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PhD in Environmental Sciences

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First Name:
Last Name:
E-mail Address:
Careers:
  • A PhD in Environmental Sciences can lead to a career in many industries and sectors.
The PhD in Environmental Sciences program includes all science departments at UPEI.
(902) 566-6059

This program is one of two doctoral programs offered by the Faculty of Science, the other of which being the PhD in Molecular and Macromolecular Sciences.  Traditional elements of this PhD program include the development of a research dissertation in a field of interest in the environmental sciences, the completion and approval of a candidacy examination, and a final oral defense.  Unique to this program are three environmentally oriented courses that provide students with expertise in environmental communication strategies:

  • Communication Strategies
  • Current Issues in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • Practical Issues Surrounding Environmental Management
Want more information about PhD in Environmental Sciences? Leave your email address and we'll get in touch!
First Name:
Last Name:
E-mail Address:
Careers:
  • A PhD in Environmental Sciences can lead to a career in many industries and sectors.
The PhD in Environmental Sciences program includes all science departments at UPEI.
(902) 566-6059

A) STRUCTURE OF THE PROGRAM
The purpose of this PhD degree program is to provide a doctoral level research experience for candidates, ensuring that they develop critical thinking, creativity and subject mastery through their program. A secondary objective is
to provide a value added degree containing a significant, Business (PhD MMS) or (environmental communications) (PhD ESC) component to the studies. This degree will offer graduate education at the PhD level that meets the needs of the global scientific business, industry, research and academic environments in Molecular and Macromolecular Sciences, or Environmental Sciences both identified as constellations of research strength at UPEI.

These degree programs are research-intensive and will require the student to develop a thesis based around an individual, independent thesis topic. This foundation will be complemented by graduate-level constellation-based courses, a comprehensive examination and a final oral defence of the thesis. Unless otherwise specified below, the “General Regulations for Graduate Programs” will apply to the Doctorate of Philosophy in Molecular and Macromolecular Sciences And Environmental Sciences degrees.

Admission Requirements
Acceptance into the program will be granted on the basis of qualifications and suitability to fit into the main research endeavours of MMS or ESC members who are also members of the Graduate Faculty with a PhD/Masters supervisory role. 

Students must hold a Master of Science degree or its equivalent from a recognized university and have achieved at least a second class standing (70-80%) for this degree. Students may also be admitted to the PhD program by registering in the existing MSc program in Science and transferring to the PhD program after twelve (12) to eighteen (18) months upon the recommendation of their supervisory committee. In special circumstances, highly exceptional students with first-class BSc Honours degrees may be admitted directly to the PhD program (contact the office of the Dean of Science for specific criteria for admission). Evidence will be required that the applicant is capable of undertaking substantial original research.  Admission to the MMS or ESC PhD programs is granted on the basis of a recommendation of the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee and explicit supervisory support from a faculty member within the corresponding constellation. Faculty members must demonstrate research funding to cover four years of guaranteed stipend support or exhibit sufficient research progress that funding renewal is expected.

Applicants are encouraged to visit the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies website (http://www.upei.ca/science/graduatestudies), and contact faculty members within the MMS or ESC constellations to discuss research interests and to confirm the availability of a position within their group. Secondly, applicants will submit an application package including an application form, official university transcripts for the applicant’s complete undergraduate and graduate (if any) record to date, three letters of reference, at least two of which should be from faculty members with a strong familiarity with the applicant’s academic and research background, proof of English language proficiency such as TOEFL scores (for applicants whose first language is not English) which meet the minimum scores as listed under the general Admission Requirements in the university Calendar and evidence of the ability to conduct substantial original research including, but not limited to, theses, publications and research presentations.

Want more information about PhD in Environmental Sciences? Leave your email address and we'll get in touch!
First Name:
Last Name:
E-mail Address:
Careers:
  • A PhD in Environmental Sciences can lead to a career in many industries and sectors.
The PhD in Environmental Sciences program includes all science departments at UPEI.
(902) 566-6059

Residency

Given the nature of these programs, a minimum of six full terms (two fall, two winter, and two summer terms) is required to complete course work. A maximum period of seven (7) years from the date of registration will be allocated for the completion of the PhD program. Exceptional circumstances will be considered provided that they are supported by the student’s supervisor and properly communicated, discussed and supported by the supervisory committee. In all cases, extensions beyond this maximum period must be approved by the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee and the Office of Graduate Studies.

