Land Surface Processes and Environmental Change

Land Surface Processes and Environmental Change Domain (63 credits including Core)

Mentor

kathy.roulet [at] mcgill.ca (Kathy Roulet) , 514-398-4306
Bieler School of Environment

This Domain is open only to students in the BSc and BSc (Ag.Env.Sc.) Major in Environment Programs.

How do land surface processes and climate change interact?

The thin soil layer on the planet's land surfaces controls the vital inputs of water, nutrients and energy to terrestrial and freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Widespread occurrences around the globe of desertification, soil erosion, deforestation and land submergence over water reservoirs indicate that this dynamic system is under increasing pressure from population growth and changes in climate and land uses. Production of key green-house gases (water vapor, CO2 and methane) is controlled by complex processes operating at the land surface, involving climate change feedbacks that need to be fully understood, given current global warming trends. The program introduces students to the interacting physical and biogeochemical processes at the atmosphere-lithosphere interface, which fashion land surface habitats and determine their biological productivity and response to anthropogenic or natural environmental changes. Through an appropriate selection of courses, students can prepare for graduate training in emerging research areas such as earth system sciences, environmental hydrology and landscape ecology.

See also Information for Students for details concerning:

  • Suggested First Year Courses
  • Taking courses on both campuses
  • ENVR course sections - beware!

Program Requirements

NOTE: Students are required to take a maximum of 30 credits at the 200 level and a minimum of 12 credits at the 400 level or higher in this program.  This includes Core and Required courses.

NOTE: Revisions have been made to this Domain, shown below, effective Fall 2020.

Core: Required Courses (18 credits)

ENVR 200 - The Global Environment
ENVR 201 - Society,Environ&Sustainability
ENVR 202 - The Evolving Earth
ENVR 203 - Knowledge, Ethics&Environment
ENVR 301 - Environmental Research Design
ENVR 400 - Environmental Thought

Core: Complementary Course — Senior Research Project
(3 credits*)

AEBI 427 - Barbados Interdisc Project (in Barbados)
AGRI 519 - Sustainable Development Plans (M) (Barbados; not offered)
GEOG 451 - Res in Society & Dev in Africa (in Africa)
ENVR 401 - Environmental Research
ENVR 451 - Research in Panama (in Panama)
* only 3 credits will be applied to the program; extra credits will count as electives

Domain Required Course (3 credits)

GEOG 203 - Environmental Systems

Domain Complementary Courses (39 credits)

3 credits of Statistics chosen from:
AEMA 310 - Statistical Methods 1 (M)
GEOG 202 - Statistics & Spatial Analysis
MATH 203 - Principles of Statistics 1
or equivalent

3 credits of Geographic Information Systems chosen from:
GEOG 201 - Intro Geo-Information Science
ENVB 529 - GIS for Natural Resource Mgmt (M)
3 credits of Weather and Climate chosen from:
ATOC 215 - Oceans, Weather and Climate
ENVB 301 - Meteorology (M) (not offered)
9 credits of Fundamental Land Surface Processes chosen from:
GEOG 272 - Earth's Changing Surface
or SOIL 300 - Geosystems (M) (no longer offered)
** Students will not receive credit for both GEOG 272 and SOIL 300

GEOG 305 - Soils and Environment
or ENVB 210 - The Biophysical Environment (M)

GEOG 321 - Climatic Environments (not offered)

GEOG 322 - Environmental Hydrology
or BREE 217 - Hydrology and Water Resources (M)
3 credits of Environment and Resource Management chosen from:
AGRI 452 - Water Resources in Barbados (M) (not offered; Barbados)
AGRI 550 - Sustained Tropical Agriculture (M) (offered alternate years; in Panama)

BIOL 308 - Ecological Dynamics (not offered 2022-2023)
or ENVB 305 - Population & Community Ecology (M)

BIOL 465 - Conservation Biology
CIVE 225 - Environmental Engineering
ENVB 437 - Assessing Environmental Impact (M)
ENVB 530 - Adv GIS for Natural Res Mgmt (M)
ENVR 422 - Mtl Urban Sustainability Anal (not offered 2022-2023)
ESYS 301 - Earth System Modelling
GEOG 302 - Environmental Management 1
GEOG 308 - Rem Sens for Earth Observation
GEOG 404 - Environmental Management 2 (in Africa)
GEOG 506 - Adv Geographic Information Sci
GEOG 530 - Global Land & Water Resources
SOIL 315 - Soil Nutrient Management (M)
WILD 421 - Wildlife Conservation (M)
WOOD 441 - Integrated Forest Management (M)
3 credits of a Field Course chosen from:
ATOC 555 - Field Course 1
BIOL 553 - Neotropical Environments (in Panama)
GEOG 495 - Field Studies-Physical Geog (at Mont St Hilaire)
GEOG 496 - Geographical Excursion (Barbados)
GEOG 499 - Subarctic Field Studies (Schefferville; no longer offered)
WILD 475 - Desert Ecology (M) (in Arizona; offered in alternate winters)
3 credits of Social Science chosen from:
AGEC 333 - Resource Economics (M)
ANTH 339 - Ecological Anthropology
ECON 225 - Economics of the Environment
ECON 326 - Ecological Economics
ECON 405 - Natural Resource Economics
ENVR 421 - Mtl:Envr Hist & Sustainability (not offered 2022-2023)

GEOG 221 - Environment and Health (not offered)
or NRSC 221 - Environment and Health (M) (not offered)

GEOG 408 - Geography of Development
GEOG 498 - Humans in Tropical Envirnmnts (offered in alternate years; in Panama)
HIST 510 - Enviro. Hist. of L. Am (Field) (offered in alternate years; in Panama)
POLI 350 - Global Environmental Politics (not offered)
URBP 520 - Globaliz: Planning & Change (Barbados; not offered)
WCOM 314 - Communicating Science

12 credits total of Advanced Studies chosen from the following two lists:

3 credits minimum of advanced study of Particular Environments
BIOL 432 - Limnology
ENVB 410 - Ecosystem Ecology (M)
GEOG 372 - Running Water Environments (not offered)
GEOG 470 - Wetlands
GEOG 550 - Historical Ecology Techniques  
PLNT 358 - Flowering Plant Diversity (M)
PLNT 460 - Plant Ecology (M) (not offered)
3 credits minimum of advanced study of Surface Processes
ATOC 315 - Thermodynamics and Convection
BREE 509 - Hydrologic Systems & Modelling (M) (not offered)
EPSC 549 - Hydrogeology
GEOG 401 - Socio-Envrnmntl Sys:Thry & Sim
GEOG 505 - Global Biogeochemistry (not offered 2022-2023)
GEOG 537 - Advanced Fluvial Geomorphology (not offered)
MICR 331 - Microbial Ecology (M)
NRSC 333 - Pollution and Bioremediation (M)
SOIL 510 - Environmental Soil Chemistry (M) (cancelled 2022-2023)
SOIL 535 - Soil Ecology (M)
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