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Environmental & Earth Sciences Gateway

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Below is a list of some courses, including a brief description, that you may find yourself taking during your first year of this program. For formal policies governing mandatory courses and the order in which they have to be taken, please refer to McMaster’s Undergraduate Calendar.

 

Some Courses You May Take

An introduction to environmental geology through the study of processes that form the Earth and its surface features, such as plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, coastlines and glaciers. Two field trips will be held during regular lab periods.
Three lectures, one lab (two hours); one term
Antirequisite(s): ENVIRSC 1G03
Not open to students with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B 
An introduction to the science of environmental issues and sustainability through the study of the soil, climate and water processes.
Lectures, web modules (three hours), one lab (two hours); one term
Co-requisite(s): WHMIS 1A00, if not already completed, must be completed prior to the first lab.
Antirequisite(s): ENVIRSC 1A03, 1B03 
For students in science: geared towards applications, with attention to underlying concepts. Functions: limits, continuity, derivatives, optimization, curve sketching. Antiderivative, definite integral, techniques of integration.
Three lectures, one tutorial; one term
Prerequisite(s): Grade 12 Calculus and Vectors U or MATH 1F03
Antirequisite(s): ARTSSCI 1D06 A/B, MATH 1LS3, 1N03, 1X03, 1Z04, 1ZA3
Not open to students who have achieved a grade of at least B- in MATH 1M03. Not open to students in Mathematics and Statistics I or an Engineering program or with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B.
Topics from differential and integral calculus, differential equations, discrete-time dynamical systems, chosen for their relevance to the life sciences.
Three lectures, one tutorial; one term
Prerequisite(s): Grade 12 Calculus and Vectors U or MATH 1F03
Antirequisite(s): MATH 1A03
Not open to students with credit or registration in ARTSSCI 1D06 A/B, ISCI 1A24 A/B, MATH 1M03, 1N03, 1X03, 1Z04, 1ZA3.
A first course in the techniques of the differential calculus including exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions. An introduction to vector geometry.
Three lectures, one tutorial; one term
Prerequisite(s): Grade 12 Advanced Functions U or MATH 1K03
Not open to students with credit in Grade 12 Calculus and Vectors U.
Introduction to basic biological principles for students without Grade 12 Biology U.
Three lectures; one term
Not open to students with credit in Grade 12 Biology U.
Structure, molecular composition and function in sub-cellular and cellular systems.
Three hours (lectures, web modules), one lab (two hours); one term
Prerequisite(s): One of Grade 12 Biology U, BIOLOGY 1P03 or registration in an Engineering program
Co-requisite(s): WHMIS 1A00, and BIOSAFE 1BS0 (or HTHSCI 1BS0) if not already completed. Both requirements must be completed prior to the first lab.
Not open to students with credit or registration in HTHSCI 1I06 A/B or ISCI 1A24 A/B. Students are strongly encouraged to take BIOLOGY 1A03 and BIOLOGY 1M03 in the different terms.
Fundamental evolutionary and ecological concepts with particular reference to the diversity of life.
Three lectures, seminar/lab (two hours every other week); one term
Prerequisite(s): Grade 12 Biology U or BIOLOGY 1P03
Not open to students with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B. Students are strongly encouraged to take BIOLOGY 1A03 and 1M03 in the different terms.
A general introduction to chemistry, suitable for students without Grade 12 Chemistry U.
Three lectures, one tutorial; Winter term
Prerequisite(s): Grade 11 Chemistry SCH3U
Not open to students with 80% or higher in Grade 12 Chemistry U or with credit or registration in CHEM 1A03.
A discussion of chemical fundamentals, including bonding, structure, reactivity, and energetics, with emphasis on applications to health, energy, and the environment. Laboratories highlight hands-on experimental techniques; tutorials support the development of problem-solving skills.
Lectures, web modules (three hours), one lab (two and one half hours) every other week; one term
Prerequisite(s): Grade 12 Chemistry U and either registration in a Level I program in the Faculty of Science or Engineering I/Engineering I Co-Op, Arts & Science I, Health Sciences I, any program above Level I; or a grade of at least 80% in Grade 12 Chemistry U; or CHEM 1R03
Co-requisite(s): WHMIS 1A00 if not already completed, must be completed prior to the first lab.
Antirequisite(s): CHEM 1E03
Not open to students with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B.
A first course in university physics, taught using examples and applications from many areas of science. Topics include the concepts of force and energy, mechanics, waves and fluids.
Lectures, web modules (three hours), one lab (two hours) every other week; one term
Prerequisite(s): One of Grade 12 Calculus and Vectors U, Grade 12 Advanced Functions and Introductory Calculus U, MATH 1F03
Co-requisite(s): WHMIS 1A00 if not already completed, must be completed prior to the first lab.
Antirequisite(s): PHYSICS 1B03, 1C03
Not open to students with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B or PHYSICS 1D03. It is recommended that students in Chemical and Physical Sciences Gateway complete PHYSICS 1C03.
Introduction to safety guidelines at McMaster University, acceptable safety conduct and positive safety attitudes and practices in laboratories and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).
This course is evaluated on a Complete/Fail basis.
Web modules
Antirequisite(s): ART 1HS0, ENGINEER 1A00, ENGTECH 1A00, NURSING 1A00, SCIENCE 1A00
This requirement must be completed prior to the start of the first lab. Students who fail the quiz must reattempt it and will not be permitted in any course with a lab component or any Level II ART course until the requirement has been successfully completed.
Formerly HTHSCI 1BS0
BSL 1 biosafety training for the handling of non-pathogenic bacteria, cell lines, blood and body fluids or mammalian tissues based on federal laboratory biosafety guidelines.
This course is evaluated on a Complete/Fail basis.
Web module
BSL 1 must be completed prior to the start of the first lab for all courses for which it is required. Students who fail the quiz will be required to repeat it and will not be permitted in any course where BIOSAFE 1BS0 is a requirement until the quiz has been successfully completed.

