Courses

Fall Courses:

 

ESS1101H1F: Seminars in Earth Sciences (M. Diamond/N. Magalhaes) – Friday 10-12 in room ES2119
The course is designed to help the student develop their scientific presentation skills. During the term, students will be required to deliver at least two oral presentations on assigned topics, and provide critique for the presentation of other students in the course. The course is given on a pass/fail basis, and will meet weekly in the Fall term.
ESS1430H1F: Basin Analysis (A. Miall)
ESS1441H1F: Advanced Structure (T. Santimano)
ESS1461H1F: Paleoenvironmental Studies (J. Bollmann)
The use of proxy data (terrestial and aquatic microfossils) to infer past environmental conditions. The nature and extent of Quaternary environmental change is considered in the context of assessing current issues such as acidification, metal pollution, eutrophication and global climate change. Paleoenvironmental techniques are applied in the laboratory.
Prerequisite: A 200-level course from one of BIO, GGR, GLG. Recommended preparation: BIO468H1/469Y1/ GLG216H1
JPE1493H1F: Seismology (Q. Liu)
This course starts with a simple introduction to strain and stress, and derives the seismic wave equation. Ray theory is then brought in to explain travel times of seismic arrivals. The concept of tomography methods for the inversion of earth’s internal structure is then described. Surface waves and normal modes are derived from a different approach to the wave equation. Finally the seismic source theory and earthquake prediction problems are discussed. Subjects such as reflection and refraction seismic methods, digital seismic data processing will also be touched upon during the course.
ESS2302H1F: Mineral Resources (D. Gregory/M. Anderson)
This course will focus on the fundamental processes by which Earth materials are concentrated into economically-viable deposits. The geology, petrology and geochemistry of specific types of mineral deposits will be used to focus discussion on petrogenetic models of ore formation. Possible types of deposits will include diamonds, other gems, porphry systems, magmatic sulfides, sed-ex and volcanogenic massive sulfide. The course will be team taught, in which individual instructors will focus on a particular deposit type, providing some lectures for background prior to reading the important literature.
ESS2304H1F: Geochemistry (G. Ferris)
This course will focus on the application of chemical principles to research in the Earth Sciences.  The emphasis will be on recent studies across a range of diverse theme areas, selected according to the research interests of enrolled students. Possible themes might include: global geochemical cycles, microbial geochemistry, origin and distribution of the elements and geochemical kinetics. The course will be taught in a roundtable format with the instructor providing some background lectures; students will take turns presenting their chosen research papers and leading the discussion.
ESS2704H1F: Isotope Geochemistry (C. Sutcliffe)
The course is focused on the principles and applications of stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry to understanding geological and planetary processes. The course will be taught using specific case studies from selected themes, which will change on a yearly basis. Possible themes might include: early solar system chronology, isotopic constraints on Earth differentiation, tracing pollutants in the subsurface, nature of the early Earth, ocean and atmospheric circulation, applications to tectonics. The course will be team taught, in which individual instructors will focus on a particular aspect of each theme, providing some lectures for background prior to reading the important literature.
ESS3604H1F: Selected Topics in Geology (B. Sherwood Lollar)
This is a selected reading course focused on background and applications of sulfur isotopes to the biogeochemical cycle. Through assigned readings and group discussions, as well as directed readings tailored to an independent project graduate students will explore the fundamental principles and emerging developments in this area. Course assessment will be based on an independent essay, mid-term, oral presentations and participation.

Winter Courses:

 

ESS1423H Mineral Deposits (D. Gergory)
Crystal chemistry of the major rock forming minerals. The course covers the underlying concepts behind the behaviour of minerals as solid-state materials including: Structure and bonding of minerals, chemical substitutions and solid-state transformations, high temperature and pressure behaviour, chemical weathering and kinetics. Prerequisite: ESS221H1
ESS1445H1S: Global Tectonics (T. Santimano)
Exploration of the tectonic processes of the Earth from a global and regional perspective. The course examines the nature of these surface tectonics based on geological observations and tries to unravel the geodynamics that give rise to planetary activity.
JPE1452H1S: Geophysical Imaging with Non-Seismic Methods (C. Bank)
ESS2222H Tectonics and Planetary Dynamics
A treatment of the fundamental physical processes by which planets form and evolve. The course will be taught using specific case studies from selected themes, which will change on a yearly basis. Possible themes might include: tectonic modeling, structural analysis, Precambrian geophysics and dynamics of the terrestrial planets. The course will be team taught, in which individual instructors will focus on a particular aspect of each theme, providing some lectures for background prior to reading the important literature.
ESS2303H1S: Earth Systems Evolution (U. Wortmann/J, Bollmann)
This course will focus on the geological evidence and causes for change in the Earth System (coupled lithosphere-hydrosphere-biosphere-atmosphere) over the last 4.5 billion years. It will be taught using specific case studies from selected time intervals, which will change on a yearly basis. Possible topics will include global biogeochemical cycling of C,S,O; deep biosphere geobiology and the origin and evolution of life; proxy indicators for global change; evolution of the atmosphere; the stratigraphic record of sea level change and plate reconstruction. The course will be team taught, in which individual instructors will focus on a particular topic, providing some lectures for background prior to reading the important literature.
ESS2708H1S: Characterization of Geological Materials (M. Gorton)
This course provides both theoretical and practical instruction on a range of instrumental methods used in determining the composition, structure and chemical state of geological materials, including fluids, gases, glasses, rocks and minerals. The course includes laboratory assignments providing practical application of these techniques.

