Master of Science in Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies

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  • Objectives
    This programme is designed to provide students with the theoretical foundation and methodological tools necessary to contribute to the understanding of human interventions in the environment. Through its emphasis on specialization and interdisciplinary perspectives, students are given the opportunity to carry out in-depth research work in any of the Department’s areas of specialization covering three broad categories of environment: the natural or bio-physical environment; the human, cultural or behavioural environment; and the urban, built or designed environment. In addition to contributing to the advancement of knowledge, students will be well placed to enter a wide range of careers in environmental, urban planning and public policy fields.
  • Academic Title
    Master of Science in Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies
  • Course description
    Required Courses
    HENV 605 Research Concepts and Design (3 credits)

    The research seminar examines concepts relevant to human interventions in the environment, where ‘environment’ broadly encompasses the natural or bio-physical environment, the urban, built, or designed environment, and the human, cultural or behavioural environment. Students will benefit from the interdisciplinary nature of the program by learning more about research design issues and ethical notions in different fields and contexts. The course also allows students to develop their own research methodologies among a peer group of students.

    HENV 615 Research Group Seminar (3 credits)

    This seminar provides an opportunity to extend, deepen, and apply the conceptual and methodological frameworks presented in the core and elective courses. Students are required to participate in one of the proposed research groups, comprised of faculty members and other graduate students who share a particular thematic or methodological focus (e.g. GIS, sustainable communities, environmental change, sustainable transportation). Each research group is administered by a faculty member and supported by graduate students who will serve as co-coordinators to the research group.

    HENV 685 Thesis Proposal (3 credits)
    Students are required to select their research topic and formulate a research proposal under the supervision of a thesis supervisor and with input from a thesis committee. The written proposal will include a sound rationale for the proposed research, a detailed description of the research design and methodology, and a comprehensive literature review. Students are also required to present an oral presentation of their proposal to the Department. The
    thesis proposal must be formally approved by the thesis committee and the Graduate Program Director before research activities can begin. The thesis proposal should be completed before the end of the second semester of residency in the Program and after a
    minimum of 6 credits in the Program have been taken.

    Elective Courses
    GEOG 610 Impact Assessment (3 credits)

    This course examines the conceptual bases, procedures, and methodology of environmental and social impact assessment. Consideration is given to politicaladministrative constraints, public participation, and the procedures involved in Federal and Provincial impact statements. The conceptual bases of impact statements, such as weightings, reference points, and impact boundaries are critically examined. The methodologies of impact statements are evaluated in the context of problems of measuring direct and indirect impacts, predicting the timing of impacts, and the separation of means and ends.

    GEOG 625 Directed Studies (3 credits)

    Note: Students enrolled in the M.Sc. program may not repeat this course as GEOG 626.
    Students are asked to complete the form of agreement with the chosen supervisor for this
    course. A link to this form in a Word format is available from the M.Sc. web page.

    HENV 635 Spatial Analysis (3 credits)

    This course examines analytical methods for handling specifically spatial data, where the arrangement of observations in space is thought to be of significance. The emphasis is on the choice and application of appropriate methods for the analysis of various types of data that are encountered in Geography, Planning and Environmental Studies. Procedures for analyzing spatial distributions of phenomena, temporal dynamics and change are examined in relation to Geographical Information Systems (GIS) tools and statistical techniques.

    HENV 645 Behaviour and the Urban Environment (3 credits)
    This course provides a basic understanding of the relationship between people and the urban environment. The focus is on the collective and individual responses of people to the built or designed environment, and the way in which these responses can be used to guide projects, plans and policies. The basic studies for the location of commercial facilities and the modeling of human spatial behaviour are introduced.

    HENV 655 Environmental Modeling (3 credits)

    The different approaches to modeling the bio-physical, built or human environment are examined. The conceptualization of simple models to examine how human interventions affect the environment is investigated. Different modeling approaches such as system models, computer visualization and simulation are covered. Students develop a model scheme related to their thesis topic.

    HENV 665 Special Topics Seminar (3 credits)

    This course is designed to meet the special needs of individual graduate students. Topics vary to permit investigation of current and developing theories and research areas. Content involves presentation, discussion, and critical analysis of information from relevant
     scientific literature. The course will also take advantage of visiting expertise.

    HENV 675 Community Participation in Environmental Conservation (3 credits)

    This course addresses the question of ‘how’ community participation can be achieved in conservation and development initiatives. Focusing on the particular experience of local communities, it presents participatory concepts, principles, tools, and processes that have
    practical application to a broad range of contexts and settings (e.g. environmental impact assessment, protected area establishment, co-management, wildlife conservation).

    Thesis
    HENV 695 Thesis (30 credits)
    Students are required to demonstrate their ability to carry out original, independent research. The thesis, which will be researched and written under the direction of a supervisor and thesis committee, should normally not exceed 100 pages. Upon completion of the thesis, the student will be required to defend his/her thesis before an external examiner and his/her thesis committee.

Other programs related to Environmental Studies

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