Spring 2024 - EVSC 395 D200

Special Topics in Environmental Science (3)

Coastal Marine Science

Class Number: 5993

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Mon, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Wed, 2:30–3:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 23, 2024
    Tue, 8:30–11:30 a.m.



A specific topic within the field of Environment not examined in depth in regular courses. This course will provide students with understanding, perspective and experience in emerging and important areas of environment. Variable units: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.


The ocean is the defining feature of our blue planet, and of our coastal province along the western margin of Canada. This course is designed to introduce environmental scientists to the essential principles and fundamental concepts about the functioning of the coastal ocean. We take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding coastal marine science in our region in which students can expect to be introduced to the geography, physics, chemistry and biology of BC's coastal marine waters. The course strives to foster an appreciation for the diversity and importance of life along the coastal margins of British Columbia. The content of EVSC 395 is intended for students interested in learning about coastal marine science and developing a basic understanding of the ocean processes along the BC coastline. Students will be expected to examine datasets by developing some quantitative skills using the R programming language.


Students will be introduced to the principles of coastal oceanography and the course aims to:

  • Motivate an intrinsic interest in coastal marine science and appreciation of our 'blue planet'
  • Explore the interactions of geology, physics, and chemistry of coastal waters
  • Develop an appreciation of the pelagic and benthic waters along BC coastal waters
  • Understand how oceanographic data is obtained and what it tells us
  • Provide experience exploring and analysing datasets from basic oceanographic observations


  • Assignments 40%
  • Midterm 1 20%
  • Midterm 2 20%
  • Final Exam 20%



  • One of (EVSC 100 or REM 100 or EASC 101 or GEOG 111);
  • and at least 30 units;


  • One of (CHEM 120 or CHEM 121 or PHYS 101 or BISC 101 or BISC 102) or permission of the instructor.



  • The course will require the widely-used programming language R for statistical computing and graphics. This will be required for some course assignments. Students are expected to download and install R or RStudio onto their computer from this website:
    • https://www.r-project.org/
    • https://rstudio.com/products/rstudio/
  • Students are expected to have access to a laptop computer. Computers are available on loan from the SFU Bennett library.


  • Chapters from the textbook "Essentials of Oceanography" by Alan P. Trujillo and Harold V. Thurman. The professor will be using the 12th Edition which is offered through SFU Library as an e-book.
  • The course will be based on several additional sources that are more specific to BC such as DFO's "Oceanography of the BC Coast" and a guide to ocean analyses "Oceanographic Analysis with R" by an Eastcoast Canadian oceanographer, Dan Kelley.
  • Other resources will be identified throughout the semester.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.