Full-year Courses:

 

ESS3603Y: Research Project
Students must complete a research project assigned by the supervisor. During the first two weeks of the term in which the student first registers, the student and supervisor must reach an agreement on the objectives and methodology of the research project, along with an evaluation scheme. This information must be conveyed to the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies for their approval. The final product for this course is a written document of the work performed (approx. 40 pages in standard format). For candidates who start their M.Sc. studies in September, the final grade for this course must be submitted to the Graduate Affairs Officer no later than the end of the third week of the following August.
ESS3601Y: Research Presentation
The mark for this course is based on the written report produced in GLG3603Y and the student’s performance in an oral defence of that work. The examining committee for the oral defense will consist of the supervisor and two members of the graduate faculty selected by the supervisor. The student must provide members of the examining committee a copy of the report at least one week in advance. The oral defense will consist of a 20 minute presentation of the work, followed by questioning by members of the examining committee. Other students may attend the presentation and question period with the permission of the candidate and examining committee. The examination concludes when the committee finishes with questions. Each committee member will evaluate the student based on the quality of the written report, and the student’s explanation of it, the depth and breadth of knowledge relevant to the project demonstrated during the oral examination and overall originality and creativity. The mark for this course will be the average mark assigned by the three examiners. For candidates who start their M.Sc. studies in September, the final grade for this course must be submitted to the Graduate Affairs Officer no later than the end of the third week of the following August.

Table of course requirements by degree. Please see below for more information about each course.

Degree Program

Thesis?

Required Courses

Elective Courses

Total FCE*

M.Sc. (all-course)

No

ESS1101H

ESS3608H

One breadth course

3.5 FCE

5.0

M.Sc. (doctoral-stream)

No

ESS1101H

ESS3601Y

ESS3603Y

One breadth course

0.5 FCE

3.5

M.A.Sc.

Yes

ESS1101H

One breadth course

1.0 FCE

2.0

Ph.D. (from M.Sc. doctoral stream)

Yes

One breadth course

0.5 FCE

1.0

Ph.D. (from external M.Sc. or direct entry)

Yes

ESS1101H

One breadth course

0.5 FCE

1.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*FCE =”Full course equivalent.” Most semester-long courses are worth 0.5 FCE (designated by an “h” after the course code), and year-long courses are worth 1.0 FCE (designated by a “Y” after the course code). “F” courses are scheduled in the fall session and “S” courses are in the winter session.

Please note that not all courses are offered every semester. Please cross-reference the table above and consult with your supervisor to choose appropriate courses and to plan your schedule.
 

Required Courses; students must register for each of the appropriate courses on ACORN. For instance, doctoral-stream MSc students must register for ESS1101H, ESS3601Y, and ESS3603Y. Course-based MSc students must register for ESS1101H and ESS3608H. PhD students must register for ESS1101H. Students must also register for non-required courses.

 

