Earth Sciences

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					Earth Sciences
Earth is our home. It is a dynamic planet, integrating      earth sciences in Canada. We collaborate with the
and recording the effects of physical, chemical and         Geological Survey of Canada, the Canadian Museum
biological processes operating at time scales from          of Nature, the Ontario Geological Survey, the Canada
milliseconds to hundreds of millions of years. In order     Centre for Remote Sensing, Environment Canada and
to preserve it, we need to first understand it.             the University of Ottawa. You will have access to the
                                                            extensive libraries of these institutions, as well as to
Using a spectrum of equipment—from a hand lens, a           lectures and seminars by their scientists and visiting
rock hammer, a computer, to sophisticated instruments       researchers.
such as mass spectrometers or electron microprobes—
earth scientists investigate Earth’s evolution to help      Carleton even has its own mineral. The mineral, named
understand future changes on both the surface of the        Carletonite, was discovered in 1969 at Mount St.
planet and within its interior.                             Hilaire, Quebec, by a professor in the Earth Sciences
This challenging and varied scientific field provides
critical data to help us understand and sustain our         Hands-on learning
resources and our environment. Areas of potential           At Carleton, we know that your in-class studies form
study include:                                              only a part of the background needed to become
                                                            a professional earth scientist. While the detailed
■   Economic Geology
                                                            structure of a mountain chain or the variety of
    The search for mineral and hydrocarbon deposits of
                                                            minerals in the Canadian Shield can be described in
    economic value today and for the future is enhanced
                                                            the classroom, actual experience in the field remains
    by the expertise of economic geologists. Knowledge
                                                            vital to your training.
    of the Earth contributes to the cost-effective
    identification, exploration and development of new      The Department of Earth Sciences offers several field
    energy and mineral resources.                           courses, as well as co-operative education. Our field
                                                            courses take place annually at different locations
■   Paleontology
                                                            in Ontario. Through field camps, you will acquire
    Paleontologists use fossils to study the evolution
                                                            experience in mapping techniques, measuring sections,
    of organisms, their extinction patterns and their
                                                            recording data and geological interpretation.
    response to paleoecological change, to better
    understand ancient paleoenvironments and enhance        An advanced field course, with an equivalent in-class
    current environmental policies and practices.           0.5 credit, involves the study of geology at locations
                                                            well removed from Ottawa; for example, past courses
■   Geophysics
                                                            have taken place in Germany, the Czech and Hungarian
    The structure of the Earth’s interior is enhanced by
                                                            Republics, Hawaii, the Alps, Italy, Ireland and many
    imaging using magnetic, electric and gravimetric
                                                            areas in North America.
    methods. This type of remote sensing enables
    geophysicists to provide a unique view of the           Your education can extend into summer or co-op work
    Earth’s subsurface to contribute to mineral, water      experience with industry and government that includes
    and oil exploration and exploitation; to mitigate       geological field work.
    against earthquakes; and to select sites for dams
    and bridges.                                            Earth Sciences scholarships
                                                            Students entering the first year of an Earth Sciences
■   Isotope Geology                                         program with a minimum 90 per cent admission
    Isotope Geology is a powerful tool for understanding    average and who are involved in extracurricular
    topics as diverse as the evolution of unicellular       activities may apply for the Collins Prestige
    organisms or the evolution of the solar system.         Scholarship. The scholarship is valued at full tuition
    Areas of study include the nature and timing of         in first, second, third and fourth year as long as the
    physical and chemical processes within the Earth,       student maintains an A- standing. An application is
    environmental geoscience, and the interaction           required. The deadline to apply is March 1. Visit our
    between the biosphere and geosphere.                    Awards Office for information regarding Prestige
The Carleton advantage
Carleton University’s Department of Earth Sciences          Two or more Collins Memorial Entrance
has a reputation as one of the foremost centres for solid   Scholarships, valued at $1,000 to $4,000, will be

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awarded to students entering the first year of an Earth      needing a general understanding of the earth sciences
Sciences program. The scholarship is awarded in              as background for a career in other areas such as
addition to the Prestige or other Entrance scholarships.     business, resource management, environmental
No application is required, and eligible students will       planning or teaching.
automatically be considered.
                                                             Combined degrees
The capital advantage                                        If you have interests in more than one discipline, you
Ottawa is an ideal place to study the earth sciences.        may wish to consider a Combined Honours degree
Igneous and metamorphic rocks of the Gatineau Hills          program. You may combine your studies in earth
(across the Ottawa River in Quebec) are part of the          sciences with biology, chemistry, physical geography
resource-rich Canadian Shield formed in Precambrian          or geography. The combined program in geography can
times, and Paleozoic sedimentary rocks underlie              be completed with a formal concentration in Terrain
Eastern Ontario.                                             Sciences. Combined Honours programs enable you to
                                                             take an equal number of courses in each subject.
Choosing the right program                                   Many students enjoy the Combined Honours option
Bachelor of Science (Honours)                                because of the interdisciplinary nature of many
Bachelor of Science (Major)                                  outstanding problems in geology—these programs
Bachelor of Science (General)                                may lead to careers in, for example, geochemistry,
At Carleton, you have the option of taking a four-year       geophysics and environmental geology.
Major or Honours degree, or a three-year General
degree.                                                      Minor in Earth Sciences
                                                             The 4.0 credit Minor program in Earth Sciences: Earth
Honours degree programs                                      Resources and Processes examines earth resources
Carleton’s Honours program in Earth Sciences prepares        and the major geological processes that have shaped
you for a career in earth sciences or for graduate school.   the planet’s geological history, including resource
The program consists of 20.0 university credits, usually     distribution and character. The Minor is available
completed in four years. As an Honours student,              to students who are registered in degree programs
you will need to maintain high grades and complete           other than those offered by the Department of Earth
an independent research project in your final year.          Sciences.
Honours students can also select a co-op program that
provides hands-on work experience between academic           Co-op opportunities
terms.                                                       If you are in the Honours program you may be admitted
                                                             to our co-op program either directly from high school
If you are interested in vertebrates such as dinosaurs,      or at the beginning of your second year. This allows
we offer a concentration in Vertebrate Paleontology          for profession-related employment during the course
and Paleoecology, which includes a field course at sites     of your studies, but it will extend the time needed to
where vertebrate fossils are excavated.                      complete the program.
For students preparing for a career in industry, we now      Core courses and electives
offer a Concentration in Resource Economics, in which        A typical first year of study consists of 5.0 credits,
you’ll acquire an important understanding of the             including mathematics, earth sciences and chemistry.
economics of natural resources.                              One additional credit is chosen from science and one
                                                             from arts and social sciences.
Major or General degree programs
The Major degree consists of 20.0 credits usually            In years two and three, courses are offered in
taken over four years, but does not include a research       mineralogy, petrology (the study of rocks), paleontology
project in the final year; instead you’ll take additional    (the study of ancient life), geophysics, paleogeography
geology courses at the fourth-year level. It provides        (the history of changing landscape of geological basins
professional training for employment in the mineral or       and landmasses), hydrogeology, sedimentology and
oil and gas industries. It is generally not suitable for     tectonics (the study of the deformation of the Earth’s
students considering graduate studies.                       crust to form continents, oceans and mountain belts).
                                                             In your final year, you are provided with a more
The General degree program consists of 15.0 credits
                                                             in-depth analysis of areas of earth sciences.
usually taken over three years. It is ideal for those