Supervision

In the first semester of the PhD program, each student will be assigned a supervisory committee which will consist of the student’s supervisor and three (3) members chosen from UPEI faculty or adjunct faculty within the corresponding constellation (or from the School of Business in the case of MMS) or a cognate discipline. For MMS students, it is expected that at least two members of the committee will be from the MMS constellation and that at least one member of the committee will have significant business experience, either as a member of the School of Business or as an adjunct or regular faculty member with industrial expertise. The majority of students’ time will be engaged in developing their research project, but this experience will be supplemented by coursework; specific courses will be chosen in consultation with the supervisory committee.

Research

Independent research will be the major focus of the PhD degree. Normally, the equivalent of at least nine full-time semesters must be devoted to research in fulfillment of the thesis requirement. Summers during which research work is actively conducted may be counted as research semester equivalents. In order to avoid undue prolongation of the time required to complete the degree, the research topic should be identified early and approved by the Supervisory Committee. The research should comprise an extensive body of original research in the candidate’s field, making a true contribution exemplifying the student’s depth of knowledge, creativity, innovation and proven ability to make significant scientific research contributions. Research progress will be monitored by biannual meetings of the Supervisory Committee as proscribed by the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee. Research involving the use of hazardous materials must follow the Guidelines of the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. Research involving animals or humans, must follow established protocols on Animal care and ethics, respectively.

 

Want more information about PhD in Environmental Sciences? Leave your email address and we'll get in touch!
First Name:
Last Name:
E-mail Address:
Careers:
  • A PhD in Environmental Sciences can lead to a career in many industries and sectors.
The PhD in Environmental Sciences program includes all science departments at UPEI.
(902) 566-6059

Candidacy Examination

Doctoral students must complete a candidacy examination within two (2) years of entering the PhD program. Students who register as Masters students at UPEI and then transfer into the PhD program must complete their candidacy exam within three (3) years of registering as a graduate student at UPEI. Before the exam, the student must present a basic thesis proposal to the Supervisory Committee and obtain a recommendation that the student proceed with the oral candidacy exam. The supervisory committee will inform the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee of this decision, and will suggest the make-up of the Candidacy Examination Committee.

The Candidacy Examination Committee will consist of two (2) members of the Supervisory Committee and one (1) external faculty member from the University of Prince Edward Island who does not necessarily need to fall within the corresponding research constellation; this third member could be from another scientific research constellation. A designate from the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee will act as Chair of the examination. 

The student will then distribute copies of a detailed thesis proposal (MMS) or an original essay (ESC) to the Candidacy Examination Committee and the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee. The latter will schedule a mutually agreeable time and place for the exam. This proposal (MMS) or essay (ESC) must be received at least three weeks prior to the scheduled exam. The expanded thesis proposal (MMS) should address not only the research plan, but also how the student’s courses in both MMS and Business relate to the proposed work. 

The essay should address a topic considered relevant to ESC as identified in advance by the Candidacy Examination Committee. The examination begins with a formal presentation by the student not to exceed 30 minutes followed by the candidate being asked to respond to questions from the Examination Committee on topics related to the proposed area of research or essay and general topics in the student’s field. The questions, while broad in scope, will invariably focus on the student’s research proposal and will evaluate the student’s expertise in their field. The Examination Committee will then deliberate in a closed session to make a judgment of satisfactory or unsatisfactory. A judgment of satisfactory will result in the student being declared a PhD Candidate. If the judgment is unsatisfactory, the student will be required to re-take the exam within 4 months. A second unsatisfactory judgment will result in the student being required to withdraw from the PhD program. If the student has not previously completed an MSc degree, he or she is then free to enter the MSc program and transfer research and academic coursework.

Examination

The final oral examination of the PhD thesis will consist of a research seminar, followed by questions from the Doctoral Examination committee. The examination will be public, but members of the audience may only question the candidate upon invitation of the Chair of the Committee. The committee will be chaired by a representative from the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee and will consist of five members as follows: Two (2) representatives from the student’s supervisory committee, One (1) internal examiner from the University of Prince Edward Island, preferably a faculty member with relevant research experience, and One (1) external examiner from outside the University of Prince Edward Island, preferably from another University or Research Institute, as deemed appropriate.

