Environmental Geoscience program at Trent University

The Environmental Geoscience program at Trent University, Canada’s leading environmental university, integrates the disciplines of geology, biology, chemistry and geography. As a student in this program, you will have the opportunity to study the interaction between human activities and earth systems alongside some of the world’s leading environmental researchers and scientists. Not only will you receive specialized training in environmental geoscience, including techniques used in geotechnical investigations, you will also be able to apply your learning into practice in the field and through hands-on research.  The program provides students with the knowledge requirements for becoming an accredited Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo.) with the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario.  

Field Methods in Environmental Geoscience, Fall term

Students will learn essential field skills including designing a field study, mapping, and measurement techniques. The geology of Southern Ontario and its mining industry will be examined along with the potential for environmental impacts. Most instruction will take place during required field trips with students submitting weekly technical reports. Download the 2018 syllabus.

Past exercises have included:

Cordova Mines - investigating acid mine drainage at an historic gold mine

Covia Nepheline Syenite Mine - tour and sampling of waste rock and tailings

Bannockburn Gold Property - exploration of a gold deposit

Phytoremediation at Cordova Mines - construction of remediation plots

Canada Talc Mine - study of the closed and remediated talc mine

Warsaw Caves - explore the caves and conduct a water sampling survey

Ian Power’s Field Methods in Environmental Geoscience has been my favourite class so far. He went out of his way to ensure this course would teach us basic field methods and even have the chance to try and solve environmental geoscience problems on a smaller scale.
— https://www.trentu.ca/envirogeoscience/experience

Earth materials, winter term

This course introduces students to the study of rocks and minerals, including their description, classification, and origin. Rocks and minerals of environmental (e.g., human health) and economic importance are emphasized. Practical laboratory exercises will enable students to become proficient at identifying rocks and minerals using physical and optical properties. Download the 2019 syllabus.

Laboratory exercises include examining mineral specimens, as well as igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks…learning about the solid Earth!

Earth materials was my favourite course in my undergraduate studies. It taught me the importance of rocks and minerals from an environmental and economic standpoint, leading me to amazing research opportunities in Environmental Geosciences!