Fall 2024 - Earth Science Courses

EarthSci 1022A: Earth Rocks!

Instructor: Cam Tsujita ctsujita@uwo.ca

What our planet is made of, how it works, and how it affects us. Framed on the interactions of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. Specific topics include: geological time and earth history; formation of rocks and minerals; rock deformation; volcanoes and earthquakes; plate tectonics and mountain building; natural resources. 

Antirequisite(s):  Earth Sciences 1070A/B, Earth Sciences 1081A/B.

 Course Outline

EarthSci 1023A: Planet Earth Shaken and Stirred

Instructor: Rick Secco secco@uwo.ca

An overview of the origin and development of Earth and solar system; constitution and active processes of Earth interior; how these processes have shaped Earth evolution in the past and how they continue to control surface phenomena such as earthquake and volcanic activity. Labs will introduce the main resource exploration techniques. 

Antirequisite(s): Earth Sciences 2123F/G

 Course Outline: 1023

EarthSci 1083F: Life on Planet Earth

Instructor: Jisuo Jin jjin@uwo.ca

Concepts of the development of life on Earth. Darwinian evolution and modern concepts of evolution. Genetics and evolution. Mode and rate of evolution. A survey of the vertebrate fossil record with focus on particular groups, including dinosaurs. Major extinction events in the fossil record. Origin of the geological time scale.
Antirequisite(s):  Earth Sciences 2265A/B, Earth Sciences 2266F/G.

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EarthSci 1086F: Origin and Geology of the Solar System


Our best perception of the origin of the Universe, the Milky Way Galaxy, and our Solar System, meteorites, asteroids, comets and the formation of planets. The slow growth of Planetary Science reason and analysis of hypotheses. Why and how Earth evolved along a path radically different than the other planets. 

Antirequisite(s):  Earth Sciences 2232F/G, Astronomy 2201A/B, Astronomy 2232F/G, or the former Earth Sciences 2001F/G. 

 Course Outline

EarthSci 2123F: The Dynamic Earth

Instructor: Rick Secco secco@uwo.ca

An introduction to the Earth as a large heat engine; topics will focus on large scale dynamic processes that occur in the deep interior (mantle and core convection) and their relation to activity and phenomena on the face of the Earth (tectonic plate motions, plate interactions, earth magnetic field, etc.). 

Antirequisite(s):  Earth Sciences 1023A/B

 Course Outline: 2123

EarthSci 2200A: Plate Tectonic Theory, Environments and Products

Instructor: Cam Tsujita ctsujita@uwo.ca

Rock types and their distribution within the Earth's crust are a result of tectonics, including continental rifting, seafloor spreading, subduction, obduction, and orogenic uplift and collapse. Lectures synthesize and explain major rock types in primary and secondary tectonic settings. Laboratories examine rocks and textures in hand specimens. 

Prerequisite(s): Any 0.5 Earth Sciences course at the 1000 level or registration in a Major, Specialization, Honors Specialization or Professional program in the Faculty of Science or in the Basic Medical Sciences.

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EarthSci 2206A: Mineral Systems, Crystallography and Optics

Instructor: Roberta Flemming rflemmin@uwo.ca

Introduction to mineral chemistry, crystal chemistry and mineral paragenesis, with emphasis on rock-forming minerals and ore minerals. Identification of minerals and mineral properties in hand specimen and thin section.

Pre-or Corequisite(s): Earth Sciences 2200A/B, or registration in a Materials Science module.

Note: Grade 12 Chemistry or 0.5 course in Chemistry is recommended.

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EarthSci 2232F: Exploring the Planets


An introduction to planetary science and the exciting frontier of space exploration; emphasis is placed on the processes shaping the planets and moons of the Solar System and how this relates to the evolution of Earth, the Solar System, and life; attention paid to current results from planetary exploration missions.

Antirequisite(s): Astronomy 2201A/B, Astronomy 2232F/G. Extra Information: 2 lecture hours, 2 laboratory hours.
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EarthSci 2240F: Catastrophic Events in Earth History

Instructor: Sean Shieh sshieh@uwo.ca 

Rare events so catastrophic that they leave evidence in the geologic record and threaten life on Earth. Included are impacts by asteroids and comets, eruptions from giant resurgent volcanic calderas, large to mega-earthquakes and associated tsunami, and dramatic reduction of atmospheric oxygen by release of reservoirs of methane hydrate.

Antirequisite(s):  Earth Sciences 2241A/B.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of first year requirements.

 Course Outline: 2240

EarthSci 2260A: Stratigraphy and Sedimentology From Basins to Beds

Instructor: Alina Shchepetkina ashchep@uwo.ca

Origins of sedimentary grains. Transport processes. Characteristics of the main types of sedimentary basins. Stratigraphic methods, including litho-, allo-, bio-, chrono-, and magneto-stratigraphy. Labs include examination of sedimentary rocks, well-log correlation and seismic stratigraphic analysis. At least one field trip is organized.