ESS1101H: Seminars in Earth Sciences
The course is designed to help the student develop their scientific presentation skills. During the term, students will be required to deliver at least two oral presentations on assigned topics, and provide critique for the presentation of other students in the course. The course is given on a pass/fail basis, and will meet weekly in the Fall term.
ESS3603Y: Research Project
Students must complete a research project assigned by the supervisor. During the first two weeks of the term in which the student first registers, the student and supervisor must reach an agreement on the objectives and methodology of the research project, along with an evaluation scheme. This information must be conveyed to the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies for their approval. The final product for this course is a written document of the work performed (approx. 40 pages in standard format). For candidates who start their M.Sc. studies in September, the final grade for this course must be submitted to the Graduate Affairs Officer no later than the end of the third week of the following August.
ESS3601Y: Research Presentation
The mark for this course is based on the written report produced in GLG3603Y and the student’s performance in an oral defence of that work. The examining committee for the oral defense will consist of the supervisor and two members of the graduate faculty selected by the supervisor. The student must provide members of the examining committee a copy of the report at least one week in advance. The oral defense will consist of a 20 minute presentation of the work, followed by questioning by members of the examining committee. Other students may attend the presentation and question period with the permission of the candidate and examining committee. The examination concludes when the committee finishes with questions. Each committee member will evaluate the student based on the quality of the written report, and the student’s explanation of it, the depth and breadth of knowledge relevant to the project demonstrated during the oral examination and overall originality and creativity. The mark for this course will be the average mark assigned by the three examiners. For candidates who start their M.Sc. studies in September, the final grade for this course must be submitted to the Graduate Affairs Officer no later than the end of the third week of the following August.
ESS3608H All-Course Research Report (not offered in 2019/20)
This is a term-length course to provide exposure to research for students in the department’s all course M.Sc. program. Students are required to contact a potential research supervisor prior to the start of term to decide upon a research project. The project must involve critical analysis and interpretation of information, be it experimental, analytical or field observations, as acquired by the student, or gleaned from the literature. The final product for the course will be a 20 page (1.5 spaced, 12 point font, including figures and tables) report describing the work accomplished, and a 20 minute oral presentation. The student will receive 80% of their mark from the research supervisor based on the report, and 20% from the faculty members attending the presentation. Prior to commencing, the student must submit a project plan, developed in consultation with the research supervisor, for approval by the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies.

 

Courses Cross-listed with Undergraduate Courses:

 

ESS1423H Mineral Deposits
Crystal chemistry of the major rock forming minerals. The course covers the underlying concepts behind the behaviour of minerals as solid-state materials including: Structure and bonding of minerals, chemical substitutions and solid-state transformations, high temperature and pressure behaviour, chemical weathering and kinetics. Prerequisite: ESS221H1
ESS1461H Paleoenvironmental Studies
The use of proxy data (terrestial and aquatic microfossils) to infer past environmental conditions. The nature and extent of Quaternary environmental change is considered in the context of assessing current issues such as acidification, metal pollution, eutrophication and global climate change. Paleoenvironmental techniques are applied in the laboratory.
Prerequisite: A 200-level course from one of BIO, GGR, GLG. Recommended preparation: BIO468H1/469Y1/ GLG216H1
ESS1463H: Contaminants in the Environment (not offered in 2019/20)
The use of proxy data (terrestial and aquatic microfossils) to infer past environmental conditions. The nature and extent of Quaternary environmental change is considered in the context of assessing current issues such as acidification, metal pollution, eutrophication and global climate change. Paleoenvironmental techniques are applied in the laboratory. Prerequisite: A 200-level course from one of BIO, GGR, ESS Recommended preparation: BIO468H/469Y/ ESS262H
JPE1493H Seismology
This course starts with a simple introduction to strain and stress, and derives the seismic wave equation. Ray theory is then brought in to explain travel times of seismic arrivals. The concept of tomography methods for the inversion of earth’s internal structure is then described. Surface waves and normal modes are derived from a different approach to the wave equation. Finally the seismic source theory and earthquake prediction problems are discussed. Subjects such as reflection and refraction seismic methods, digital seismic data processing will also be touched upon during the course.
ESS1445H: Global Tectonics
Exploration of the tectonic processes of the Earth from a global and regional perspective. The course examines the nature of these surface tectonics based on geological observations and tries to unravel the geodynamics that give rise to planetary activity.
JPE1452H: Geophysical Imaging: EM and Potential Field Methods

 

Breadth Courses

 

