Physical and Environmental Sciences

Physical and Environmental Sciences: Introduction

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Faculty Affiliation

University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC)

Degree Programs

Environmental Science

​​MEnvSc​
Fields:
Biophysical Interactions in Terrestrial and Aquatic Systems
Climate Change Impact Assessment
Conservation and Biodiversity​
​PhD​
Concentrations:
Climate Change and the Environment
Contaminant Flux
Environmental Science in Transitional Economies
Great Lakes Ecosystems
Remediati​on and Restoration of Degraded Environmental Systems
Urban Geoscience

Collaborative Specializations

The following collaborative specialization is available to students in the participating degre​e programs as listed below:

Environment and Health

  • Environmental Science, MEnvSc, PhD​

Overview

The Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences offers opportunities for graduate studies in environmental science, leading to the degrees of Master of Environmental Science (MEnvSc) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Environmental Science.

Contact and Address

Web: www.utsc.utoronto.ca/gradpes
Email: MEnvSc: menvsc@utsc.utoronto.ca
PhD: epick@utsc.utoronto.ca
Telephone: MEnvSc: (416) 287-7205
PhD: (416) 208-2910
Fax: (416) 287-7204

Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences
University of Toronto Scarborough
1265 Military Trail, Environmental Science & Chemistry Building
Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4
Canada

Physical and Environmental Sciences: Graduate Faculty

Full Members

Abbatt, Jonathan - BSc, PhD
Allen, D Grant - BASc, MASc, PhD
Andrade, Maydianne - BSc, MS, PhD
Archontitsis, Georgios - BSc, MSc, DScA (Graduate Chair)
Boonstra, Rudy - BSc, PhD
Cadotte, Marc W. - BS, MS, PhD
Campbell, Malcolm - DPhil
Chen, Jing - BSc, PhD
Cowling, Sharon - BSc, MSc, PhD
Desloges, Joseph - BES, MSc, PhD
Diamond, Miriam - MSc, MSc, PhD
Dittrich, Maria B. - BES, MSc, PhD
Donaldson, D. James - PhD
Edwards, Elizabeth - BEng, PhD
Evans, Gregory - PhD
Eyles, Nicholas - BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc
Finkelstein, Sarah - AB, MPH, PhD
Fulthorpe, Roberta - BSc, MSc, PhD
Gough, William - BSc, MSc, PhD
He, Yuhong - PhD
Hoffmann, Matthew - BSc, PhD
Howard, Kenneth - BSc, MSc, PhD
Isaac, Marney Elizabeth - BS, MES, PhD
Jackson, Donald - BSc, MSc, PhD
Kerman, Kagan - BScPhm, MSc, ScD
Klenk, Nicole - BS, MSc, PhD
Kraatz, Heinz-Bernhard - BA, MC, PhD (Vice-Principal, Research)
Kronzucker, Herbert - PhD
Lovejoy, Nathan Richard - BSc, MS, PhD
Malcolm, Jay - BSc, MSc, PhD
Miall, Andrew - BSc, PhD
Mitchell, Carl - PhD
Molnar, Peter Kalman - BS, MMath, PhD
Murphy, Jennifer - BCh, DChem
Sherwood Lollar, Barbara - PhD
Short, Steven - BSc, PhD
Siegel, Jeffrey Alexander - BS, MS, PhD
Simpson, Andre - BSc, PhD
Simpson, Myrna - BS, DPhil
Smith, Sandy - BAgrSc, MSc, PhD
Tsuji, Leonard - BSc, DDS, PhD
Vanlerberghe, Greg - BSc, MSc, PhD
Wania, Frank - MPH, PhD
Wells, Mathew - BS, DPhil
Wortmann, Ulrich - BSc, MSc, PhD

