Earth Science Courses

These are my 2014-15 academic year course offerings at MacEwan University. The broad range of topics that they cover reflects my interests in Earth System Science in general, and geomorphology and Quaternary environmental change in particular. In addition, I sometimes deliver an EASC 495 Special Topics seminar course.

Current and potential students should check the MacEwan Academic Calendar and the course-appropriate Blackboard site for course details, prerequisites, course outlines and syllabi etc.

EASC 101 Intro to Physical Earth Science
volcanoThis course provides an introduction to the origin of the Earth and solar system, the concept of geological time, and the identification of minerals and rocks. The theory of plate tectonics and the resulting structural features of the Earth are covered. Surface weathering processes and principles of geomorphology are described. Note: Credit can only be obtained for one of EASC 100 and EASC 101.
3.0 Credits          (45 lecture hours / 36 laboratory hours)          Fall Semester

EASC 225 Introduction to Geomorphology
P7257951This course aims to provide the student with an introduction to Geomorphology- the study of the Earth’s landforms and the processes which produce and modify them. The course seeks to develop an understanding of earth surface processes and landform, exploring glacial, fluvial, permafrost, slope, coastal, karst, and aeolian systems, with particular reference to the last few million years. The evolution of the North American landscape through the late Cenozoic and in particular, the Quaternary history of western Canada forms the core of the course. A fundamental part of the course teaching and assessment will be the student field study project of the Big Bend section along the North Saskatchewan River.
3.0 Credits          (45 lecture hours / 36 laboratory hours)          Fall Semester

EASC 238 Geology of Natural Resources
oil-pump-sunset This course consists of the geological study of the major types of economically important metallic and nonmetallic ore minerals and energy resources. Basic processes which form and concentrate these materials in the Earth are examined. Various methods of exploration and mining of the resources are detailed. Alberta’s coal and petroleum resources are emphasized. Environmental effects of the production and use of mineral and energy resources are discussed.
3.0 Credits          (45 lecture hours)          Winter Semester

EASC 324 Quaternary Environments
P5044666This course offers an introduction to the Quaternary Period. It provides a broader context for studying modern environmental phenomena, delivering an overview of the key methods used in reconstructing Quaternary environmental histories. The first section situates the Quaternary within a broad history of Earth’s climate, discussing Quaternary glaciations and conditions during and since the last Ice Age. The second section of this course reviews the methodologies used to reconstruct past conditions, focusing on how these methods are used as windows into the past. The last part of the course examines in detail several Canadian case studies using the latest research and environmental reconstructions, such as (but not restricted to) the glaciation and deglaciation of Alberta; Quaternary environmental change in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago; and the palaeoenvironments of Beringia. The laboratory classes give hands-on experience with basic environmental reconstruction methodologies and includes winter lake-coring weekend fieldwork.
3.0 Credits          (45 lecture hours / 36 laboratory hours)          Winter Semester

EASC 498 Independent Research
In this course, students will plan, execute and report the results of an independent research project in Earth & Planetary Science under the direction of a faculty supervisor. To be granted enrollment in the course, the student must have made prior arrangements with a faculty member willing to supervise the research project. Note: This course is intended for students in the final year of their degree. This course can be taken twice for credit.
3.0 Credits          (45 lecture hours)          Winter Semester