The external examiner will be chosen by the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee from a list of three arms‐length nominees who should be experts in the candidate’s research field. The nominees will be suggested by the Supervisory Committee in consultation with the student. It is preferred if the external examiner can attend the examination in person, however the external examiner can participate via video or audio conference call if this is impractical. Following the examination, the candidate will leave the room and the committee will deliberate upon the decision.

The members of the Examination committee, including the External Examiner, report individually on both the defence and the thesis, the candidate being deemed to have passed if not more than one of the five Examiners votes negatively. An abstention is regarded as a negative vote. If successful, the candidate will be awarded his or her PhD degree. If unsuccessful, the candidate will be permitted to re-take the examination within 6 months. If unsuccessful in the second attempt, the student will be required to withdraw from the PhD program. If the student has not previously completed an MSc degree, he or she is then free to enter the MSc program and transfer research and academic coursework. 

Thesis

Each candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular and Macromolecular Sciences or Environmental Sciences is required to submit a thesis based upon the research conducted under supervision described above. The thesis must demonstrate the candidate’s capacity for original and independent work, and should include a critical evaluation of work which has previously been done in the field of his or her research. The thesis should emphasize any new conclusions which may be drawn from the candidate’s own research. For MMS students, while there is no requirement that the work conducted be directed towards industry, business or commercial applications, students are expected to address the significance and importance of their work to technology, industry and innovation in Canada and the world. General specifications as to type of paper, format, order and binding will be available as necessary.

Overview

This program is one of two doctoral programs offered by the Faculty of Science, the other of which being the PhD in Molecular and Macromolecular Sciences.  Traditional elements of this PhD program include the development of a research dissertation in a field of interest in the environmental sciences, the completion and approval of a candidacy examination, and a final oral defense.  Unique to this program are three environmentally oriented courses that provide students with expertise in environmental communication strategies:

  • Communication Strategies
  • Current Issues in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • Practical Issues Surrounding Environmental Management
The Program

A) STRUCTURE OF THE PROGRAM
The purpose of this PhD degree program is to provide a doctoral level research experience for candidates, ensuring that they develop critical thinking, creativity and subject mastery through their program. A secondary objective is
to provide a value added degree containing a significant, Business (PhD MMS) or (environmental communications) (PhD ESC) component to the studies. This degree will offer graduate education at the PhD level that meets the needs of the global scientific business, industry, research and academic environments in Molecular and Macromolecular Sciences, or Environmental Sciences both identified as constellations of research strength at UPEI.

These degree programs are research-intensive and will require the student to develop a thesis based around an individual, independent thesis topic. This foundation will be complemented by graduate-level constellation-based courses, a comprehensive examination and a final oral defence of the thesis. Unless otherwise specified below, the “General Regulations for Graduate Programs” will apply to the Doctorate of Philosophy in Molecular and Macromolecular Sciences And Environmental Sciences degrees.

Admission Requirements
Acceptance into the program will be granted on the basis of qualifications and suitability to fit into the main research endeavours of MMS or ESC members who are also members of the Graduate Faculty with a PhD/Masters supervisory role. 

Students must hold a Master of Science degree or its equivalent from a recognized university and have achieved at least a second class standing (70-80%) for this degree. Students may also be admitted to the PhD program by registering in the existing MSc program in Science and transferring to the PhD program after twelve (12) to eighteen (18) months upon the recommendation of their supervisory committee. In special circumstances, highly exceptional students with first-class BSc Honours degrees may be admitted directly to the PhD program (contact the office of the Dean of Science for specific criteria for admission). Evidence will be required that the applicant is capable of undertaking substantial original research.  Admission to the MMS or ESC PhD programs is granted on the basis of a recommendation of the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee and explicit supervisory support from a faculty member within the corresponding constellation. Faculty members must demonstrate research funding to cover four years of guaranteed stipend support or exhibit sufficient research progress that funding renewal is expected.