Members Emeriti

Burton, Ian - BA, MA, PhD
Stefanovic, Ingrid - BA, MA, PhD

Associate Members

Arnot, Jon - BS, MES, PhD
Bailey, Sarah - BSc, PhD
Bergquist, Bridget - BS, PhD
Comer, Neil - BA, MA, PhD
Dennis, Philip - BSc, MASc
Doughty, Mike - BS, MS
Fenech, Adam - BA, MES
Gerber, Richard - BSc, MSc, PhD
Harner, Tom - BChe, ME, DrEng
Helm, Paul - BSc, MASc, DChem
Hung, Hayley - BChe, MS, PhD
Koops, Marten A. - BSc, MSc, PhD
Laidler, Gita - BA, MSc, PhD
Lehnherr, Igor - BSc, PhD
MacLellan, James - BA, MS, DPhil
Mandrak, Nicholas - BSc, MSc, PhD
McIelwain, Tom - BS
Meriano, Mandana - ScD
Mirza, Monirul - BSE, MEng, PhD
Muir, Derek - BSc, MSc, PhD
Ollson, Christopher A. - BSc, MSc, PhD
Palmer, Michelle - BSc, MSc, PhD
Weyl, Olaf - PhD
Wunch, Debra - BSc, MSc, PhD
Yerubandi, Ram - MTech, PhD
Young, Joelle - BSc, MA, PhD

Physical and Environmental Sciences: Environmental Science MEnvSc

Master of Environmental Science

Program Description

The MEnvSc is a 12-month degree program committed to the development of well-trained practitioners in environmental science in all fields, primarily to meet the needs of industry, governments, and environmental policy/education organizations.

The MEnvSc offers three enrolment options—research, internship, and part-time studies—in each of the three fields. The three designated fields of study are:

  1. Biophysical Interactions in Terrestrial and Aquatic Systems: A major focus is understanding the flux of contaminants and excess nutrients through surface and sub-surface environments and the methods/solutions needed to remediate contaminated or damaged environmental systems.

  2. Climate Change Impact Assessment: Students are trained in the science, data analysis, and rigorous assessment process for the impacts of climate change on a wide range of natural and human systems.

  3. Conservation and Biodiversity: A major focus is the application of ecological theory and principles to real-world conservation challenges.

In all three fields, students can opt for an internship or a research option after eight months of coursework. The Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences has the support of two dedicated internship coordinators who help them to find and successfully complete an internship by focusing on development of their job seeking, interpersonal, communication, and critical thinking skills. The MEnvSc program works closely with a broad employer base for internship opportunities. Research-stream MEnvSc students receive intensive and individualized academic and research support from mentors of their choice.

Full-time and part-time study options are available in all fields and study modes.

 

Field: Biophysical Interactions in Terrestrial and Aquatic Systems

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English, and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English, must demonstrate proficiency in English. See General Regulations section 4.3 for requirements.

  • A minimum mid-B grade average in the last two years of the undergraduate program.

  • Applicants must submit a written statement explaining their objectives for entering the program and the suitability of their background. Appropriate post-graduate work experiences will be considered as part of the admission application.

  • A science or engineering undergraduate degree including at least two half courses or one full course in each of chemistry, physics, calculus, and biology.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework consists of 5.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • EES 1100H Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science (0.5 FCE)

    • Complete either: 

      • 3.0 FCEs in elective courses (see the course list) and 2.0 FCEs for the internship (EES 1116Y) or

      • 3.5 FCEs in elective courses (see the course list) and 1.5 FCEs for the research paper (EES 1101Y). Students planning to complete the research paper option must complete the prerequisite EES 1114H.

  • Students will choose either a research or internship option.
    Research option: Each student is required to have a research supervisor. For full-time students, the intensive research necessary for the research paper will normally be completed in the final Summer session. The final research paper needs to be written in scientific journal format and will be presented and defended orally in front of an examination committee. The committee will include the supervisor and two other members of the graduate faculty.
    Internship option: For full-time students, the placement in private industry, government, or a non-governmental organization (NGO) will normally be completed in the final Summer session. It will consist of a minimum of four consecutive months. Successful completion of the internship is based on an assessment completed by the student's work supervisor and on an assessment of a written placement project report.

  • A final grade below 70% in any course equates to an FZ, which is an insufficient grade. A MEnvSc student who receives more than one final grade of FZ (i.e., two or more) will be recommended for termination of registration from the MEnvSc program.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time​

 

Field: Climate Change Impact Assessment

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must demonstrate proficiency in English. See General Regulations section 4.3 for requirements.