Students from any Level I Science program can (through careful Level I course selection) pursue any Level II program in:

Students who complete Environmental and Earth Sciences Gateway often pursue the following programs:

Honours Bachelor of Science (Hons. B. Sc.) Programs

  • Honours Earth and Environmental Sciences*
  • Honours Environmental Sciences*
  • Honours Geography and Environmental Sciences*

*Co-op programs are available, beginning in Level III

Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.) Programs

  • Environmental Sciences

Minors

  • Minor in Earth Sciences
  • Minor in Environmental Sciences
  • Minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Minor in Geography
  • Minor in Geography and Earth Sciences

Careers/Options Beyond This Program

  • Environmental Consultant
  • GIS Analyst
  • Hydrologist
  • Conservation Officer
  • Urban or Transportation Planner
  • Land Surveyor
  • Petroleum and Mining
  • Geologists
  • Field Technician
  • Environmental Remediation

Information about the types of careers graduates from McMaster’s Faculty of Science pursue, assistance with cover letter, resume writing and mock interviews is available on the Science Career and Cooperative Education Office website.

 

Our vision is to see every McMaster Science student reach their career potential and have a meaningful impact on the scientific community. Focusing on Career, Experiential and Cooperative Education, the Science Career and Cooperative Education (SCCE) office guides students on their career path and helps them to be successful in their chosen field.

Career Education

We provide students with tools and knowledge to plan for success today and prepare for a future in the field of science. Students can receive individualized services to help them achieve short and long term goals.

Career education services available to all science students include:

  • Career Advising and Exploration
  • Career Resources
  • Cover Letter and Resume Critiques
  • Career Events and Guest Speakers
  • Post-graduate Planning
  • Job Search Strategies
  • Mock Interviews
  • Training and Workshops
  • Networking Opportunities

Cooperative Education

Cooperative education emphasizes the partnership between the employer, the student and McMaster University. Co-op provides students with paid work opportunities to experience the world of work and gain academically- relevant skills. In a co-op program,students have the opportunity to acquire up to 16 months of work experience prior to graduation.