Applicants are encouraged to visit the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies website (http://www.upei.ca/science/graduatestudies), and contact faculty members within the MMS or ESC constellations to discuss research interests and to confirm the availability of a position within their group. Secondly, applicants will submit an application package including an application form, official university transcripts for the applicant’s complete undergraduate and graduate (if any) record to date, three letters of reference, at least two of which should be from faculty members with a strong familiarity with the applicant’s academic and research background, proof of English language proficiency such as TOEFL scores (for applicants whose first language is not English) which meet the minimum scores as listed under the general Admission Requirements in the university Calendar and evidence of the ability to conduct substantial original research including, but not limited to, theses, publications and research presentations.

Requirements

Residency

Given the nature of these programs, a minimum of six full terms (two fall, two winter, and two summer terms) is required to complete course work. A maximum period of seven (7) years from the date of registration will be allocated for the completion of the PhD program. Exceptional circumstances will be considered provided that they are supported by the student’s supervisor and properly communicated, discussed and supported by the supervisory committee. In all cases, extensions beyond this maximum period must be approved by the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee and the Office of Graduate Studies.

Supervision

In the first semester of the PhD program, each student will be assigned a supervisory committee which will consist of the student’s supervisor and three (3) members chosen from UPEI faculty or adjunct faculty within the corresponding constellation (or from the School of Business in the case of MMS) or a cognate discipline. For MMS students, it is expected that at least two members of the committee will be from the MMS constellation and that at least one member of the committee will have significant business experience, either as a member of the School of Business or as an adjunct or regular faculty member with industrial expertise. The majority of students’ time will be engaged in developing their research project, but this experience will be supplemented by coursework; specific courses will be chosen in consultation with the supervisory committee.

Research

Independent research will be the major focus of the PhD degree. Normally, the equivalent of at least nine full-time semesters must be devoted to research in fulfillment of the thesis requirement. Summers during which research work is actively conducted may be counted as research semester equivalents. In order to avoid undue prolongation of the time required to complete the degree, the research topic should be identified early and approved by the Supervisory Committee. The research should comprise an extensive body of original research in the candidate’s field, making a true contribution exemplifying the student’s depth of knowledge, creativity, innovation and proven ability to make significant scientific research contributions. Research progress will be monitored by biannual meetings of the Supervisory Committee as proscribed by the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee. Research involving the use of hazardous materials must follow the Guidelines of the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. Research involving animals or humans, must follow established protocols on Animal care and ethics, respectively.

 

Exam and Thesis

Candidacy Examination

Doctoral students must complete a candidacy examination within two (2) years of entering the PhD program. Students who register as Masters students at UPEI and then transfer into the PhD program must complete their candidacy exam within three (3) years of registering as a graduate student at UPEI. Before the exam, the student must present a basic thesis proposal to the Supervisory Committee and obtain a recommendation that the student proceed with the oral candidacy exam. The supervisory committee will inform the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee of this decision, and will suggest the make-up of the Candidacy Examination Committee.

The Candidacy Examination Committee will consist of two (2) members of the Supervisory Committee and one (1) external faculty member from the University of Prince Edward Island who does not necessarily need to fall within the corresponding research constellation; this third member could be from another scientific research constellation. A designate from the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee will act as Chair of the examination. 

The student will then distribute copies of a detailed thesis proposal (MMS) or an original essay (ESC) to the Candidacy Examination Committee and the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee. The latter will schedule a mutually agreeable time and place for the exam. This proposal (MMS) or essay (ESC) must be received at least three weeks prior to the scheduled exam. The expanded thesis proposal (MMS) should address not only the research plan, but also how the student’s courses in both MMS and Business relate to the proposed work. 

The essay should address a topic considered relevant to ESC as identified in advance by the Candidacy Examination Committee. The examination begins with a formal presentation by the student not to exceed 30 minutes followed by the candidate being asked to respond to questions from the Examination Committee on topics related to the proposed area of research or essay and general topics in the student’s field. The questions, while broad in scope, will invariably focus on the student’s research proposal and will evaluate the student’s expertise in their field. The Examination Committee will then deliberate in a closed session to make a judgment of satisfactory or unsatisfactory. A judgment of satisfactory will result in the student being declared a PhD Candidate. If the judgment is unsatisfactory, the student will be required to re-take the exam within 4 months. A second unsatisfactory judgment will result in the student being required to withdraw from the PhD program. If the student has not previously completed an MSc degree, he or she is then free to enter the MSc program and transfer research and academic coursework.