Pre-or Corequisite(s):  Earth Sciences 2200A/B.

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EarthSci 2265A: Paleobiology and Paleoecology

Instructor: Jisuo Jin jjin@uwo.ca

A survey of the fossil record from bacteria, protista, calcareous algae, to invertebrate animals. Topics on each group of fossils include functional morphology, evolutionary trend, ancient living environments, contribution to sediment accumulation and reef-building, utility for dating and correlating rocks and for understanding long-term biodiversity change. 

Pre-or Corequisite(s):  Earth Sciences 2200A/B.

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Earth Sciences 3023F: A Field Course in Land Healing and Responsibility

Instructor: Desmond Moser dmoser22@uwo.ca 
This is an advanced community-based experiential course that combines in-class discussions with community-based research. Students will train in methodologies and ethics of working with First Nations communities. Areas of research may include but not limited to ecological restoration, land claims, self-government, education, health and wellness and urban issues.
Prerequisite(s): Registration in any module in the Department of Earth Sciences.
Extra Information: 2 lecture hours. Cross-listed with Indigenous Studies 4023F and Geography 3001F/G
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EarthSci 3240F: Global Water Sustainability

Instructor: Robert Schincariol schincar@uwo.ca 

An exploration of the issues facing the world’s fresh water supply. Emphasis will be on major
problems in the water arena (e.g., droughts, floods, pollution, population shifts & growth, region specific
climate change, conflict, water rights and allocations). 

Prerequisite(s): At least 1.0 course equivalent at the 2200 level or higher in Biology, Earth Sciences, Environmental Science, Geography, or permission of the department.

 Course Outline: 3240

EarthSci 3313A: Igneous Petrology


Study of igneous processes using rock and thin section descriptions (petrography). Discussion of how different compositions and conditions influence the phases present in a rock (phase equilibria). Association of different rock types with plate tectonic setting. 

Prerequisite(s): Earth Sciences 2206A/B.

 Course Outline

EarthSci 3321A: Physics of the Earth I

Instructor: Rick Secco secco@uwo.ca

An introduction to physics of the Earth's interior. Major topics are: Earth structure from seismic observations, heat flow, the physics of minerals under high temperatures and pressures, equations of state, seismological, thermal and compositional models. 

Prerequisite(s):  Earth Sciences 2220A/B or the former Earth Sciences 2221A/B.

 Course Outline: 3321

*Crosslisted with Geophysics 9572A

EarthSci 3340A: Watershed Hydrology

Instructor: Robert Schincariol schincar@uwo.ca

Occurrence, movement, and behavior of water in the hydrologic cycle. The development of quantitative representations of hydrologic processes (e.g., precipitation, evapotranspirtation, runoff, infiltration and unsaturated flow, saturated flow, surface flow). Analysis of stream response hydrographs. Statistical models of predicting flood responses and water resource management. 

Prerequisite(s): Any 1.0 course equivalent at the 1000 level from Calculus, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, or Statistical Sciences, or the former Linear Algebra 1600A/B.

 Course Outline: 3340


Instructor: Nigel Blamey

A survey course introducing the broad field of mineral deposit geology and the importance of mineral resources. Global theories of ore genesis are considered in deposit classification. Various methods of ore petrology are discussed within the context of specific applications. Laboratory work focuses on reflected light microscopy in the practical study of ore suites. 

Prerequisites: Earth Sciences 2200A/B and Earth Sciences 2206A/B

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EarthSci 4431A: Stable Isotope Geochemistry in Earth and Environmental Science

Instructor: Fred Longstaffe flongsta@uwo.ca

Stable isotopes (O,H,C,S,N), atmosphere, hydrosphere, sedimentary and diagenetic systems, hydrothermal systems, fluid migration, ore-forming fluids, igneous and metamorphic rocks. Environmental applications: groundwater, oceans, wetlands, acid rain; acid mine drainage, climate fluctuation; global cycle modification. 

Prerequisite(s):  Earth Sciences 2230A/B or Earth Sciences 3341A/B or completion of any 2000 level half-course in Chemistry; or registration in the third or fourth year of an Environmental Sciences module; or permission of the Department.

 Course Outline: 4431

*Crosslisted with Geology 9506A

EarthSci 4490E: Senior Thesis


A presentation of research on a chosen problem. Original data must be generated from field or laboratory studies and analyzed using appropriate methodologies. The results must be integrated into the existing literature on the topic. Independence in the conduct and reporting of research must be demonstrated. 

Prerequisite(s): Registration in year 4 of a Specialization, Honors Specialization or Professional Program offered by the Department of Earth Sciences, or permission of the Department.

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