Earth Sciences

Students should note that in the Science Faculty the minimum acceptable grade in a course which is required by a particular program or is used to meet a prerequisite, is a "C". Any student who fails to attain a "C" or better in such a course must repeat the course (at the next regular session) until a grade of "C" or better is attained. Students will not be eligible for graduation until such deficiencies are removed. The only exception will be granted for a single course with a "D" grade that is normal part of the final year of that program, and is being taken for the first time in their final year.

NOTE: See the beginning of Section H for abbreviations, course numbers and coding.

ESCI1001The Earth: Its Origin, Evolution and Age3 ch (3C)

Novas and Supernovas, Solar Nebula Theory, Catastrophism and Uniformitarianism. Earth as a heat engine. Origin, growth and main features of the Earth's crust. Origin and evolution of oceans, continents and the atmosphere. The rock cycle, seafloor spreading, plate tectonics, mountain building and deformation of the Earth's crust, earthquakes, igneous and metamorphic processes and their products. Surficial processes, hydrogeology, and energy, and mineral resources. Credit can be obtained for only one of ESCI 1001 or ESCI 1063. 

ESCI1006Introduction to Geology Laboratory2 ch (3L)

A laboratory course designed to accompany ESCI 1001. An introductory study covering topographic and geological maps (bedrock and surficial) and their interpretation; construction of cross sections; identification of common minerals, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; geological structures (map analysis as a predictive tool); radiometric and relative age dating and the geological time scale; coastal processes; glaciations and glacial deposits; aspects of plate tectonics.

Pre- or co-requisite: ESCI 1001.

ESCI1012Environmental Earth Sciences 3 ch (3C)
From the perspective of Earth System Sciences the course explores geologic processes active on and in the Earth, and human interactions with them. Viewing the oceans, lands, and atmosphere as an integrated system, the course examines geologic aspects of plate tectonics, the development and evolution of life, processes that maintain or threaten habitability, climate change, geological hazards and theories for critical events in Earth history such as mass extinctions. The emphasis is on changes occurring during the current period of human influence with respect to development of energy and natural resources: the Anthropocene.
ESCI1017Introductory Environmental Earth Sciences Lab2 ch (3L)

An introductory laboratory course that provides practical laboratory experiences related to practicing Environmental Geology.  The lab uses a mixture of written exercises, hands-on activities, satellite and Google Earth explorations.  Specific topics may include: tectonic processes and earthquakes, earth materials and geological time, paleontology, volcanoes and volcanic hazards, river floods and groundwater, mass wasting and landslides.  

Pre- or co-requisite: ESCI 1012

ESCI1026Geology Lab for Engineers2 ch (3L)

An introductory study covering topographic and geological maps (bedrock and surficial) and their interpretation; construction of cross sections; identification of common minerals, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; geological structures (map analysis as a predictive tool); dating and the geological time scale; coastal processes; mass wasting (especially the recognition and amelioration of hazards related to debris flows, avalanche and landslides); and glaciations and glacial deposits (especially glacial deposits in eastern Canada and their significance to engineers).

Pre- or co-requisiteESCI 1012.
ESCI1036Geology Lab for Foresters2 ch (3L)

An introductory study covering topographic and geological maps (bedrock and surficial) and their interpretation; construction of cross sections; identification of common minerals, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; geological structures; dating and the geological time scale; coastal processes; mass wasting (in terrane analysis, and the recognition and avoidance of hazards); and glaciations and glacial deposits (especially in eastern Canada and their relevance to foresters).

ESCI1063There Is No Planet B - Understanding How the Earth System Works3 ch (3C)

Earth is a complex system in which humans and the rest of the biosphere interact with the rocks that form the earth, the oceans, rivers and lakes that form hydrosphere and the gases that form the atmosphere.  In this course we will examine how human interactions cause changes in the earth system and how the earth affects humans.   We will examine some topical issues including human effects on earth’s atmosphere and ocean system, our use of energy and mineral resources and the impacts of geological hazards such as earthquakes and volcanoes on humanity. Designed primarily for students in faculties other than Science, Engineering, and Forestry and Environmental Management. Cannot be used for credit in place of, or after taking ESCI 1001 or ESCI 1012

ESCI1703Field School (8 days)3 ch (W) (EL)

Provides an inquiry-based hands-on laboratory and field investigations of the fundamentals of geoscience. Introduces the identification and interpretation of minerals, rocks, and geomorphology in the lab and in the field. Topographic maps, geologic maps, and Google Earth Pro are used to analyze and understand a variety of dynamic systems, including glaciers, geologic structures, and coastlines. Surveys geologic time and plate tectonics to gain a basic understanding of our local geologic history. Connections between people, resources, natural earth systems, and the geological evolution of Fredericton and regional areas are discussed. 
An alternative to ESCI 1006. Held after Winter exams. Additional fees may be levied to cover some transport costs, and students are responsible for their own accommodation in Fredericton during the field school. Limited Enrolment - priority will be assigned to students intending to major in a departmental program. 

