structures in sediments and paleoenvironmental analysis. Prerequisite: EASC 302 with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 403 - Quaternary Geology

Quaternary Geology

EASC 403

Stratigraphy and history of the Quaternary Period with emphasis on glaciation, glacial sediments, and landforms. The course includes several 1-day trips and at least one 3-day trip. Prerequisite: EASC 201, EASC 209W or GEOG 213, and EASC 308. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 404 - Structural Geology II

Structural Geology II

EASC 404

Application of advanced concepts in structural geology to a variety of tectonic problems; deformation mechanisms; flow concepts applied to ductile deformation; description and interpretation of microstructural fabrics; strain partitioning from grain scale to global scale. Prerequisite: Pre/corequisite: EASC 301 and 309. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 405 - Water, Environment, and Climate Change

Water, Environment, and Climate Change

EASC 405

Applies and integrates concepts from hydrological science to assess the various impacts to water cycles over a range of scales, considering both climate and other environmental stressors. Secondary impacts of climate change on water resources (including water for humans and aquatic ecosystems) are explored, focusing on current issues to generate ideas for potential mitigative and adaptive solutions. Prerequisite: EASC 315, or both EASC 304 and GEOG 311. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 408 - Regional Geology of Western Canada

Regional Geology of Western Canada

EASC 408

The stratigraphy, structure and historical geology of western Canada. Terrane analysis. Important mineral and fossil sites will be discussed. Students are required to attend one 4 day field trip during the course. Students with credit for EASC 305 prior to fall 1998 may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: /Corequsite: EASC 309 with a C- or better.

EASC 410 - Groundwater Contamination and Transport

Groundwater Contamination and Transport

EASC 410

An introduction to contaminant hydrogeology and mass transport processes in groundwater regimes. Topics include natural groundwater quality, sources of contamination, for example from mine waste, agriculture, saltwater intrusion, and industrial activities, and the processes and principles governing mass transport, including advection, dispersion and diffusion. The course also explores methodologies for site investigation as well as various remediation methods. Prerequisite: EASC 315W or EASC 412. All with a grade of C- or better. Quantitative.

EASC 411 - Terrain Analysis

Terrain Analysis

EASC 411

Application and role of Quaternary Geology in terrain mapping and terrain analysis and will emphasize the British Columbia Terrain Classification System. Applications of terrain maps, including landslide, earthquake and volcanic hazard mapping will be discussed. The lab sessions will cover morphological mapping, surficial material genesis, geomorphic processes and finally, production of a terrain and terrain stability map. The course includes three days in the field to ground truth the map. Prerequisite: EASC 209W and one of EASC 308, EVSC 305 or GEOG 310. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 413 - Resource Geotechnics

Resource Geotechnics

EASC 413

Application of geotechnics to the resource sector with particular emphasis on forestry and minerals. Topics covered will include: Engineering geological characterization, slope failure mechanisms in soil and rock, methods of slope stability analysis, techniques of slope reinforcement and stabilization, slope monitoring, road construction and deactivation, underground excavations and petroleum geotechnics. Brief case studies will be used to illustrate the influence of geotechnics in the forestry, mining and the petroleum industries. Prerequisite: EASC 313 with a grade of C- or better or permission of instructor.

EASC 415 - Groundwater Modelling

Groundwater Modelling

EASC 415

An introduction to groundwater modelling providing theory and practical experience in developing numerical groundwater models using state-of-the-art software. Emphasis is placed on modelling flow in the saturated zone, but unsaturated zone hydrology, solute transport, and density dependent flow are also covered. Students with credit for EASC 400 in Spring 2016 only may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: EASC 304.

EASC 416 - Field and Lab Techniques in Hydrogeology

Field and Lab Techniques in Hydrogeology

EASC 416

Theoretical and applied aspects of physical hydrogeology and aqueous geochemistry are linked by providing students with hands-on experience using hydrogeological equipment (data loggers, pumps, chemical sampling equipment), implementing sampling and testing protocols, and using state-of-the-art laboratory analytical facilities. Weekly field and lab based exercises are required. Prerequisite: EASC 315W with a grade of C- or better. Quantitative.

EASC 420 - Petroleum Geology

Petroleum Geology

EASC 420

Elements of the petroleum system, including basin type, source rock origination, migration, and trapping mechanisms. Techniques used to identify and map potential hydrocarbon reservoirs in the subsurface, including geophysical methods, surface mapping, well log correlation, and core/chip sample descriptions will be discussed. This material will be presented in a context that demonstrates the life cycle of a hydrocarbon field from exploration (early), delineation (assessment), and production (mature) stages. Datasets available during different stages of development will be discussed in light of their pertinence to optimal reservoir performance. Prerequisite: EASC 304, 309. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 421 - Volcanology

Volcanology

EASC 421

An introduction to physical and chemical volcanology through a comprehensive examination of volcanic eruptions and their consequences. The main topics covered are the rheological properties of magmas and lavas, structure of volcanic landforms, eruption dynamics, monitoring and hazard assessment, the emplacement of volcanic deposits, extraterrestrial volcanism and the effects of eruptions on the environment. Prerequisite: EASC 207. Co/Prerequisite: EASC 301. All with a grade of C- or better.

EASC 491 - Directed Readings

Directed Readings

EASC 491

A course in which reading and research, and/or field work will be supervised by a faculty member. Prerequisite: 75 units including 30 units in earth science courses and permission of the department.

EASC 492 - Directed Readings    

Directed Readings

EASC 492

A course in which reading and research, and/or field work will be supervised by a faculty member. Prerequisite: 75 units including 30 units in earth sciences courses and permission of the department.

EASC 493 - Directed Readings

Directed Readings

EASC 493

A course in which reading and research, and/or field work will be supervised by a faculty member. Prerequisite: 75 units including 30 units in earth sciences courses and permission of the department.

EASC 499 - Honours Thesis

Honours Thesis

EASC 499

Will include experimental and/or theoretical research in Earth Sciences or a related discipline, and the preparation of a thesis (research report). Selection of a research topic and preparation of the thesis will be done in consultation with a faculty member in Earth Sciences. A research seminar will be delivered at the end of the semester. Prerequisite: 105 units, admittance to the honours program and consent of a thesis supervisor.