Honours Environmental Biology (54 credits)

Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences     Degree: Bachelor of Science (Agricultural and Environmental Sciences)

Program Requirements

Students can use their electives to complete the Honours program. The courses credited to the Honours program must be in addition to any required or complementary courses taken to satisfy the requirements of the student's Major and Specialization.

In addition to satisfying the Honours requirements, students must apply for the Honours program in March or April of their U2 year. It is the responsibility of the student to find a professor who is willing to support and supervise the research project. No student will be accepted into the program until a supervisor has agreed to supervise the student. Applicants must have a minimum CGPA of 3.3 to enter the Honours program and they must earn a B grade (3.0) or higher in the courses making up the Honours program. Students are required to achieve a minimum overall CGPA of 3.3 at graduation to obtain honours.

The Honours program consists of 12 credits of courses that follow one of two plans listed below.

Students who meet all the requirements will have the name of their program changed to include the word "Honours."

A brief description of the Honours project activities involved will be documented and signed by the Program Director of the student's Major, the supervisor of the Honours project, and the student.

The Environmental Biology Major is about the biology, diversity, and ecology of a broad range of organisms, from plant and vertebrate animals to insects, fungi, and microbes. This Major places a strong emphasis on the ecosystems that species inhabit and the constraints imposed by the physical environment and by environmental change. Environmental Biology has significant field components worked into the course sets, and through this experiential learning, biological diversity, and the ways that species interact with their physical environment in a variety of ecosystems will be studied. The Major makes full use of the unique physical setting and faculty expertise of McGill's Macdonald campus to train students to become ecologists, taxonomists, field biologists, and ecosystem scientists.

Program Prerequisites

Please refer to "Faculty Information and Regulations" > "Minimum Credit Requirements" in this eCalendar for information on prerequisites and minimum credit requirements.

Required Courses (36 credits)

  • AEBI 210 Organisms 1 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Plant Science (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Biology (Agric & Envir Sc) : The biology of plants and plant-based systems in managed and natural terrestrial environments. The interactions between autotrophs and soil organisms and selected groups of animals with close ecological and evolutionary connections with plants (e.g., herbivores and pollinators) will be explored in lecture and laboratory.

    Terms: Fall 2022

    Instructors: Dastmalchi, Mehran (Fall)

    • 3 hours of lecture and 2 hours of lab, per week.

  • AEBI 211 Organisms 2 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Biology (Agric & Envir Sc) : Introduction to the biology of heterotrophs, focusing on animal diversity from the perspectives of phylogenetics, physiology, and ecology. Introduction to major animal taxa, comparing and contrasting these taxa, and exploration of the relationships among them.

    Terms: Winter 2023

    Instructors: Head, Jessica (Winter)

    • Restrictions: None

  • AEBI 212 Evolution and Phylogeny (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Biology (Agric & Envir Sc) : Overview of the tree of life and exploration of the central role evolution plays in the field of biology. Difficulties inherent to classifying life and critically assessing evolutionary theory among scientific and popular audiences. The importance of phylogenetics and the relationships among major groups of organisms.

    Terms: Winter 2023

    Instructors: Gillung, Jessica (Winter)

    • Winter

    • Restriction: Not open to students who have taken WILD 212.

  • AEHM 205 Science Literacy (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    English (Agric & Envir Sc) : Development of English language and information literacy. Problem-based approach using science topics from specializations offered by the Faculty will be central to skill development. The course includes how to research and compose work in scientific format and will encourage a reader-oriented style.

    Terms: Fall 2022, Winter 2023

    Instructors: Newman, Carole; MacKenzie, Emily (Fall) Newman, Carole; MacKenzie, Emily (Winter)

    • Students whose first language is not English are encouraged to register for CESL 299, ESL: Academic English Seminar, or equivalent, prior to starting their program.

  • AEMA 310 Statistical Methods 1 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Plant Science (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Mathematics (Agric&Envir Sci) : Measures of central tendency and dispersion; binomial and Poisson distributions; normal, chi-square, Student's t and Fisher-Snedecor F distributions; estimation and hypothesis testing; simple linear regression and correlation; analysis of variance for simple experimental designs.

    Terms: Fall 2022, Winter 2023

    Instructors: Dutilleul, Pierre R L (Fall)

    • Two 1.5-hour lectures and one 2-hour lab

    • Please note that credit will be given for only one introductory statistics course. Consult your academic advisor.

  • ENVB 210 The Biophysical Environment (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Environmental Biology : With reference to the ecosystems in the St Lawrence lowlands, the principles and processes governing climate-landform-water-soil-vegetation systems and their interactions will be examined in lecture and laboratory. Emphasis on the natural environment as an integrated system.