  • A minimum mid-B grade average in the last two years of the undergraduate program.

  • Applicants must submit a written statement explaining their objectives for entering the program and the suitability of their background. Appropriate post-graduate work experiences will be considered as part of the admission application.

  • A science or engineering undergraduate degree including at least two half courses or one full course in each of chemistry, physics, calculus, and biology.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework consists of 5.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • EES 1100H Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science (0.5 FCE)

    • EES 1117H Climate Change Impact Assessment (0.5 FCE)

    • EES 1131H Applied Climatology (0.5 FCE)

    • EES 1132H Climate Data Analysis (0.5 FCE)

    • EES 1133H Climate Change Science and Modelling (0.5 FCE)

    • EES 1134H Climate Change Policy (0.5 FCE)

    • Completion of either: 

      • 0.5 FCE in elective courses (see course list) and 2.0 FCEs for the internship (EES 1116Y), or

      • 1.0 FCE in elective courses (see course list) and 1.5 FCEs for the research paper (EES 1101Y). Students planning to complete the research paper option must complete the prerequisite (EES 1114H).

  • Students will choose either a research or internship option.
    Research option: Each student is required to have a research supervisor. For full-time students, the intensive research necessary for the research paper will normally be completed in the final Summer session. The final research paper needs to be written in scientific journal format and will be presented and defended orally in front of an examination committee. The committee will include the supervisor and two other members of the graduate faculty.
    Internship option: For full-time students, the placement in private industry, government, or a non-governmental organization (NGO) will normally be completed in the final Summer session. It will consist of a minimum of four consecutive months. Successful completion of the internship is based on an assessment completed by the student's work supervisor and on an assessment of a written placement project report.

  • A final grade below 70% in any course equates to an FZ, which is an insufficient grade. A MEnvSc student who receives more than one final grade of FZ (i.e., two or more) will be recommended for termination of registration from the MEnvSc program.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

 

Field: Conservation and Biodiversity

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must demonstrate proficiency in English. See General Regulations section 4.3 for requirements.

  • A minimum mid-B grade average in the last two years of the undergraduate program.

  • Applicants must submit a written statement explaining their objectives for entering the program and the suitability of their background. Appropriate post-graduate work experiences will be considered as part of the admission application.

  • An undergraduate degree in biology or a closely related field.​

Program Requirements

  • Coursework consists of 5.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • EES 1100H Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science (0.5 FCE)

    • EES 3000H Applied Conservation Biology (0.5 FCE)

    • EES 3001H Professional Scientific Literacy (0.5 FCE)

    • EES 3002H Conservation Policy (0.5 FCE)

    • EES 3003H Topics in Applied Biodiversity (0.5 FCE)

    • Completion of either:

      • 1.0 FCE in elective courses (see the course list) and 2.0 FCEs for the internship (EES 1116Y) or

      • 1.5 FCEs in elective courses (see the course list) and 1.5 FCEs for the research paper (EES 1101Y).

  • Students will choose either a research or internship option.
    Research option: Each student is required to have a research supervisor. For full-time students, the intensive research necessary for the research paper will normally be completed in the final Summer session. The final research paper needs to be written in scientific journal format and will be presented and defended orally in front of an examination committee. The committee will include the supervisor and two other members of the graduate faculty.
    Internship option: For full-time students, the placement in private industry, government, or a non-governmental organization (NGO) will normally be completed in the final Summer session. It will consist of a minimum of four consecutive months. Successful completion of the internship is based on an assessment completed by the student's work supervisor and on an assessment of a written placement project report.

  • A final grade below 70% in any course equates to an FZ, which is an insufficient grade. A MEnvSc student who receives more than one final grade of FZ (i.e., two or more) will be recommended for termination of registration from the MEnvSc program.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

Physical and Environmental Sciences: Environmental Science MEnvSc Courses

Please note that not all courses are offered every year.

