Environmental Specialty Honours
Admission to this program has been suspended effective Summer 2019.
Program entry requires the approval of the department and an admission GPA of 3.00.
Minimum Grade Requirements
To graduate with honours, students must have a grade point average of not less than 3.00.
Students complete 132 units, of which 60 must be at the upper division.
Lower Division Requirements
Students complete a total of 21 units, including all of
A geographical introduction to how humans shape our world, with attention also given to how it shapes us. Themes may include: culture, economic activities, environmental change, globalization, politics, population, resources, and urbanization. Breadth-Social Sciences.
We 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
SWH 10041, Burnaby
An introduction to landforms, climates, soils and vegetation; their origins, distributions, interrelationships and roles in the ecosystem. Laboratory work and field trips are included. Breadth-Science.
The fundamentals of economics geography, the study of the forces that shape the arrangement of economic activity in the real world. Prerequisite: GEOG 100. Breadth-Social Sciences.
An introduction to key concepts and contexts in contemporary geographical approaches to social practices, meanings, and struggles. Prerequisite: GEOG 100. Breadth-Social Sciences.
This course provides students with an overview of global environmental change and its causes from a social science perspective, historically and at the present time. Population growth, an increasing ecological footprint and changes in ideology, social organization, economy and technology will be critically reviewed. New ways of thinking in natural and social science will be considered in relation to specific issues such as land, soil and food; energy, raw materials and solid waste; air pollution and transportation; water, oceans and fisheries; climate change; forestry and biodiversity; urbanization, and alternative futures. Breadth-Social Sciences.
Mo, We 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
HCC 2510, Vancouver
Mo, We 1:30 PM – 2:20 PM
HCC 2540, Vancouver
Mo, We 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM
HCC 2540, Vancouver
Mo, We 4:30 PM – 5:20 PM
HCC 2925, Vancouver
and one of
An introduction to basic quantitative techniques for the collection of geographic data. Topics include describing data, gathering samples, theoretical distributions, linking samples and populations, testing significance, and exploring spatial relationships all within practical, real-world application contexts. Prerequisite: GEOG 100 or 111. Quantitative.
An introduction to the theory and practice of remote sensing, including the relevant physical processes, digital image processing and information extraction, and a review of remote sensing applications. Prerequisite: GEOG 111. Quantitative/Breadth-Science.
A basic overview of Geographical Information Systems and Science; GIS software, hardware, data structures and models; spatial data, operations and algorithms; practical applications and limitations. Prerequisite: GEOG 100 or 111 or permission of instructor. Students with credit for GEOG 354 may not take this course for further credit. Quantitative.
Tu, Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
AQ 3153, Burnaby
We, Fr 8:30 AM – 10:20 AM
AQ 2109, Burnaby
We, Fr 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
AQ 2109, Burnaby
We, Fr 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
AQ 2109, Burnaby
Upper Division Requirements
Students complete a minimum total of 60 upper division units, including four of the following core courses
Examines the reciprocal influences between humans and nature through time. Topics may include settlement, agriculture, technology, politics, urbanization, science, and conservation. Prerequisite: At least 45 units, including GEOG 100 or REM 100. Students with credit for HIST 377 may not take this course for further credit.
The world is on the move. Migrants seeking better opportunities cross paths with refugees fleeing persecution. Some are helped and welcomed, many encounter barriers and threats, while identities, including class, race, gender, sexuality, mediate their prospects. This course's geographic perspective clarifies these complexities by combining conceptual analyses with contemporary cases. Prerequisite: At least 45 units, including GEOG 100.
Students will learn to apply the ecological concepts introduced in prereq courses to applied ecological problems at the population, community, and ecosystem levels of organization. Emphasis will be placed on processes which drive ecological dynamics, on recognizing those processes and dynamics in applied contexts, and on interpreting ecological data. Prerequisite: REM 100 or EVSC 100; BISC 204 or GEOG 215; STAT 101 or GEOG 251 or STAT 201 or equivalent. Quantitative.
This course provides an overview of some basic legislation, agencies, and policies which currently are in use to regulate the natural environment at the international, nation, provincial, regional, and local levels. Its purpose is to present a basic set of evaluative questions which can be used to address the effectiveness and efficiency of the environmental regulatory and management systems currently in use. Prerequisite: REM 100. Students with credit for REM 356W may not take this course for further credit.
and one of
A survey of geographical thinking within the Western tradition, from the Greeks to modern times. This course looks at efforts, both mainstream and eccentric, to describe and explain the world (places, peoples, environments, Earth). Extensive use of primary texts. Prerequisite: Completion of 45 units.
and one of
Introduction to the hydrologic cycle, with an emphasis on the hydrology of British Columbia; description and analysis of the processes of water movement and storage measurements and analysis of hydrologic data. Prerequisite: GEOG 213 or 214; GEOG 251 or one of STAT 201, 203 (formerly 103), 205, or 270. Quantitative.
An introduction to the occurrence and origin of natural hazards such as volcanic eruptions, landslides, etc. Interaction between the relevant natural processes and society will be examined, as well as prediction of natural events and the amelioration of the effects of such events within different cultural contexts. Prerequisite: GEOG 111 or EASC 101. Students with credit for GEOG 212 may not take this course for further credit.
