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The Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

The Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University offers interdisciplinary approaches to diverse teaching and research themes

The Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences has an international reputation for leading-edge research. Undergraduate programs parallel the research themes and include Atmospheric Sciences, Environmental Earth Sciences, Geology, Palaeontology, and Planning.

Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences building

Undergraduate Programs

Atmospheric Sciences

Honors and Specialization, BSc
Atmospheric Science is the study of the Earth’s atmosphere, weather, and climate.

Environmental Earth Sciences

Honors and Specialization, BSc
Environmental Earth Science is the study of processes at the Earth’s surface, involving interactions between the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere, cryosphere and solid earth. It has a particular concern with human impact on natural processes and its consequences.

Geology

Honors and Specialization, BSc
Geology is the study of the planet Earth, the materials of which it is made, the processes which affect these materials, and the origin and evolution of life.

Human Geography

Honors, Major and Minor in Human Geography, BA
The study of Human Geography focuses on the interface between people and the built and natural environments within which they operate.

Paleontology

Honors and Specialization, BSc
Paleontology explores the evolutionary history of life, beginning billions of years ago, when matter and energy first organized life out of chaos, to the present day’s astonishing diversity of living things.

Planning

BA Major, BSc Specialization
Planning is a profession that works to improve the welfare of people and their communities by creating more convenient, sustainable, equitable, healthful, efficient, and attractive places for present and future generations.

Graduate Programs

The Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta has an international reputation for leading-edge research and dynamic PhD, MSc and MA programs.With outstanding laboratory and field research facilities, and excellent technical support, the Department is able to provide unparalleled opportunities for collaborative, interdisciplinary graduate research.

Research Facility

World-class analytical and computing facilities support the Earth and Atmospheric Science Department’s teaching and research programmes.

Museums and Collections

The permanent collections of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences consist of five formal divisions: the Drill Core Collection, which has about 7000 metres of sedimentary core and 900 metres of kimberlite; the Invertebrate Paleontology Collection that includes over 10,000 type specimens; the Meteorite Collection, which is the 3rd largest in Canada; the Mineralogy and Petrology Collection; and the Trace Fossil Collection that supports research and education in Ichnology.

The Department is also home to the Canadian Ice Core Archive, which houses the Canadian National Ice Core Collection and provides world class facilities for the processing and physical/chemical analysis of ice cores for studies of past climates, atmospheric deposition. and the properties of glacier ice.

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arctic ice caps are changing

Climate change: Why are the Arctic ice caps changing?

Martin Sharp from the University of Alberta provides a compelling insight into the issue of precisely why the Arctic ice caps are changing.

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