Examination

The final oral examination of the PhD thesis will consist of a research seminar, followed by questions from the Doctoral Examination committee. The examination will be public, but members of the audience may only question the candidate upon invitation of the Chair of the Committee. The committee will be chaired by a representative from the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee and will consist of five members as follows: Two (2) representatives from the student’s supervisory committee, One (1) internal examiner from the University of Prince Edward Island, preferably a faculty member with relevant research experience, and One (1) external examiner from outside the University of Prince Edward Island, preferably from another University or Research Institute, as deemed appropriate.

The external examiner will be chosen by the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee from a list of three arms‐length nominees who should be experts in the candidate’s research field. The nominees will be suggested by the Supervisory Committee in consultation with the student. It is preferred if the external examiner can attend the examination in person, however the external examiner can participate via video or audio conference call if this is impractical. Following the examination, the candidate will leave the room and the committee will deliberate upon the decision.

The members of the Examination committee, including the External Examiner, report individually on both the defence and the thesis, the candidate being deemed to have passed if not more than one of the five Examiners votes negatively. An abstention is regarded as a negative vote. If successful, the candidate will be awarded his or her PhD degree. If unsuccessful, the candidate will be permitted to re-take the examination within 6 months. If unsuccessful in the second attempt, the student will be required to withdraw from the PhD program. If the student has not previously completed an MSc degree, he or she is then free to enter the MSc program and transfer research and academic coursework. 

Thesis

Each candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular and Macromolecular Sciences or Environmental Sciences is required to submit a thesis based upon the research conducted under supervision described above. The thesis must demonstrate the candidate’s capacity for original and independent work, and should include a critical evaluation of work which has previously been done in the field of his or her research. The thesis should emphasize any new conclusions which may be drawn from the candidate’s own research. For MMS students, while there is no requirement that the work conducted be directed towards industry, business or commercial applications, students are expected to address the significance and importance of their work to technology, industry and innovation in Canada and the world. General specifications as to type of paper, format, order and binding will be available as necessary.

Overview

This program is one of two doctoral programs offered by the Faculty of Science, the other of which being the PhD in Molecular and Macromolecular Sciences.  Traditional elements of this PhD program include the development of a research dissertation in a field of interest in the environmental sciences, the completion and approval of a candidacy examination, and a final oral defense.  Unique to this program are three environmentally oriented courses that provide students with expertise in environmental communication strategies:

  • Communication Strategies
  • Current Issues in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • Practical Issues Surrounding Environmental Management

The Program

A) STRUCTURE OF THE PROGRAM
The purpose of this PhD degree program is to provide a doctoral level research experience for candidates, ensuring that they develop critical thinking, creativity and subject mastery through their program. A secondary objective is
to provide a value added degree containing a significant, Business (PhD MMS) or (environmental communications) (PhD ESC) component to the studies. This degree will offer graduate education at the PhD level that meets the needs of the global scientific business, industry, research and academic environments in Molecular and Macromolecular Sciences, or Environmental Sciences both identified as constellations of research strength at UPEI.

These degree programs are research-intensive and will require the student to develop a thesis based around an individual, independent thesis topic. This foundation will be complemented by graduate-level constellation-based courses, a comprehensive examination and a final oral defence of the thesis. Unless otherwise specified below, the “General Regulations for Graduate Programs” will apply to the Doctorate of Philosophy in Molecular and Macromolecular Sciences And Environmental Sciences degrees.

Admission Requirements
Acceptance into the program will be granted on the basis of qualifications and suitability to fit into the main research endeavours of MMS or ESC members who are also members of the Graduate Faculty with a PhD/Masters supervisory role. 