Intermediate analysis in fluvial and coastal geomorphology with particular reference to British Columbia. Prerequisite: GEOG 213. Quantitative.
A survey of the climate system, with emphasis on the interactions among its components; radiation, energy and water balances; climate sensitivity and feedbacks; natural and anthropogenic climate change; climate models. Prerequisite: GEOG 214. Recommended: MATH 151 and 152 or MATH 154 and 155 or MATH 157 and 158. Quantitative.
Introduction to the cycling of essential chemical elements through ecosystems. Interactions among biological, hydrological, and geological controls on the structure and function of ecosystems and the spatial-temporal scales of elemental cycling are emphasized. Environmental problems resulting from disturbance to natural equilibria in the elemental cycles are examined. Prerequisite: GEOG 215 or BISC 204 or permission of the instructor. Quantitative.
An introduction to the study of soils: physical, chemical and biological properties of soils; soil formation, description, classification, survey and use. Field and laboratory techniques of soil analysis. Prerequisite: One of GEOG 213, 214, 215, or CHEM 121. Students with credit for GEOG 318 may not take this course for further credit.
A survey of soils and their management. Focuses on the role of soils in the environment; their physical, chemical and biological properties; processes of degradation (including erosion, desertification, pollution, and nutrient depletion); and the maintenance of healthy soils. Prerequisite: Completion of 45 units including GEOG 111. Students who have taken GEOG 317 may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Science.
and one of
Elements of cartographic analysis, design and visualization, with an emphasis on digital mapping, animation techniques, cartographic software and internet mapping. Prerequisite: GEOG 255. Quantitative.
Advanced quantitative techniques for spatial analysis of geographic data and patterns. Topics include geostatistics, spatial interpolation, autocorrelation, kriging, and their use in geographic problem solving with spatial analysis software. Prerequisite: GEOG 251 or one of STAT 201, 203 (formerly 103), 205, or 270. Quantitative.
Advanced remote sensing principles and techniques, including physics-based modeling, advanced classifiers, automated data processing, and integration of ancillary data products. Prerequisite: GEOG 253. Quantitative.
An examination of technical components of GIS. Topics include spatial representations, generalization and data management; computational algebra and set theory; digital surfaces and terrain models. Prerequisite: GEOG 255. Quantitative.
3D geovisualization methods, concepts and theory. Bridges conventional geographic visualization with emerging 3D methods. Emphasizes user-centered design and cognitive implications. Prerequisite: GEOG 255.
and one of
An investigation into the major themes and arguments in the environmental histories of North America, emphasizing how different individuals and groups have used, perceived, and managed their environments over time. Prerequisite: 60 units including eight of upper division geography. Students with credit for HIST 432 or HIST 485 in 2001-3 may not take this course for further credit.
Students receive theory and practical experience in the control and management of hazardous substances in the environment. This includes the application of techniques used to assess toxicological, ecological and human health risks of contaminants within the current regulatory framework. Prerequisite: MATH 151 or 154 or 157; STAT 101 or 103 or 201 or 301 or GEOG 251.
Students will examine the problems of managing forest ecosystems for a variety of societal goals and objectives. The course will start with an examination of the ecological characteristics of forest ecosystems and their dynamics. The second section will focus on the objectives and tools of forest management in an ecological context. The final section of the course will focus on the institutions, economics and policies of forest management, with a focus on British Columbia's historical and current management issues. This course will involve lectures, group discussions, field trips, and exercises. Prerequisite: At least one of REM 311, BISC 304, BISC 310, BISC 404, GEOG 315, or GEOG 316.
All candidates for honours will be required to submit a major paper on a geographical topic to be selected in consultation with the department. Prerequisite: 105 units and consent of supervisor. See a departmental academic advisor for details.
and any additional 300 or 400 level geography units to total 50 upper division units.
Writing, Quantitative, and Breadth Requirements
Students admitted to Simon Fraser University beginning in the fall 2006 term must meet writing, quantitative and breadth requirements as part of any degree program they may undertake. See Writing, Quantitative, and Breadth Requirements for university-wide information.
WQB Graduation Requirements
A grade of C- or better is required to earn W, Q or B credit
|W - Writing||
|Must include at least one upper division course, taken at Simon Fraser University within the student’s major subject|
|Q - Quantitative||
|Q courses may be lower or upper division|
|B - Breadth||
|Designated Breadth||Must be outside the student’s major subject, and may be lower or upper division
6 units Social Sciences: B-Soc
6 units Humanities: B-Hum
6 units Sciences: B-Sci
|Additional Breadth||6 units outside the student’s major subject (may or may not be B-designated courses, and will likely help fulfil individual degree program requirements)
Students choosing to complete a joint major, joint honours, double major, two extended minors, an extended minor and a minor, or two minors may satisfy the breadth requirements (designated or not designated) with courses completed in either one or both program areas.
Residency Requirements and Transfer Credit
- At least half of the program's total units must be earned through Simon Fraser University study.
- At least two thirds of the program's total upper division units must be earned through Simon Fraser University study.
In addition to the courses listed above, students should consult an academic advisor to plan the remaining required elective courses.