Prerequisites: ESCI 1001.

ESCI2022Engineering Geology4 ch (3C 3L)

A study of geological materials and hazards for site investigation and assessment of risk and remediation; engineering classification of geological materials, properties and relationships; engineering in the existing and changing environment and exacerbation of natural processes; geological constraints for construction, foundations, tunnelling, waste disposal and mining, with case histories of geological problems in engineering projects.

Prerequisites: ESCI 1001, ESCI 1026 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.

ESCI2131Earth and Planetary Materials4 ch (3C 3L) (W)

Appraisal of rock-forming materials for Earth and similar solid planetary bodies. Fundamentals of mineralogy, with emphasis on crustal and mantle silicates. Controls on mineral structure and composition related to temperature, pressure and chemistry. Laboratories focus on describing the physical properties of the more common minerals, their identification in hand specimen, determining their structural formulae and appraising their economic value.

Pre- or co-requisites: ESCI 1001, one of ESCI 1006, ESCI 1026 or ESCI 1036.

Recommended co-requisite: ESCI 2211

ESCI2142Mineralogy and Petrology4 ch (3C 3L)

We learn the use of polarizing microscopy techniques to identify and describe the textures of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, mineral and rock identification, and rock classification. Lectures also focus on concepts of mineral nucleation and growth, simple thermodynamic controls on mineral stability, and the kinetic parameters that control crystallization rates of rocks and minerals. The laboratories focus on the practical aspects of mineral and rock description and identification using polarizing microscopy techniques.

Prerequisite: ESCI 2131

ESCI2211Sedimentology and Stratigraphy4 ch (3C 3L)

Lectures and labs first cover the description and classification of the physical and chemical properties of sediment and sedimentary rock. This is followed by investigation into the processes (including environmental and engineering impacts) involved in the origin of sediment, such as weathering, physico-chemical, biochemical, and biogenic sediment precipitation, and processes influencing mass movements, sediment erosion, transportation, deposition, reworking, sedimentary structures, soil formation and lithification. The course concludes with an introduction to basic sedimentary facies, stratigraphic principles, and the relative and absolute dating of strata.

Pre- or co-requisites: ESCI 1001, one of ESCI 1006, ESCI 1026 or ESCI 1036.

Recommended co-requisite: ESCI 2131

ESCI2272Paleontology (Cross-Listed: BIOL 2372)4 ch (2C 3L)

The course provides an overview of the evolution of life on Earth, its origin, diversification and its gradual expansion from sea to land. Focus is on the processes leading to fossilization and on the major events of the evolution of life. Students are introduced to the taxonomy and ecology of the invertebrate groups most commonly represented in the fossil record, with special attention for the fossilizable parts and their significance towards understanding the evolution of the total biosphere. Further emphasis is on how fossilized remains and traces of organisms can be used in the fields of stratigraphy, paleoecology and paleoclimatology.

Prerequisites: One pairing of either ESCI 1001 and ESCI 1006/ESCI 1026/ESCI 1036, or ESCI 1012 and ESCI 1017. Cross-listed as BIOL 3371. Credit may not be obtained for both ESCI 3271 and BIOL 3371.
ESCI2321Structural Geology I4 ch (3C 3L)

An introduction to geometrical aspects of earth sciences with emphasis on cartographic methods, geological map production and interpretation and basic compass techniques. Geological map studies are supported by an introduction to lithological assemblages, tectonic structures (faults and fold patterns), Earth architecture and the tectonic evolution of North America.

PrerequisitesESCI 2131 and ESCI 2211


ESCI2602Principles of Geochemistry4 ch (3C 1T) (W)

Origin of elements. Theories of the origin and chemical evolution of the earth, atmosphere, and oceans. Laws governing the distribution of elements in the earth. Application of phase diagrams to petrologic problems of the crust and mantle. Chemical weathering. Use of stable and radioactive isotopes in geology. Geobarometry and geothermometry. Hydrothermal process and base-metal ore deposits.