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Your first-year experience
                                                               Michal Kolaj
                                                               BSc/10 in Earth Sciences
    A sample first year
                                                               “Early on, I was exposed to the many
    ■    1.0 credit in Exploring Planet Earth (ERTH            different branches of the geosciences, such
         1006) and The Earth System Through Time               as palaeontology, economic geology and
         (ERTH 1009)                                           geophysics and more. I not only found the
    ■    1.0 credit in Elementary Calculus I (MATH             subject matter to be interesting and enjoyable,
         1007) and Linear Algebra I (MATH 1107)                but also saw myself having a lifelong career in
    ■    1.0 credit in (General Chemistry I [CHEM              this field. The diversity in hands-on training
         1001] and General Chemistry II [CHEM 1002])           and theory from qualified professors ensured
         or (Elementary Chemistry I [CHEM 1005] and            that I graduated fully prepared to enter either
         Elementary Chemistry II [CHEM 1006])                  the industry or continue with graduate studies.
    ■    1.0 credit in Introductory Biology I (BIOL            The world’s economy and future is heavily
         1003) and Introductory Biology II (BIOL               reliant on the progress and development in the
         1004) or 1.0 credit in Introductory Mechanics         Earth Sciences and the program at Carleton
         and Thermodynamics (PHYS 1003) and                    University provided me with the required
         Introductory Electromagnetism and Wave                knowledge and experience to ensure that I can
         Motion (PHYS 1004) or 1.0 credit in Elementary        contribute to this continuously growing field.”
         University Physics I (PHYS 1007) and
         Elementary University Physics II (PHYS 1008)
    ■    0.5 credit in Seminar in Science (NSCI 1000)       Admission requirements
    ■    0.5 credit in an approved arts and social          For admission to the Honours program in Earth
         sciences elective                                  Sciences, you must have the Ontario Secondary School
                                                            Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, including a minimum of
                                                            six 4 U/M courses. Your six 4 U/M courses must include
Future opportunities                                        Advanced Functions or Calculus and Vectors, and two
The workplace                                               of Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, or
Carleton Earth Sciences graduates can be found:             Physics.

■   supervising diamond or gold exploration with a          For admission to the Major or General program, you
    large mining company;                                   must have the Ontario Secondary School Diploma
■   interpreting geophysical and geological information     (OSSD) or equivalent, including a minimum of six 4 U/M
    to outline possible reservoirs of oil and gas;          courses. Your six 4 U/M courses must include Advanced
■   assessing earthquake hazards for engineering and        Functions and two of Calculus and Vectors, Biology,
    construction purposes;                                  Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, or Physics.
■   monitoring pollutants in ground water;                  Calculus is recommended.
■   studying fossil and modern organisms as indicators
    for environmental and climate change;                   It is Carleton University policy to consider your best
■   measuring the stability of land around proposed         performance in any eligible course in the admissions
    dam and reservoir sites; and                            assessment.
■   helping to find suitable underground repositories for   Since the number of qualified applicants may be
    nuclear wastes.                                         greater than the number of available spaces, cut-off
                                                            averages and required marks may vary. Please refer to
Graduate studies                                            our website at
Graduates of the Honours program may also be eligible       for the current admission requirements.
to go on to graduate studies in a variety of earth
sciences fields.                                            For more information
                                                             …about the Earth Sciences program at Carleton, please
Professional accreditation                                  visit our website at or consult
The Major and Honours Earth Sciences programs               the Carleton University Undergraduate Calendar at
satisfy current academic requirements for professional
geoscience accreditation in Ontario.

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Do you want more information?
Please contact us at:
Department of Earth Sciences
Carleton University
2125 Herzberg Laboratories
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa ON K1S 5B6
Tel:       613-520-5633
Fax:       613-520-5613

Recruitment Office
Carleton University
315 Robertson Hall
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa ON K1S 5B6
Tel:         613-520-3663
Toll-free in Canada: 1-888-354-4414
Fax:         613-520-3847

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