    Terms: Fall 2022

    Instructors: Kallenbach, Cynthia (Fall)

    • Fall

    • Restriction: Not open to students who have taken SOIL 210

  • ENVB 222 St. Lawrence Ecosystems (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Environmental Biology : Integrative field biology course about the biodiversity and ecology of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems within the St. Lawrence Lowlands. Research projects about the natural history of the regional flora and fauna. Fundamentals of community, ecosystem and landscape ecology.

    Terms: Fall 2022

    Instructors: McKinney, Melissa (Fall)

    • Fall

    • his course carries an additional charge of $19.36 to cover the cost of transportation (bus rental) for local field trips. The fee is refundable only during the withdrawal with full refund period.

  • ENVB 305 Population and Community Ecology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Environmental Biology : Interactions between organisms and their environment; historical and current perspectives in applied and theoretical population and community ecology. Principles of population dynamics, feedback loops, and population regulation. Development and structure of communities; competition, predation and food web dynamics. Biodiversity science in theory and practice.

    Terms: Winter 2023

    Instructors: McKinney, Melissa (Winter)

    • Winter

    • Restriction: Not open to students who have taken WILD 205

  • ENVB 410 Ecosystem Ecology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Environmental Biology : Biotic and abiotic processes that control the flows of energy, nutrients and water through ecosystems; emergent system properties; approaches to analyzing complex systems. Labs include collection and multivariate analysis of field data.

    Terms: Fall 2022

    Instructors: Favret, Karen (Fall)

    • This course carries an additional charge to cover the cost of transportation (bus rental) for local field trips. The fee is refundable only during the withdrawal with full refund period.

    • Prerequisites: ENVB 222, AEMA 310 or permission of instructor

  • LSCI 204 Genetics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Plant Science (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Life Sciences : The course integrates classical, molecular and population genetics of animals, plants, bacteria and viruses. The aim is to understand the flow of genetic information within a cell, within families and in populations. Emphasis will be placed on problem solving based learning. The laboratory exercises will emphasize the interpretation of genetic experimental data.

    Terms: Fall 2022

    Instructors: Charron, Jean-Benoit (Fall)

    • Restriction: Not open to students who have taken BIOL 202.

  • LSCI 211 Biochemistry 1 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Parasitology (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Life Sciences : Biochemistry of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids; enzymes and coenzymes. Introduction to intermediary metabolism.

    Terms: Fall 2022, Winter 2023

    Instructors: Cestari, Igor; Long, Thavy (Fall) Long, Thavy; Cestari, Igor (Winter)

    • Co-requisite: FDSC 230

    • Restriction: Not open to students who have taken FDSC 211

  • LSCI 230 Introductory Microbiology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Life Sciences : The occurrence and importance of microorganisms in the biosphere. Principles governing growth, death and metabolic activities of microorganisms. An introduction to the microbiology of soil, water, plants, food, humans and animals.

    Terms: Winter 2023

    Instructors: Faucher, Sebastien (Winter)

    • Winter

    • Restriction: Not open to students who have taken MICR 230.

Complementary Courses (18 credits)

6 credits from the following:

  • ENTO 330 Insect Biology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Entomology : Introduction to entomology, including the the importance and diversity of insects; insect morphology, anatomy and physiology; insect sensory systems; reproduction; metamorphosis; insect classification and survey of the orders and common families.

    Terms: Fall 2022

    Instructors: Boucher, Stephanie (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 2 lectures and one 2-hour lab

    • Restriction: Not open to students who have taken NRSC 330

  • ENVB 301 Meteorology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Environmental Biology : The physical processes underlying weather. Topics include: the atmosphere - its properties (structure and motion), and thermodynamics (stability, heat and moisture); clouds and precipitation; air masses and fronts; mid-latitude weather systems and severe weather.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2022-2023 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2022-2023 academic year.

    • Restrictions: none

  • ENVB 313 Phylogeny and Biogeography (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Environmental Biology : Topics in the interface of evolution, phylogenetics, and biogeography, including tree thinking, phylogeny estimation, and the processes that generate and maintain biodiversity. The major scientific discoveries that demonstrated how Earth’s history affects the evolution of organisms, including the unheard voices of evolutionary biology.

    Terms: Fall 2022

    Instructors: Gillung, Jessica (Fall)

  • ENVB 437 Assessing Environmental Impact (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Environmental Biology : Principles and practice of Environmental Assessment (EA) in Canada and internationally. Exploration of issues surrounding impact assessment for sustainable development in different sectors, including their limitations.

    Terms: Winter 2023

    Instructors: Hickey, Gordon (Winter)

    • Open to U2 students and above.

  • ENVB 497 Research Project 1 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Environmental Biology : Independent research project in consultation with a faculty supervisor. Selection of a research problem, formulation of hypotheses and objectives, research design, comprehensive literature review, commence data collection.