Prerequisites: CHEM 1012, CHEM 1017 (or equivalent), MATH 1013 or MATH 1063, ESCI 1001, and ESCI 1006, ESCI 1026, or ESCI 1036

Co-requisites: ESCI 2131
ESCI2703Field School (2 weeks)5 ch (field school) (W) (EL)

Principles of stratigraphy and geological mapping. Provides two weeks supervised training in field work and preparation of stratigraphic sections, geological maps, and cross sections. At least the cost of accommodation expenses is paid by the student. 

PrerequisitesESCI 2131, ESCI 2211, ESCI 2321

ESCI3131Origin of Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks4 ch (2C 3L) (W)

Petrology of igneous and metamorphic rocks with emphasis on their macroscopic textures, mineral associations, classification and field relations. Laboratories concentrate on the identification of the common igneous and metamorphic rocks using hand specimens and thin sections. 

Prerequisite: ESCI 2142, ESCI 2602.

ESCI3292Climate and Environmental Change Through Time (A)4 ch (3C 2L) (W)

An investigation of the turning points in Earth’s history from its formation, over the emergence/evolution of life and connected environmental changes, to the eventual appearance of humans. We discuss both paleontological and geological records, examine the mechanisms that steer climatic changes, and put the recent history of Earth’s climate into a long-term perspective.

Prerequisites: ESCI 1001, ESCI 1012, ESCI 1017, one of ESCI 1006, ESCI 1026 or ESCI 1036; Recommended: ESCI 2211 and/or ESCI 3271.

ESCI3322Structural Geology II4 ch (3C 3L)

Stress and strain, introduction to deformational behaviour of rocks. Origin of folds, foliations, lineations, joints and faults. Geometrical analysis. Labs will include simple experiments and advanced map problems. 

Prerequisites: ESCI 2321, ESCI 2703RecommendedESCI 2142

ESCI3411Rock Mechanics4 ch (3C 2L) (W)

Lectures and labs investigate the deformation and fracture behaviour of rocks when subjected to natural and engineering-imposed stress fields. The concepts of stress, strain, stress-strain relations, and strength are applied to geological materials in laboratory and field settings. The mechanisms involved in the failure of continuous, discontinuous, ductile, and brittle rocks are discussed. Consideration of these subjects is given in the context of various rock engineering applications, including slopes and underground excavations such as mines, tunnels, and caverns.  

Prerequisites: ESCI 2321 or CE 2023, MATH 1013 or MATH 1063.

Recommended: PHYS 1061, PHYS 1091 or equivalent, ESCI 3322.

ESCI3442Geohydrology 4 ch (3C 1T) (W)

An introduction to the global water cycle and water balance, catchment water balance, measurement and estimation of water balance parameters, aspects of sediment transport and erosion, monitoring the distribution of contamination by sediment sampling.  Assignments focus on aspects of catchment water balance.  Seminars and term papers are based on topics of regional and global importance with respect to water availability and quality.

Prerequisites: ESCI 1001, ESCI 1012 and one of ESCI 1006 or ESCI 1026.

ESCI3482Mineral Resources, Economics, and the Environment3 ch (3C)

This course presents various types of mineral deposit resources, integrated with economic and environmental considerations with impacts related to exploration and mining activity.

Prerequisites: ESCI 1001, ESCI 1012 and one of ESCI 1006, ESCI 1026 or ESCI 1036.

ESCI3492Petroleum Geology, Carbon Cycle & the Environment (A)3 ch (3C)

A multi-disciplinary study of petroleum and its role in global carbon cycles: its chemical composition, distribution (rock types, sedimentology and heterogeneity of reservoir rocks, subsurface conditions, overpressures), theories of petroleum generation, migration, trapping and accumulation.  Aspects of the petroleum industry are reviewed, including exploration and development of conventional and unconventional resources (including oil sands and shale gas); development economics; Canadian and global petroleum resources and declining reserves.  The environmental impact of the petroleum industry (groundwater, surface, and atmospheric pollution, and global warming), mitigation (carbon capture and storage/conversion), and alternative energy options are discussed. 

Prerequisites: ESCI 1001, ESCI 1012, and one of ESCI 1006, ESCI 1026, or ESCI 1036. Recommended ESCI 2211, ESCI 2321

ESCI3621Exploration Geochemistry (O)4 ch (3C 3L)

Application of geochemistry to mineral exploration. Distribution and controls on element migration in rocks and soils. Recognition of anomalous concentrations. Selected case histories. Common analytical methods for rock, soil, and water samples.

Prerequisite: ESCI 2602. 

ESCI3631Geochemistry of Natural Waters4 ch (3C 3L) (W)

The principles of chemical equilibria, reaction kinetics and transport applied to natural water systems. Chemical weathering and diagenesis. Chemistry of surface waters, ground water and the oceans. Geochemical cycles. Applications to environmental problems. Labs include chemical analysis of water, carbonate equilibria and geochemic modeling. One Saturday field trip. 