Students must hold a Master of Science degree or its equivalent from a recognized university and have achieved at least a second class standing (70-80%) for this degree. Students may also be admitted to the PhD program by registering in the existing MSc program in Science and transferring to the PhD program after twelve (12) to eighteen (18) months upon the recommendation of their supervisory committee. In special circumstances, highly exceptional students with first-class BSc Honours degrees may be admitted directly to the PhD program (contact the office of the Dean of Science for specific criteria for admission). Evidence will be required that the applicant is capable of undertaking substantial original research.  Admission to the MMS or ESC PhD programs is granted on the basis of a recommendation of the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee and explicit supervisory support from a faculty member within the corresponding constellation. Faculty members must demonstrate research funding to cover four years of guaranteed stipend support or exhibit sufficient research progress that funding renewal is expected.

Applicants are encouraged to visit the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies website (http://www.upei.ca/science/graduatestudies), and contact faculty members within the MMS or ESC constellations to discuss research interests and to confirm the availability of a position within their group. Secondly, applicants will submit an application package including an application form, official university transcripts for the applicant’s complete undergraduate and graduate (if any) record to date, three letters of reference, at least two of which should be from faculty members with a strong familiarity with the applicant’s academic and research background, proof of English language proficiency such as TOEFL scores (for applicants whose first language is not English) which meet the minimum scores as listed under the general Admission Requirements in the university Calendar and evidence of the ability to conduct substantial original research including, but not limited to, theses, publications and research presentations.

Requirements

Residency

Given the nature of these programs, a minimum of six full terms (two fall, two winter, and two summer terms) is required to complete course work. A maximum period of seven (7) years from the date of registration will be allocated for the completion of the PhD program. Exceptional circumstances will be considered provided that they are supported by the student’s supervisor and properly communicated, discussed and supported by the supervisory committee. In all cases, extensions beyond this maximum period must be approved by the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee and the Office of Graduate Studies.

Supervision

In the first semester of the PhD program, each student will be assigned a supervisory committee which will consist of the student’s supervisor and three (3) members chosen from UPEI faculty or adjunct faculty within the corresponding constellation (or from the School of Business in the case of MMS) or a cognate discipline. For MMS students, it is expected that at least two members of the committee will be from the MMS constellation and that at least one member of the committee will have significant business experience, either as a member of the School of Business or as an adjunct or regular faculty member with industrial expertise. The majority of students’ time will be engaged in developing their research project, but this experience will be supplemented by coursework; specific courses will be chosen in consultation with the supervisory committee.

Research

Independent research will be the major focus of the PhD degree. Normally, the equivalent of at least nine full-time semesters must be devoted to research in fulfillment of the thesis requirement. Summers during which research work is actively conducted may be counted as research semester equivalents. In order to avoid undue prolongation of the time required to complete the degree, the research topic should be identified early and approved by the Supervisory Committee. The research should comprise an extensive body of original research in the candidate’s field, making a true contribution exemplifying the student’s depth of knowledge, creativity, innovation and proven ability to make significant scientific research contributions. Research progress will be monitored by biannual meetings of the Supervisory Committee as proscribed by the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee. Research involving the use of hazardous materials must follow the Guidelines of the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. Research involving animals or humans, must follow established protocols on Animal care and ethics, respectively.

 

Exam and Thesis

Candidacy Examination

Doctoral students must complete a candidacy examination within two (2) years of entering the PhD program. Students who register as Masters students at UPEI and then transfer into the PhD program must complete their candidacy exam within three (3) years of registering as a graduate student at UPEI. Before the exam, the student must present a basic thesis proposal to the Supervisory Committee and obtain a recommendation that the student proceed with the oral candidacy exam. The supervisory committee will inform the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee of this decision, and will suggest the make-up of the Candidacy Examination Committee.

The Candidacy Examination Committee will consist of two (2) members of the Supervisory Committee and one (1) external faculty member from the University of Prince Edward Island who does not necessarily need to fall within the corresponding research constellation; this third member could be from another scientific research constellation. A designate from the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee will act as Chair of the examination. 

The student will then distribute copies of a detailed thesis proposal (MMS) or an original essay (ESC) to the Candidacy Examination Committee and the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee. The latter will schedule a mutually agreeable time and place for the exam. This proposal (MMS) or essay (ESC) must be received at least three weeks prior to the scheduled exam. The expanded thesis proposal (MMS) should address not only the research plan, but also how the student’s courses in both MMS and Business relate to the proposed work. 