Current Faculty of Science co-op programs, all of which begin at Level III:

  • Actuarial and Financial Mathematics
  • Biochemistry – Biomedical Research Specialization
  • Chemical Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Geography and Environmental Sciences
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematics and Statistics (including sub-plans) • Medical and Biological Physics
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Physics

Experiential Education

Experiential education allows students to gain real world, relevant experience in a community, research or professional setting, while working towards their degree requirements. Students benefit from the combination of academic and applied learning, which helps students further develop the necessary qualities and skills valuable to their future careers.

Experiential education opportunities include:

  • Applied Placements
  • Research Practicums
  • Science Internships
Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m.
GEOG 1HA3

Human Geography (Lecture)

ENVIRSC 1G03

Environmental Sciences (Lecture)

ENVIRSC 1G03

Environmental Sciences (Lecture)

GEOG 1HA3

Human Geography (Lecture)

ENVIRSC 1G03

Environmental Sciences (Lecture)

10:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m.
BIOLOGY 1M03

Biodiversity, Evolution, and Humanity (Lecture)

BIOLOGY 1M03

Biodiversity, Evolution, and Humanity (Lecture)

BIOLOGY 1M03

Biodiversity, Evolution, and Humanity (Lecture)

12:30 p.m.
ENVIRSC 1G03

Environmental Sciences (Lab)

MATH 1LS3

Calculus (Lecture)

MATH 1LS3

Calculus (Lecture)

MATH 1LS3

Calculus (Lecture)

1:30 p.m.
2:30 p.m.
GEOG 1HA3

Human Geography (Tutorial)

CHEM 1A03

Chemistry (Lab)

BIOLOGY 1M03

Biodiversity, Evolution, and Humanity (Tutorial)

3:30 p.m.
MATH 1LS3

Calculus (Tutorial)

4:30 p.m.
5:30 p.m.
CHEM 1A03

Chemistry (Lecture)

CHEM 1A03

Chemistry (Lecture)

The School of Geography & Earth Sciences is amongst the most advanced in Canada in terms of its experience in training candidates for advanced degrees. The facilities include;

  • analytic and experimental laboratories for climatology, and geomorphology
  • a geographic information system laboratory; and
  • a comprehensive map collection.

The School of Geography & Earth Sciences is well equipped with analytical facilities including:

  • mass spectrometers
  • X-ray fluorescence
  • atomic absorption
  • spectrometers, and
  • gamma ray spectrometer.

Transmission and scanning electron microscopes with elemental analysis facilities are available and commonly used.

School facilities for Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) have been used in the study of archaeological sites, earthquake recurrence rates, coastal sediments and hominid evolution. There are laboratories for the study of aqueous geochemistry, experimental sedimentology, x-ray diffraction and fluorescence, rock/mineral analysis, radiochemistry, mass spectrometry and fossils.

The School maintains a suite of geophysical equipment for the acquisition of magnetic, gravity and IP/Resistivity data. In addition, an industry standard computing system is used for the imaging of geophysical and remote sensing information and interpretive modeling of potential field data.

The Geographic Information Systems Laboratory consists of two labs, each lab consists of 25 Windows 7 x64 clients with 8GB of RAM and upgraded video cards for 3D Visualization. The lab also contains 12 digitizing tablets, a digitizing table, 24 eTrex Legend GPS Units, 12 SXPad Mobile devices with ArcPAD 10 installed and 4 SXBLUE GNSS units for submeter accuracy, 5 Thales MobileMapper CE units, and there is access to an HP DesignJet plotter.

Profiles & Alumni


Overview: Environmental & Earth Sciences
Introducing: Geography and Earth Sciences