    Terms: Fall 2022, Winter 2023

    Instructors: Elliott, Kyle (Winter)

    • Fall and Winter

    • Prerequisite(s): AEHM 205 and permission of instructor

    • Restriction: Open to U2 and above, and to students with a minimum CGPA of 3.0.

    • Note 1: Fall and Winter. Enrolment is limited by availability of research project supervisors and to students in the Environmental Biology Major. Students should make arrangements with a willing supervisor, and the proposed supervisor and project are subject to approval. Students must obtain a minimum grade of B in ENVB 497 to be allowed to take ENVB 498.

  • ENVB 498 Research Project 2 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Environmental Biology : Continuation of the independent research project begun in ENVB 497. Data collection and analysis, testing of hypotheses, discussion of results.

    Terms: Fall 2022, Winter 2023

    Instructors: Elliott, Kyle (Fall) Elliott, Kyle (Winter)

    • Fall and Winter

    • Prerequisite(s): ENVB 497 and permission of instructor

    • Restriction(s): Open only to students who have earned a minimum of B in the prerequisite course(s). Enrolment is limited by availability of research project supervisors and to students in the Environmental Biology Major. Students should make arrangements with a willing supervisor, and the proposed supervisor and project are subject to approval.

  • ENVB 529 GIS for Natural Resource Management (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Environmental Biology : Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial analysis techniques to the presentation and analysis of ecological information, including sources and capture of spatial data; characterizing, transforming, displaying spatial data; and spatial analysis to solve resource management problems.

    Terms: Fall 2022

    Instructors: Cardille, Jeffrey; Adamchuk, Viacheslav (Fall)

    • Prerequisite(s): At least one environmental science course and one ecology course or permission of instructor

    • Restriction(s): U2 students and above. Not open to students who have taken GEOG 201, GEOG 306 or GEOG 307, ENVB/BREE 430, or BREE 529. Limited to 32 students.

    • Fall

  • FAES 300 Internship 2 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Agricultural & Env.Sc.-Dean (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Faculty of Agric & Envir Sci : Full-time work-term intended to complement the student's undergraduate studies. Course work will be graded by a Faculty member with expertise relevant to the student's area of study. Finding a work placement is the responsibility of the student and facilitated by the Faculty's Internship Office.

    Terms: Fall 2022, Summer 2023

    Instructors: Gray, Kendra (Fall) Gray, Kendra (Summer)

    • Students will receive a final grade on their transcript. Students must be registered as a full-time student prior to and after enrollment in this course. A mandatory report must be submitted at the end of the Internship to the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Internship Office.

    • Restrictions: Students must be registered as a full-time student prior to and after enrollment in this course. Minimum CGPA of 2.7 required. Open to all students in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

  • MICR 331 Microbial Ecology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Microbiology (Agric&Envir Sc) : The ecology of microorganisms, primarily bacteria and archaea, and their roles in biogeochemical cycles. Microbial interactions with the environment, plants, animals and other microbes emphasizing the underlying genetics and physiology. Diversity, evolution (microbial phylogenetics) and the application of molecular biology in microbial ecology.

    Terms: Winter 2023

    Instructors: Driscoll, Brian T (Winter)

  • PLNT 304 Biology of Fungi (3 credits)

    Offered by: Plant Science (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Plant Science : This course describes the various groups of fungi and explores in depth their biology and physiology, their ecological niches and the role in various ecosystems and their benefits and uses in industry and biotechnology.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2022-2023 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2022-2023 academic year.

    • 3 lectures and one 3-hour lab

    • Restriction: U2 or above, or permission of instructor.

  • PLNT 358 Flowering Plant Diversity (3 credits)

    Offered by: Plant Science (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Plant Science : Principles of classification and identification of flowering plants and ferns, with emphasis on 35 major families of flowering plants and the habitats in which they grow.

    Terms: Fall 2022

    Instructors: Beauregard, Frieda (Fall)

    • A 4-day field week is held the week preceding the start of classes

    • Prerequisite: AEBI 210 or ENVR 202 or permission of instructor

    • An additional fee is charged to all students registered in this course, which has a fieldwork component prior to the beginning of classes in August. This fee is used to support the cost of excursions, a hand lens, instructional handouts and identification aids. Students who have already received a hand lens may request a reimbursement of a portion of this charge through their department.

  • PLNT 460 Plant Ecology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Plant Science (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Plant Science : Theory and practice of plant ecology with an emphasis on the interaction between patterns and ecological processes and the dynamics, conservation and management of plant populations and communities over a range of temporal and spatial scales.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2022-2023 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2022-2023 academic year.

    • 3 lectures and one 3-hour lab

    • Prerequisite: AEMA 310 or permission of instructor.

