What is a StreaM?

Streams offer course selections tailored to foster specialized skills and knowledge. There are many aspects of Environmental Science to learn about, and some students want to dive deeper into the specific subjects they are most interested in. Other students have a wide range of interests within Environmental Science that they would like to explore. The six streams in this program allow you to customize your education and study the aspect of Environmental Science that is most engaging to you! 

As an Environmental Science undergraduate student, you will automatically be enrolled in the General Environmental Science stream when you begin your program. You will have the option to either complete your degree in the General Environmental Science stream or choose any one of the other five specific streams to enroll in.

Please book an appointment with your advisor via the following Advising Link to discuss the best possible options for you. 

Declaring your stream

When should I declare my stream?

All students start the program in the General Environmental Science stream. If you want to complete your degree in any of the other five specific streams you should declare as soon as possible. Students are recommended to declare specific streams by the end of their second year. 

Why should I declare my stream?

If you don't want to continue in the General Environmental Science stream, declaring the one you do want to continue in allows you to have easier course planning and a more accurate graduation date.

How can I declare my stream?

Declaring your stream is now as easy as clicking a button! All you have to do is submit the following Stream Declaration Form.

Specific Streams

Applied Biology 

Applied Biology Stream

This stream is for students interested in the impacts of human activities on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This stream is accredited by the British Columbia College of Applied Biology for the Registered Biologist (RPBio) designation.  

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Students receive an advanced understanding of maintenance and evolution of biological diversity, management of vulnerable populations, and how ecosystems are affected by factors such as human activities, interactions among species, species diversity and physical environmental conditions.

Students develop skills in experimental design and quantitative methods of data analysis such as species classification, geospatial analysis, population modeling, and statistical methods.

Students can learn to design and implement surveys to examine abundance and biodiversity of ecosystems using tools such as remote sensing to extract data on land use. Basic statistical analyses and interpretation models are used to predict the population trends, describe communities, and evaluate available management options.

Graduates will find their degree highly applicable for the private and government sectors including the design and implementation of environmental impact assessments and monitoring studies.

Environmental Archaeology 

Environmental Archaeology stream

Learn to examine and analyze a combination of archaeology and environmental science to understand the long-term relationship between cultural change and the environment. Students will be part of a unique program, as it is the first of it's kind in Canada.

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Students receive an extensive scientific education as well as a thorough understanding of the skills, theories, and techniques employed by both environmental scientists and modern archaeologists in their collection and analysis of environmental data and cultural artifacts. These techniques bring forward quantifiable information which allows for powerful analysis to occur and connections regarding the relationship of humans to their environment to be drawn.

In this stream students are taught a highly sought-after skill set of practical archaeological techniques paired with critical analysis skills, all viewed through an environmental lens. Students engage in a set of specific quantitative and scientific analyses that are part of a traditional archaeology degree.

Graduates of this stream will be well suited for career opportunities in both natural resources sector and environmental consulting, and as part of environmental impact analyses and monitoring studies, both in the private and public sectors. This stream provides graduates with a gateway to graduate studies in archaeology and natural resource management.

Career Possibilities

  • Environmental Consultant

  • Environmental Educator

  • Environmental Impact Assessor

  • Environmental Archaeologist 

  • Field Technician/Director

Environmental Earth Systems 

Environmental Earth Systems stream

This stream is for students interested in an integrative understanding of environmental processes and earth systems. Students develop technical skills in quantitative research and use technology to analyze spatial data.

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Students receive an advanced understanding of Earth’s spheres and their interactions in the form of carbon, nutrient and water cycles, glacial environments and landforms, biodiversity, and weather and climate. Impacts of human activities on these spheres such as carbon emissions and climate change, mining and logging, threats to biodiversity and ways of addressing those concerns such as rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems are explored in depth.  

Student will conduct quantitative analyses of changes in one or more of Earth's systems using mathematical or statistical modeling, geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and field/lab methods.

This stream facilitates hands-on experience in data collection using field techniques such as surveying and sample processing, as well analysis of collected data to identify interactions among the Earth’s spheres using lab methods such as geographic information systems to visualize data through digital maps or examining remote sensing studies.

Graduates would be well suited for employment in fields such as environmental impact analyses, land use planning, and habitat restoration. Graduates would also have an excellent basis for going on to undertake graduate studies in physical geography and related pure and applied sciences, such as planning and resource management.

Environmental Science General

General Environmental Science Stream

This stream is for students who wish to explore the broad field of environmental science, without specializing in any one area. This provides students with the flexibility to pursue their own interests across environmental disciplines.

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This stream aims to educate on the numerous intersections of the many facets of environmental science, as directed by the student’s interests.

Students receive a robust general science education with a combination of advanced training options possible in the various biological systems, water cycles, earth systems, and statistical data analysis that our other streams are dedicated towards. Required training builds skills in quantitative analysis, lab and field methods in environmental science, and group-based projects centered in real-world collaborations.

In addition, students explore the social factors at work in environmental policy and planning decisions, and the role that the scientist plays among the many professionals in the natural resources sector.

Upon completion students will attain a well-rounded environmental education in the areas of their greatest interests and apply their knowledge towards questions of human impacts on the environment, climate change, land use, the intersections between them, and much more.


Environmetrics stream

This stream is for students interested in environmental data analysis, sampling design and monitoring.  

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This stream applies statistical and quantitative knowledge to environmental problems. It encourages design of monitoring programs for environmental data collection, and development of theoretical justifications of statistical decisions with attention to law, ethics, and economy.

Students apply statistical and quantitative knowledge including data science and big data to real-world environmental problems using monitoring programs to analyze surveys and design experiments.

The course content will build proficiency in statistical methods and model selection techniques within statistical software for analyzing environmental data. Lab processes and protocols from multiple disciplines are used to produce and analyze data that vary over time and space.

Graduates will be capable of designing, monitoring and developing complex experimental designs related to current environmental issues. This stream also prepares students for advanced studies that utilize statistical methodology such as quantitative studies that examine the effects of pollutants on human and environmental health.

Water Science 

Water Science Stream

This stream is for students interested in water resources in the context of Earth’s changing climate. Students receive training in hydrology, climatology, glaciology and aquatic sciences.  

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In this stream, students explore the role of policy and planning in mitigating and protecting environmental impacts of human actions on Earth’s water resources in a changing climate.

Quantitative methods of data analysis through estimating uncertainty, measurement of water use changes, water quality and assessment of aquatic ecosystem health are central to the water science stream.

Upon completion, students will possess skills in quantitative methods of data analysis and interpretation in aspects of the Earth's water system, measurement of water fluxes and use, and assessment of aquatic ecosystem health.

Graduates will have the science-based training to contribute to decision-making about water management and water policy. They will be able to offer a broader perspective on water management issues as compared to discipline-specific scientists in hydrology, hydrogeology, climatology, and aquatic science.