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Land Surface Processes and Environmental Change

Can be taken as: Domain

The program introduces students to the interacting physical and biogeochemical processes at the atmosphere-lithosphere interface, which fashion land surface habitats and determine their biological productivity and response to anthropogenic or natural environmental changes. The thin soil layer on the planet's land surfaces controls the vital inputs of water, nutrients, and energy to terrestrial and freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Widespread occurrences around the globe of desertification, soil erosion, deforestation, and land submergence over water reservoirs indicate that this dynamic system is under increasing pressure from population growth and changes in climate and land uses. Production of key greenhouse gases (water vapour, CO2, and methane) is controlled by complex processes operating at the land surface, involving climate change feedbacks that need to be fully understood, given current global warming trends. Through an appropriate selection of courses, students can prepare for graduate training in emerging research areas such as earth system sciences, environmental hydrology, and landscape ecology.

Note: This domain (63 credits including core) is open only to students in the B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.) Major in Environment or B.Sc. Major in Environment programs. Students may also be eligible for an Honours program and they must satisfy the requirements set by their B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.) or B.Sc. degree.

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DETAILED PROGRAM OUTLINES:

Bachelor of Science (Agricultural and Environmental Sciences) (B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.)) or Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Major Environment-Land Surface Processes and Environmental Change (63 Credits)