4-Year BSc Degree in Water Sciences
Freshwater systems provide many essential ecosystem services, such as clean water, food, energy, recreation, climate regulation and waste assimilation. As human populations and economies grow, demand for these ecosystem services will continue to increase.
Trent University's BSc in Water Sciences provides students with the knowledge and skills they will need to respond to contemporary water challenges, in Canada and internationally.
The Water Sciences Program is a cooperative undertaking by three academic units: Biology, Chemistry, and the School of the Environment. Students in the Water Sciences Program complete required courses drawn from four primary subjects (biology, chemistry, geography, and environmental science), that together provide the technical and theoretical foundation for study of the science of water and the aquatic environment.
Below you will find information on:
Admission requirements are consistent with existing Trent BSc degrees. Students may specify their interest in the program when they first apply to Trent; they may also transfer into the program after their first year, depending on whether they have obtained the necessary course prerequisites.
The Water Sciences curriculum is designed to ensure that students gain a broad foundation in the scientific disciplines and related policy fields that are relevant to water and the aquatic environment. The interdisciplinary program provides a broad, yet in-depth understanding of:
- the basic mechanics of water movement within the environment
- the factors affecting its chemical and physical quality
- its feedbacks within the climate system
- the biological and ecological importance and functions of water
- its suitability as biological habitat or for human use and
- policies relating to the governance and management of freshwater resources.
The Bachelor of Science Program in Water Sciences is a Single-Major Honours Program, requiring 20.0 credits. You can find complete Program requirements in the Trent University Academic Calendar.
Please visit the Trent University Academic Timetable to see which courses presently being offered, as not all courses listed below run every term.
Because this degree requires many courses across several subjects, it can be tricky to figure out what courses to take and ensure they are taken in the best order. The list below should help in figuring out what courses to take in what year of your university work.
A) Required core courses (4.5 credits):
BIOL 1020H – Foundations of Biodiversity
BIOL 1030H – Foundations of Cellular and Molecular Biology II
CHEM 1000H – Introductory Chemistry I
CHEM 1010H – Introductory Chemistry II
ERSC 1010H – Environmental Science and Sustainability
ERSC 1020H – Cases in Environment and Sustainability
GEOG 1040H – Earth’s Physical Processes and Environments
MATH 1051H – Non-Calculus Statistics I: Elementary Probability and Statistics
MATH 1052H – Non-Calculus Statistics II: Elementary Statistical Methods
B) The remaining 0.5 credit can be used to take a course of your choice.
A) Required core courses (3.5 credits):
BIOL-ERSC 2260H – Introductory Ecology
ERSC 2240H – Ecological Assessment for Natural Resource Management
CHEM-ERSC 2620H – Aquatic Environmental Chemistry
GEOG 2090H – Introduction to Geographical Information Systems
GEOG 2460H – The Global Climate System
GEOG-ERSC 2530H – Water Resources
WASC 2000H – Water Policy
B) 1.0 credits from:
BIOL 2000H – Methods of Biological Inquiry
BIOL 2070H – Cell Biology
CHEM 2400H – Analytical Chemistry
CHEM 2500H –Elements of Physical Chemistry: Quantum Mechanics and Reaction Kinetics
ERSC 2230H – Environmental Assessment – Sampling and analysis
GEOG 2540H – Process Geomorphology
C) The remaining 0.5 credit can be used to take a course of your choice.
Years 3 and 4
In year 3 and 4 there is a bit more flexibility in the order you take courses. To complete the degree you will have to take A) a set of required courses, B) at least 2.0 credits from a list of 3rd and 4th year courses, and C) at least 1.0 credits from a list of 4th year research-oriented courses.
A) Required core courses:
BIOL 3050H – Limnology
ERSC 3510H – Ecology and Management of Wetland Systems
ERSC 3701H – Introduction to Environmental Toxicology And Chemistry
GEOG 3530H – Hydrology
BIOL-ERSC 4330H – Global Change of Aquatic Ecosystems
ERSC-BIOL-GEOG 4060H – The Geochemistry of Natural Waters
B) In years 3 and 4 take at least 2.0 credits from the following list courses (separated out into 3rd and 4th year courses below, for your convenience):
3rd Year Courses
BIOL 3051H – River and Stream Biology
BIOL 3140H – Fish Ecology
BIOL 3190H – Wild Plants of Ontario
BIOL 3250H – Microbiology
BIOL 3340H – Herpetology
BIOL 3380H – Advanced Ecology
CHEM-ERSC 3600H – Aqueous Environmental Geochemistry
CHEM-ERSC 3610H – Ocean and River Chemistry
ERST 3000H – Environmental Professional Practice
ERSC 3702H – Chemical Hazards in the Environment
GEOG 3410H – Climate Change: The Physical Basis
GEOG 3420H – Snow and Ice
GEOG 3540H – River Environments and Processes
GEOG 3560H – Soil Science
GEOG 3860H – Field Research in Geography
4th Year Courses
BIOL 4150H – Biology of Marine Mammals
CHEM 4520H – Principles of Water Science and Technology
ERSC-BIOL-GEOG 4070H – The Fate of Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment
ERSC-BIOL 4240H – Fisheries Assessment and Management
ERSC 4530H – Remediation and Reclamation of Sites
GEOG 4080H – Hydrogeology
C) In years 3 and 4 take at least 1.0 credits from the following list courses (separated out into 3rd and 4th year courses below, for your convenience):
3rd Year Courses
BIOL 3850H/3851H/3852H/3853H – Field Course
ERSC 3160H – Community-based Natural Resource Management
ERSC 3220H – Community Engaged Lacustrine Shoreline Assessment and Monitoring
ERSC-IDST 3230H – Environmental Problems and Solutions in Small Island Developing States: A Field Course
ERSC 3905Y/3906H – Field Course
4th Year Courses
BIOL 4010Y/4020D – Research Thesis
BIOL-ERSC 4030H – Research Design and Data Analysis
CHEM 4010Y/4020D/4011H/4012H – Project Course in Chemistry
ERSC 4010Y/4020D – Honours Thesis
ERSC-GEOG-WASC 4703H – Senior Seminar in Earth and Environmental Science
ERSC 4830Y – Community-Based Research Project (full credit only)
ERSC 4905Y/4906H – Reading Course
GEOG 4010Y/4020D – Honours Thesis
GEOG 4830Y – Community-Based Research in Geography
WASC 2000H: Water Policy
An introduction overview of water issues and related policies in Canada and internationally. Surveys the key interest groups and factors that shape conflicts over water protection and allocation, as well as policy responses, including infrastructure, regulatory, and economic tolls that are employed by national, provincial, and local agencies.