​EES 1100H​
Advanced Seminar in En​vironmental Science​
​EES 1101Y
Research Paper in Environmental Science​
​EES 1102H
​Analytical Chemistry for Geoscientists
​EES 1103H
Field Measurements and Sampling: The Essentials
​EES 1104H
Microorganisms and the Environment​
​EES 1105H
Soil Contamination Chemistry​
​EES 1106H
Environmental Challenges in Urban Areas​
​EES 1107H
Remediation Methods​
​EES 1108H
​Environmental Science Field Camp
​EES 1109H
​Advanced Techniques in Geographic Information Systems
​EES 1110H
​Sediment and Contaminant Transport in Aquatic Systems
​​EES 1111H
​Freshwater Ecology and Biomonitoring
​EES 1112H
​Boundary Layer Climates and Contaminant Fate
​EES 1113H
​Groundwater Hydrochemistry and Contaminant Transport
​EES 1114H
​Directed Readings in Environmental Science I
​EES 1115H
​Directed Readings in Environmental Science II
​EES 1116Y
​Internship
​EES 1117H
​Climate Change Impact Assessment
​EES 1118H
​Fundamentals of Ecological Modelling
​EES 1119H
​Quantitative Environmental Analysis
​EES 1120H
​Fluid Dynamics of Contaminant Transport
​EES 1121H
​Modelling the Fate of Organic Chemicals in the Environment
​EES 1122H
​Global Environmental Security and Sustainable Development
​EES 1123H
​Environmental Regulations
​EES 1124H
​Environmental Project Management
​EES 1125H
​Contaminated Site Remediation
​EES 1126H
​Hydrology and Watershed Management
​EES 1127H
​Geomicrobiology and Biogeochemistry
​EES 1128H
​Biophysical Interactions in Managed Environments
​EES 1129H
​Brownfields Redevelopment
​EES 1130H
​Ontario BioGeospheres Field Course
​EES 1131H
​Applied Climatology
​EES 1132H
​Climate Data Analysis
​EES 1133H
​Climate Change Science and Modelling
​EES 1134H
​Climate Change Policy
​EES 1135H
Environ​mental Change and Human Health​
​EES 1136H
​Climate Change Adaptation
EES 1137H Quantitative Applications for Data Analysis
​EES 1701H
​Environmental Legislation and Policy
​EES 1704H
Environmental Risk Assessment​
​EES 3000H
​Applied Conservation Biology
​EES 3001H
​Professional Scientific Literacy
​EES 3002H
​Conservation Policy
​EES 3003H
​Topics in Applied Biodiversity
​EES 3111H
​Conservation Genetics
​EES 3113H
​Topics in Population and Community Ecology
​EES 3114H
​​Topics in Urban and Rural Ecology

Physical and Environmental Sciences: Environmental Science PhD

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

Research and teaching are focused on the interfaces between traditional disciplines in dealing with fundamental scientific issues. Faculty members are cross-appointed from several departments including: chemistry, earth sciences, geography, ecology and evolutionary biology, cell and systems biology, engineering, forestry, and social sciences. Research is clustered into six major concentrations:

  1. Climate Change and the Environment

  2. Contaminant Flux

  3. Environmental Science in Transitional Economies

  4. Great Lakes Ecosystems

  5. Remediation and Restoration of Degraded Environmental Systems

  6. Urban Geoscience

Applicants may be accepted into the PhD program via one of three routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate master’s degree; 2) transfer from an appropriate master's program; or 3) direct entry following completion of an appropriate BSc degree.

 

PhD Program

​Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants may be accepted into the PhD program:

    • following completion of the MEnvSc degree, an MSc degree in environmental science, or a related discipline, or the MASc degree in environmental engineering or related discipline, or equivalent from a recognized university with a minimum of B+ average in all work completed in the master's program.

    • by requesting transfer from a suitable master's program (see above); students may reclassify from the master's program after 12 months of full-time study. Transfer from the MEnvSc program is not permitted

    • in the case of exceptional students, by direct entry; that is, after completing an honours BSc degree in a bachelor's program in a related discipline with a minimum University of Toronto average of A- or equivalent. 

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. A total of 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows: a mandatory 0.5 FCE (EES 2200H Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science) plus 1.5 FCEs to provide background for the student's research. Courses selected must be approved by the student's supervisor and the Graduate Chair. In some cases, additional courses may be required if a student's preparedness is assessed as being insufficient.