    • This course carries an additional charge of $30.77 to cover the cost of transportation (bus rental) for local field trips. The fee is refundable only during the withdrawal with full refund period.

  • SOIL 300 Geosystems (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Soil Science : Interactions between Earth's various geologic systems and how these interactions lead to mineral and rock formation. Geomorphic processes and how various landforms are created by the interactions at the Earth's surface between the various geologic systems.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2022-2023 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2022-2023 academic year.

    • Winter

    • Restrictions: Not open to students who have taken SOIL 200. Restricted to U2 students and above.

  • WILD 302 Fish Ecology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Resource Development : Introduction to the biology and ecology of freshwater and marine fishes. Topics include taxonomy, physiology, biogeography, competition, predation, fishing, and conservation. Lab exercises and field trips emphasize familiarity with local fishes and their ecological interactions.

    Terms: Fall 2022

    Instructors: Roy, Denis (Fall)

    • Prerequisite: AEBI 211 or permission of instructor

    • This course carries an additional charge of $38.71 to cover the cost of transportation (bus rental) for local field trips. The fee is only refundable prior to the deadline to withdraw with full refund

  • WILD 307 Natural History of Vertebrates (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Resource Development : The diversity and natural history of Canadian vertebrates illustrated with trophic, phylogenetic, and macroecological approaches.

    Terms: Fall 2022

    Instructors: Humphries, Murray Mitchell (Fall)

    • This course carries an additional charge to cover the cost of transportation (bus rental) for local field trips. The fee is refundable only during the withdrawal with full refund period.

  • WOOD 441 Integrated Forest Management (3 credits)

    Offered by: Natural Resource Sciences (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Woodland Resources : The study of silviculture and silvics and their application to forest management to sustain the production of wood and other ecological goods and services such as wildlife, water and landscape in natural forests and rural environments (agroforestry). Acquisition of practical skills in forest surveying and computer simulation of forest growth.

    Terms: Winter 2023

    Instructors: Côté, Benoît (Winter)

Honours Courses

12 credits of Honours Plan A or Plan B:

Honours Plan A

12 credits of Honours research courses in the subject area of the student's Major, chosen in consultation with the Program Director of the student's Major and the professor who has agreed to supervise the research project.

  • ENVB 401 Honours Research Project 1 (6 credits)

    Offered by: Agricultural & Env.Sc.-Dean (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Environmental Biology : Preparation of a literature review, progress report, and delivery of a proposal seminar, as well as initiating the research project.

    Terms: Fall 2022

    Instructors: Roy, Denis (Fall)

    • Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor

    • Restrictions: Only open to students in the B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.); Honours in Environmental Biology program.

  • ENVB 402 Honours Research Project 2 (6 credits)

    Offered by: Agricultural & Env.Sc.-Dean (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Environmental Biology : Completion of the honours research project, including a progress report, a final project report, and a project presentation.

    Terms: Fall 2022, Winter 2023

    Instructors: Roy, Denis (Fall) Roy, Denis (Winter)

    • Prerequisites: ENVB 401 and permission of the instructor

    • Restrictions: Only open to students in the B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.); Honours in Environmental Biology program.

OR

Honours Plan B

6 credits of Honours project courses in the subject area of the student’s Major as well as 6 credits in 400- or 500-level courses, normally selected from the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, in consultation with the Program Director of the student's Major and the professor who has agreed to supervise the project.

  • ENVB 405 Honours Project 1 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Agricultural & Env.Sc.-Dean (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Environmental Biology : Preparation of a literature review, progress report and delivery of a proposal seminar, as well as initiating the research project.

    Terms: Fall 2022

    Instructors: Roy, Denis (Fall)

    • Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor

    • Restrictions: Only open to students in the B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.); Honours in Environmental Biology program.

  • ENVB 406 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Agricultural & Env.Sc.-Dean (Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)

    Overview

    Environmental Biology : Completion of the honours project, including a progress report, a final project report, and a project presentation.

    Terms: Winter 2023

    Instructors: Roy, Denis (Winter)

    • Prerequisites: ENVB 405 and permission of the instructor

    • Restrictions: Only open to students in the B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.); Honours in Environmental Biology program.

Specialization

At least one specialization of 18-24 credits.

Specializations designed to be taken with the Environmental Biology Major:

- Applied Ecology
- Plant Biology
- Wildlife Biology

Note: For a complete list of specializations offered for students in the Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, refer to "Browse Academic Units & Programs" > "Bachelor of Science (Agricultural and Environmental Sciences) - B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.)" > "Specializations" in this eCalendar. Consult the Academic Adviser for approval of specializations other than those listed above.

Electives

To meet the minimum credit requirement for the degree.

Faculty of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences—2022-2023 (last updated Aug. 24, 2022) (disclaimer)
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