Degree Programs

Environmental Earth Sciences

Environmental Earth Sciences programs examine the interactions between the physical, biological, and human components of the Earth to understand our local and global environments and provide solutions to environmental problems.  Given the broad array of environmental challenges facing society, this interdisciplinary program of study has never been more important. 

Sample careers:  Environmental consulting, Terrain Analysis, Hydrogeologist.

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Geology

Geology is the study of the solid Earth, its structure, the rocks of which it is made, and the processes that affected it through time.  Field work is an important component of studying Geology.  Students learn how to observe and interpret rocks in the field, and to study samples in the lab in order to reveal the history of the Earth’s crust and interior.  Graduates apply this training to a wide variety of societal needs. 

Sample careers: Geologist, Minerals or Petroleum Explorationist, Hydrogeologist, Geochemist, GIS Specialist.

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Human Geography

Human Geography focuses on the relationships between societies and built and natural environments.  Key interests of human geographers include: the social and spatial characteristics of town, cities and regions; the ways in which places and which places and communities can support health and wellbeing; the impacts of environmental changes and hazards on households and communities.  Examining these real-world issues and challenges from a geographical perspective often involves combining original information with academic theories and concepts.  In other words, ‘thinking spatially’ involves combining the theoretical and the practical.

Sample careers: Sustainability Coordinator, Policy Analyst, Affordable Housing Project Lead.

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Planning Program

The Planning programs educate students how to weigh multiple public interests and to work collaboratively with various stakeholders to shape decisions about land, resources, and services to create healthy, sustainable communities.  The Bachelor of Science Specialization in Planning focuses on natural science elements of planning, including environmental management and the use of geographic information sciences.  The Bachelor of Arts major in Planning focuses on the aesthetic, economic, and social issues of planning. 

Sample careers:  City Planner, Environmental Planner, Transit/Transportation Planner

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Paleontology

Paleontology programs are concerned with the evolutionary history of life beginning billions of years ago, when matter and energy first organized life out of chaos, to the present day’s astonishing diversity of living things.  As a science, paleontology examines and explains the patterns and processes of evolution as preserved in the fossil record.  Students are required to have a broad base of biological and geological knowledge.  Areas of study include vertebrate and invertebrate paleobiology, paleobotany, evolutionary biology, systematics, functional morphology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, and plate tectonics.

Sample careers:  Museum Curator, Field Researcher, Professor, Educator, Invertebrate or Vertebrate Paleontologist.

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For descriptions of Degree Programs and courses you can also consult the University of Alberta Calendar


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