The essay should address a topic considered relevant to ESC as identified in advance by the Candidacy Examination Committee. The examination begins with a formal presentation by the student not to exceed 30 minutes followed by the candidate being asked to respond to questions from the Examination Committee on topics related to the proposed area of research or essay and general topics in the student’s field. The questions, while broad in scope, will invariably focus on the student’s research proposal and will evaluate the student’s expertise in their field. The Examination Committee will then deliberate in a closed session to make a judgment of satisfactory or unsatisfactory. A judgment of satisfactory will result in the student being declared a PhD Candidate. If the judgment is unsatisfactory, the student will be required to re-take the exam within 4 months. A second unsatisfactory judgment will result in the student being required to withdraw from the PhD program. If the student has not previously completed an MSc degree, he or she is then free to enter the MSc program and transfer research and academic coursework.

Examination

The final oral examination of the PhD thesis will consist of a research seminar, followed by questions from the Doctoral Examination committee. The examination will be public, but members of the audience may only question the candidate upon invitation of the Chair of the Committee. The committee will be chaired by a representative from the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee and will consist of five members as follows: Two (2) representatives from the student’s supervisory committee, One (1) internal examiner from the University of Prince Edward Island, preferably a faculty member with relevant research experience, and One (1) external examiner from outside the University of Prince Edward Island, preferably from another University or Research Institute, as deemed appropriate.

The external examiner will be chosen by the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee from a list of three arms‐length nominees who should be experts in the candidate’s research field. The nominees will be suggested by the Supervisory Committee in consultation with the student. It is preferred if the external examiner can attend the examination in person, however the external examiner can participate via video or audio conference call if this is impractical. Following the examination, the candidate will leave the room and the committee will deliberate upon the decision.

The members of the Examination committee, including the External Examiner, report individually on both the defence and the thesis, the candidate being deemed to have passed if not more than one of the five Examiners votes negatively. An abstention is regarded as a negative vote. If successful, the candidate will be awarded his or her PhD degree. If unsuccessful, the candidate will be permitted to re-take the examination within 6 months. If unsuccessful in the second attempt, the student will be required to withdraw from the PhD program. If the student has not previously completed an MSc degree, he or she is then free to enter the MSc program and transfer research and academic coursework. 

Thesis

Each candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular and Macromolecular Sciences or Environmental Sciences is required to submit a thesis based upon the research conducted under supervision described above. The thesis must demonstrate the candidate’s capacity for original and independent work, and should include a critical evaluation of work which has previously been done in the field of his or her research. The thesis should emphasize any new conclusions which may be drawn from the candidate’s own research. For MMS students, while there is no requirement that the work conducted be directed towards industry, business or commercial applications, students are expected to address the significance and importance of their work to technology, industry and innovation in Canada and the world. General specifications as to type of paper, format, order and binding will be available as necessary.

Want more information about PhD in Environmental Sciences? Leave your email address and we'll get in touch!
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E-mail Address:
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Careers: 
A PhD in Environmental Sciences can lead to a career in many industries and sectors.
Course Level: 
PhD in Environmental Sciences Courses
Courses: 