Prerequisite: ESCI 2602 or permission of instructor.

ESCI3703Field School (2 weeks)5 ch (field school) (W) (EL)

Principles of structural geology and geological mapping. Provides two weeks supervised training in field work and preparation of an independent structural map and report of a selected area. At least the costs of accommodation expenses are paid by the student. To be taken as part of the final year.

Prerequisites: ESCI 2142, ESCI 2703, ESCI 3322.

ESCI3713Geoenvironmental Field School (2 weeks)5 ch (field school) (W) (EL)

Applications of geological, geochemical, geophysical and hydrological methods to an environmental site investigation. Typically includes one week of field work followed by one week for the analysis of data and preparation of a comprehensive written report summarizing the field investigation, synthesizing results, drawing conclusions, and making recommendations. A cost will be associated with this course.

Prerequisites: ESCI 2703, or permission of the instructor, ESCI 3442, ESCI 3631.

ESCI3803Work Term Report ICR

A written report on the scientific activities of the work term. Credit for the course is dependent in part on the employer's evaluation of the student's work activities. Students must be accepted into the Geology Co-op program to register for this course. 

ESCI4112Igneous and Metamorphic Petrogenesis (A) 4 ch (2C 3L) (W)

Study of igneous and metamorphic rocks emphasizing the processes responsible for their formation in terms of heat, pressure and fluid effects related to tectonic setting. Laboratories primarily concentrate on the acquisition of observational skills via hand specimens and detailed petrographic work supported by interpretation of geochemical and isotopic datasets.

Prerequisite: ESCI 3131

ESCI4152Volcanology (O)4 ch (2C 3L)

Physical volcanology, textural, petrologic, and petrogenetic study of ultramafic to felsic volcanic systems in a variety of tectonic environments are examined. Emphasis on magma/melt properties, phase relations and composition, crystallization processes, and gas exsolution and groundwater interaction processes are key. Laboratory studies emphasize petrology of volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks in a variety of geological settings. 

Prerequisite: ESCI 3131.

ESCI4212Sedimentary Environments, Landforms, and Sequences (A)4 ch (3C 3L) (W)

Lectures focus on processes active in modern sedimentary environments, landform development, and facies (e.g., rivers, lakes, deltas, estuaries, beaches, barrier islands, shallow and deep oceans); and their interpretation and successions in the geologic record (sequence stratigraphy).  Labs cover microscopic examination of sedimentary diagenesis, introductory air photo/image analysis and interpretation, and exercises relating to paleogeography, sea-/lake-level change, and (sequence-) stratigraphic correlation.

Prerequisites: ESCI 2142, ESCI 2211

Recommended: ESCI 3271.

ESCI4282Introductory Oceanography and Paleoceanography (A) (Cross-Listed: BIOL 4652)4 ch (3C 2L)

The oceans modulate the climate, are key regulators of biogeochemical cycles and support rich and diverse biological habitats. Designed to provide an overview of the role and functioning of the modern oceans. Also introduces students to the latest methods used in paleoceanography (i.e. the study of past oceanic conditions), a domain that has contributed considerably to our understanding of climate functioning and changes. A sample of the topics, related to the chemistry, physics and biology of the oceans that will be discussed includes: thermohaline circulation, dynamics of upwelling zones, tides, El Niño/La Niña and other climate oscillations, biogeochemical cycles, impact of human activities on the oceans (e.g. eutrophication, acidification), tracers and proxies in marine records (e.g. biological tracers and biomarkers, geochemical tracers, etc.). Credit may not be obtained for both ESCI 4282 and BIOL 4652.

Prerequisite: One pairing of either ESCI 1001 and ESCI 1006/ESCI 1026/ESCI 1036, or ESCI 1012 and ESCI 1017; or either BIOL 1001/BIOL 1009, BIOL 1006, BIOL 1012/BIOL 1019, BIOL 1017; (ESCI 2272 recommended).
ESCI4312Geotectonics3 ch (3C/S/T)

Seminar course investigating the principles of crustal growth and recycling, plate tectonics, plate motions, plate margin processes, mantle anisotropy, and their application to Phanerozoic, Proterozoic, and Archean mantle and lithosphere evolution.

Prerequisites: ESCI 3131, ESCI 3322.

ESCI4322Flow of Rocks (O)4 ch (2C 3L)

Application of material science to rock deformation. Theory of rock deformation. Development of microstructure and fabric in deformed rock. Labs will be concerned with observation and measurement of microstructure and fabric.