    • ​​​​​​​​Students may apply to take a number of PhD-level courses taught by the core faculty, both within the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences and outside the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences as part of their 1.5 FCEs for the degree. However, all courses for the PhD degree must be approved by the student's supervisor and the Graduate Chair.

  • Thesis. The execution of an original piece of research in environmental science carried out under faculty supervision and presented in thesis form. The program requires the development and submission of a thesis proposal, and its examination in an oral thesis proposal appraisal (before the end of Year 2), a departmental oral examination of the completed thesis, and a Doctoral Final Oral Examination (FOE) carried out under the auspices of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) involving examination by an appropriate at-arms-length external examiner.

    • ​​​​The PhD proposal appraisal consists of a 20-minute presentation given by the student on the proposed thesis work followed by a question period of approximately two hours. The emphasis will be on the theory and proposed approach, rather than on progress to date. A negative outcome requires that the student retake the exam within four months after incorporating recommendations from the committee for improving the thesis research proposal. The outcome of the second exam will be either a pass or withdrawal from the program.

    • The Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences' PhD program requires that all PhD candidates complete two thesis defences: a Departmental Thesis Defence and an FOE with SGS. Normally, the Departmental Thesis Defence will be held at least eight weeks prior to the FOE. The committee will notify the Graduate Chair that the thesis is ready to be forwarded to SGS for the FOE. If the PhD candidate does not pass the Departmental Thesis Defence, the committee may recommend that the PhD candidate postpone their FOE.

Program Length

4 years full-time; 5 years transfer-from-master's; 5 years direct-entry

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 7 years transfer-from-master's​; 7 years direct-entry 

Physical and Environmental Sciences: Environmental Science PhD Courses

Core Course

EES 2200H
Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science

​The following are courses offered within the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences. With the approval of the Graduate Chair, relevant courses from other graduate departments can be applied to the required 1.5 FCEs. Not all courses are offered every year.

Elective Courses

EES 110​2H
​Analytical Chemistry for Geoscientists
​EES 1103H
​Field Measurements and Sampling: The Essentials
​EES 1104H
​Microorganisms and the Environment
​EES 1105H
​Soil Contamination Chemistry
​EES 1106H
​Environmental Challenges in Urban Areas
​EES 1107H
​Remediation Methods
​EES 1109H
​Advanced Techniques in Geographic Information Systems
​EES 1110H
​Sediment and Contaminant Transport in Aquatic Systems
​EES 1111H
​Freshwater Ecology and Biomonitoring
​EES 1112H
​Boundary Layer Climates and Contamin​​ant Fate
​​EES 1113H
​Groundwater Hydrochemistry and Contaminant Transport
​EES 1117H
​Climate Change Impact Assessment
​EES 1118H
​Fundamentals of Ecological Modelling
​EES 1119H
​Quantitative Environmental Analysis
​EES 1120H
​Fluid Dynamics of Contaminant Transport​
​EES 1121H
​Modeling the Fate of Organic Chemicals in the Environment
​EES 1122H
​Global Environmental Security and Sustainable Development
​EES 1126H
​Hydrology and Watershed Management
​EES 1127H
​Geomicrobiology and Biogeochemistry
​EES 1128H
​Biophysical Interactions in Managed Environments
​EES 1131H
​Applied Climatology
​EES 1132H
​Climate Data Analysis
​EES 1133H
​Climate Change Science and Modelling
​EES 1134H
​Climate Change Policy​
​EES 1135H
Environ​mental Change and Human Health
​EES 1136H
​Climate Change Adaptation
EES 1137H Quantitative Applications for Data Analysis
​EES 2201H
​Advanced Readings in Environmental Science
​EES 3000H
Applied Conservation Biology
​EES 3001H
​Professional Scientific Literacy
EES 3002H
​Conservation Policy
EES 3003H
​Topics in Applied Biodiversity
EES 3111H
​Conservation Genetics
​EES 3113H
​Topics in Population and Community Ecology
EES 3114H
Topics in Urban and Rural Ecology​