ESS2222H Tectonics and Planetary Dynamics
A treatment of the fundamental physical processes by which planets form and evolve. The course will be taught using specific case studies from selected themes, which will change on a yearly basis. Possible themes might include: tectonic modeling, structural analysis, Precambrian geophysics and dynamics of the terrestrial planets. The course will be team taught, in which individual instructors will focus on a particular aspect of each theme, providing some lectures for background prior to reading the important literature.
ESS2302H Mineral Resources
This course will focus on the fundamental processes by which Earth materials are concentrated into economically-viable deposits. The geology, petrology and geochemistry of specific types of mineral deposits will be used to focus discussion on petrogenetic models of ore formation. Possible types of deposits will include diamonds, other gems, porphry systems, magmatic sulfides, sed-ex and volcanogenic massive sulfide. The course will be team taught, in which individual instructors will focus on a particular deposit type, providing some lectures for background prior to reading the important literature.
ESS2303H Earth Systems Evolution
This course will focus on the geological evidence and causes for change in the Earth System (coupled lithosphere-hydrosphere-biosphere-atmosphere) over the last 4.5 billion years. It will be taught using specific case studies from selected time intervals, which will change on a yearly basis. Possible topics will include global biogeochemical cycling of C,S,O; deep biosphere geobiology and the origin and evolution of life; proxy indicators for global change; evolution of the atmosphere; the stratigraphic record of sea level change and plate reconstruction. The course will be team taught, in which individual instructors will focus on a particular topic, providing some lectures for background prior to reading the important literature.
ESS2304H Geochemistry
This course will focus on the application of chemical principles to research in the Earth Sciences.  The emphasis will be on recent studies across a range of diverse theme areas, selected according to the research interests of enrolled students. Possible themes might include: global geochemical cycles, microbial geochemistry, origin and distribution of the elements and geochemical kinetics. The course will be taught in a roundtable format with the instructor providing some background lectures; students will take turns presenting their chosen research papers and leading the discussion.
ESS2704H Isotope Geochemistry
The course is focused on the principles and applications of stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry to understanding geological and planetary processes. The course will be taught using specific case studies from selected themes, which will change on a yearly basis. Possible themes might include: early solar system chronology, isotopic contraints on Earth differentiation, tracing pollutants in the subsurface, nature of the early Earth, ocean and atmospheric circulation, applications to tectonics. The course will be team taught, in which individual instructors will focus on a particular aspect of each theme, providing some lectures for background prior to reading the important literature.
ESS2708H Characterization of Geological Materials
This course provides both theoretical and practical instruction on a range of instrumental methods used in determining the composition, structure and chemical state of geological materials, including fluids, gases, glasses, rocks and minerals. The course includes laboratory assignments providing practical application of these techniques.

 

Specialized Courses

 

PHY2603H: Inverse Theory
This course addresses problems of fitting physical models (both discreet and continuous) to data, and covers topics such as * What is inverse theory in physics and geophysics? When do data-consistent models even exist? * Multivariate regression modelling of discrete models, Bayesian approaches, maximum likelihood estimation, with errors and * hypothesis testing, both classical and resampling(e.g. bootstrap). * Continuous models where spatial resolution is a meaningful concept (Backus-Gilbert theory). * The Singular Value Decomposition approach to modelling. * Answerable and unanswerable questions in modelling: * Singular Value Decompositions, exotic norms such as L-1, L-infinity. * Methods for non-linear modelling: e.g. Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC), simulated annealing, genetic algorithms.
JGN2607H Advanced Techniques in Hydrogeology
This course examines methods of investigating groundwater flow and subsurface transport of contaminants. It can be tailored to meet the interests and experience of the student. Basic theory is provided during a series of lectures, normally held on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings at UTSC. There is also a small project component, usually involving chemical speciation or contaminant transport models, applied to a groundwater problem.
JPE2605H Advanced Seismology (not offered in 2019/20)
This is an advanced seismology course that covers a range of theoretical and computational topics related to seismic wave propagation, seismic tomography, full-waveform inversion, earthquake sources and fault dynamics, as well as exploration seismology. Detailed topics may vary based on instructors.
ESS2608H: Advanced Glacial Sedimentology (not offered in 2019/20)
ESS3604H Selected Topics in Geology
This is a term-length course that will usually involve lectures, reading assignments, and classroom discussion focusing on a specific theme not covered in any of the regularly-scheduled courses. The course structure, content and method of evaluation must be approved by the associate chair for graduate studies.
ESS3605H Selected Topics in Geochemistry (not offered in 2019/20)
This course will provide a more focused treatment of specific topics covered in GLG2304 Geochemistry. Possible areas of focus include: contaminant fate and transport in the subsurface, geochemistry of mineral deposits, cosmochemistry, microbial geochemistry, geochemical biomarkers, trace element geochemistry of igneous rocks. The course will be taught by different instructors depending on the topic, and as demand warrants.
ESS3606H Selected Topics in Earth System Evolution (not offered in 2019/20)
This course will provide a more focused treatment of specific topics covered in GLG2303 Earth System Evolution. Possible areas of focus include: the stratigraphic record of global change, techniques in paleoevironmental research, global biogeochemical cycles and paleoceanography. The course will be taught by different instructors depending on the topic, and as demand warrants.
ESS3607H Selected Topics in Geodynamics (not offered in 2019/20)
This course will provide a more focused treatment of specific topics covered in ESS2222 Tectonics and Planetary Dynamics. Possible areas of focus include: tectonic modeling, structural analysis, Precambrian geophysics and dynamics of the terrestrial planets. The course will be taught by different instructors depending on the topic, and as demand warrants.
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