Prerequisites: ESCI 2211, ESCI 3322.

ESCI4401Applied Glacial Geology4 ch (3C 3L) (W)

Study of the mass balance of glaciers and characteristics of flow, erosion and deposition by active and stagnant ice masses, facies relationships in processes and products of glaciated terrain, and assessment of terrain from air photos, maps, geophysical and core data. Practical applications include: relevance of sample collection and analyses for geotechnical evaluation and mineral prospecting, and identification of industrial resources and terrain hazards. 

Prerequisites: ESCI 2211, ESCI 2321 or permission of the instructor.

ESCI4412Applied Rock Mechanics (O)4 ch (3C 2L) (W)

Lectures and labs investigate applications of rock mechanics and rock engineering principles, using geological and geomechanical data in the open-ended design of surface and underground engineering structures sited in rocks, as well as geo-hazard mitigation. Analysis of design problems incorporates several industry standard software packages. The natural variability of geomaterials and implications for effective design solutions are discussed.

Prerequisite: ESCI 3411. Equivalent to GE 4412.

ESCI4452Environmental Impact Assessment4 ch (3C 1T)

Introduction to environmental impact assessment (EIA) from the Canadian perspective, covering the history, scope and need for EIA, as well as the general approach and regulatory framework used in Canada and New Brunswick. The majority of the course focuses on geosciences in environmental investigations. Topics include: goals of investigations; physical processes of dispersion in the atmosphere, surface water, groundwater and glacial systems; important geochemical concepts that influence the transport and fate of contaminants in the environment. 

Pre- or co-requisite: ESCI 3442

ESCI4461Economic Geology 4 ch (2C 3L)

General features of mineral deposits, their origin, localization and classification, with emphasis on exploration, evaluation and development. 

Prerequisites: ESCI 2142, ESCI 3482, or approval of instructor.

ESCI4472Mineral Resource Exploration Geology (A)4 ch (2C 3L)

Advanced features of mineral deposits, their origin, localization and classification, with emphasis on exploration, evaluation and development. 

PrerequisitesESCI 4461, or approval of instructor.

ESCI4501Applied Geophysics I (A) 4 ch (3C 3L)

Introduction to the principles, survey procedures and interpretation techniques of the gravity, magnetic, and gamma radiation methods of geophysical exploration. Applications of these methods to geological mapping, mineral and hydrocarbon exploration, engineering and environmental applications. 

Prerequisites: MATH 1013 or MATH 1063, PHYS 1062 and PHYS 1092 or equivalent. Recommended: MATH 2513 or MATH 2013

ESCI4512Applied Geophysics II 4 ch (3C 3L)

Introduction to principles, survey procedures and interpretation techniques of electrical, electromagnetic, and seismic methods of geophysical exploration. Applications of these methods to mineral and hydrocarbon exploration as well as engineering and hydrogeological-environmental investigations. 

Prerequisites: MATH 1013 or MATH 1063, PHYS 1062 and PHYS 1092 or equivalent. Recommended: MATH 2513 or MATH 2013

ESCI4612Isotope Geochemistry (A)3 ch (3C) (W)

Theory and application of stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry in geology. Coverage includes radiometric dating, radiogenic and stable isotopic systems in petrology and geochemistry, and applications of radiogenic and stable isotopes to the solution of problems in lithospheric evolution, paleoclimatology and environmental geochemistry. 

Prerequisites: ESCI 2602, ESCI 3131

ESCI4803Work Term Report IICR

A written report on the scientific activities of the work term. Credit for the course is dependent in part on the employer's evaluation of the student's work activities. Students must be accepted into the Geology Co-op program to register for this course. 

Prerequisite: ESCI 3803

ESCI4900Thesis Project8 ch (W) (EL)

Students who intend to undertake a thesis project, either as an elective course or as a requirement for an Honours BSc degree, are advised to consult with their intended faculty supervisor near the end of their third year. Students must have CGPA of 3.0 or better. Additional requirements and guidelines for the project can be obtained from the Director of Undergraduate Studies. A written request for admission to the Honours programe and/or for permission to take this course must be submitted by the student to the Departmental Chair no later than the last day to add classes of the fall term of the student's final year; the letter must state the provisional title of the project and the name of the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the project.

ESCI4913Independent Studies in Geology3 ch

Advanced studies in a topic in geological sciences. The topic is to be chosen jointly by the student, advisor and Chair of the Department. May be taken for credit more than once. Title of topic will appear on transcript.

Prerequisite: Third year standing and a GPA of at least 2.5. Permission of the Department.