Water Related Courses Offered at Queen's
(for full updated undergraduate course list click here)
(for full updated graduate course list click here)
GPHY 103 – Water Resources
Although considered a renewable resource, water is becoming ever more scarce in many parts of the world due to increasing demand and pollution pressures. This course examines dimensions of the world’s need for this critical resource. Topics include water distribution and availability, different uses and demands, water treatment, pollution issues, freshwater ecosystem conservation, and approaches to water management and allocation.
GPHY 208 – Geomorphology and Pedology
Geomorphology involves the study of the materials, forces and processes that shape the earth's surface. Earth surface materials (minerals and rocks) are derived at depth in the earth's crust, with structures resulting from tectonic activity, volcanism or burial. Surface materials may then be broken down further and/or rearranged by gravity and fluid media driven by solar and gravitational energy. Pedology involves the study of the development, composition, and structure of soils, that result from the break down of rocks at the surface by weathering. Students are introduced to the chemical and physical nature of the materials that makeup the earth’s surface, and the variety of processes that govern the movement, deposition, shaping, and breakdown of these materials. The labs are designed to enhance the students’ ability to recognize landforms using aerial photographs and topographic maps, and to interpret and analyse the processes responsible for the different landforms. These assignments provide students an opportunity to enhance their technical, numerical, and writing skills; and require the use of spreadsheets, word processing and problem solving skills.
GPHY 209 – Principles of Hydroclimatology
The objective of GPHY 209 is to provide a fundamental understanding from a scientific basis of the processes operating in the atmosphere and the hydrosphere. The course specifically focuses on their interaction, and how this influences our weather, climate, and hydrology. Topics will include (yet are not restricted to) the physical properties of the atmosphere, radiation laws, radiation and energy balances, global circulation, atmospheric moisture and precipitation, stability and adiabatic processes, weather systems, weather forecasting, mechanisms of climate change, El Niño/La Niña events.
GPHY 304 – Arctic and Periglacial Environments
The goal of this course is to provide students with a background in Arctic System Science and contemporary issues in Arctic. While the emphasis of material will be on Canadian examples and context, in large part due to my experience in this region, the material broadly applies to all polar regions, including the Antarctic. Arctic System Science covers a wide range of natural science topics that are focused on identifying how different components of the Arctic environment function, interact, and are sensitive to changes caused by climate and human activities. The course will present a selection of topics in Arctic System Science, with the assumption that students will have some previous coursework in the natural sciences to support their experience.
GPHY 314 – Climate Change
This course examines the Earth formation and the history of climate change. The main focus of this course is upon the climatic aspects of environmental change which affect Great Lakes, water levels, disappearing glaciers, sea level rise, desertification and dwindling water resources in an ever more populous world. These changes to the earth surface environment are explored in the context of themes and issues with a view to answering an important question: whether policy action on climate change must wait for more science, or whether action is merely delayed by failure to appreciate science. Case studies, debate and group presentations will allow to study in details the main issues pertaining to climate change such as: the past and history of climate change, the current climate change, the impacts of climate change and the role of humans as agents of climatic system change, the projected future climates and the likely future effects of global warming.