ESC 801 PhD THESIS
This is the main science-oriented component of the PhD, and as such, it is a course in which students will conduct an original research project, report orally on this work throughout the course of the degree, culminating in the submission and defence of a dissertation. A formal approval to initiate the research project will be granted after the supervisory committee has been established and a research proposal, including a thorough review of pertinent literature available, is provided by the candidate. Students must register in this course each semester to maintain enrolment in the program. It embodies the research component of this program.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 802 COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES
This workshop-style course is central to the certification in Environmental Communication Strategies and is built on the training offered through UPEI’s Centre for Conflict Resolution. This course promotes the development of communication skills in the context of environmental issues and exposes students to direct interaction with representatives from industry, government, community, and the social sciences. The course will also provide broad theoretical and practical knowledge needed to resolve disputes as well as skills training in techniques of mediation, facilitation, and negotiation. Due to the uniqueness of this course, it is considered a critical component towards the development of experience and involvement on the decision making process. The topics addressed during presentations and discussions will be the starting point for the development of written reports that at a later stage will benefit from the feedback from the coordinating faculty, and the representatives of industry, government and community.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 803 CURRENT ISSUES IN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
This course is intended to review the theory behind Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) through the use of case studies that best exemplify project development that prevent or minimize environmental degradation. This course will examine the needs, methods, regulatory frameworks and social implications of EIA with emphasis on recent Canadian case studies. On completion of this course, students will be familiarized with the concept of EIA (its history, principles, key constructs and main steps), the legislative and institutional context of EIA, and will be able to critically examine EIA cases and identify their implications.
Cross-listed with Enviromental Studies (c.f. ENV 431)
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 804 PRACTICAL ISSUES SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
This course intends to provide hands-on experience to our students by deploying them in NGOs, government agencies, or environmental consulting companies for approximately 75 flexible hours (the equivalent to the number of contact hours typically considered for a course’s lectures and laboratory). The primary goal of this course is to expose students of a given environmental discipline into the multiple aspects involved in the actual issues and decision-making process that take place in agencies outside the academic setting. This unique training period (spread from two weeks to an entire semester) will provide human resources to often resource-limited groups/ entities that will be chosen by each supervisory committee according to their relevance for the student research focus. Students are expected to gain unprecedented experience and, to some extent, provide actual input into environmental management. The student will prepare a written report and share their experience by giving a public seminar. The supervisory committee in collaboration with the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee will be responsible for identifying an appropriate placement based on the student’s discipline and interests.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ELECTIVE COURSES

ESC 862 ADVANCED FRESHWATER ECOLOGY
This course provides advanced study in the ecology of freshwater habitats, particularly those found on Prince Edward Island. The first part of the course concentrates on the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of fresh waters, classification of freshwater habitats, and applied limnology. A laboratory/field component includes an introduction to water analysis techniques and field equipment, field water analysis, the collection and analysis of biological samples, and the physical properties of water. The second part is a field/lab project on a limnological topic tailored to the student’s individual program, and consists of an experimental or observational study coupled with a comprehensive literature review, project write-up, and oral presentation.
NOTE: Credit is not given for both Biology 462 (Limnology) and Biology 862 and ESC 862

ESC 865 ADVANCES IN MARINE ECOLOGY
This course provides an update on relevant areas of ongoing marine research. The first part of the course concentrates on marine ecology topics including benthic-pelagic coupling, dispersal and adult-larval interactions, animal-sediment relationships, biodiversity ecosystem services, encrusting communities and their interactions, and aquatic invasive species. The second part includes participation in regular discussion sessions based on analysis of advanced literature relevant to the discipline and to the student’s particular research. Assignments include an essay relevant (but not restricted) to a student’s field of research, and a seminar on a topic relating general ecological hypotheses to the topic addressed in the essay.
NOTE: Credit will not be given for both Biology 465 (Marine Community Ecology) and ESC 865.
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3 (3 hours lecture and 3 hours lab/field trip per week, plus discussion group.)

ESC 871 ADVANCED STUDIES IN ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY
This course provides an in depth analysis of environmental impacts of the major classes of contaminants including methodologies for environmental impact assessment and monitoring. Effects of environmental contaminants are examined at the ecosystem, organismal, cellular, biochemical and molecular levels. Additional emphasis is placed on understanding the fate of contaminants of concern in aquatic and terrestrial environments including their environmental chemistry, biogeochemical cycles, and exposure and uptake pathways by organisms. The course consists of lectures, discussions of peer-reviewed literature, case studies, presentations by students and laboratories.
Cross-listed with MMS 824
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 872 ADVANCED STUDIES OF MACROECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY
This course examines our current understanding of the patterns of distribution and abundance of organisms from the integrative perspective of macroecology and biogeography. The first discipline is concerned with understanding patterns at large spatial and temporal scales via the use of large quantitative databases and statistical techniques. The second one is concerned with the study of the patterns of distribution of animal species by integrating information on historical events (e.g., plate tectonics), evolutionary processes, as well as ecological and physiological trends.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 873 CONSERVATION GENETICS
Conservation genetics is an emerging and topical field of biology that combines molecular genetic approaches with environmental, evolutionary and ecological research under the umbrella of conservation biology. This course will cover a range of research topics pertaining to the conservation of biodiversity including ecological and landscape genetics, contemporary evolution and human-mediated change, invasion biology, genomics for endangered species, and genetics of captive or isolated populations. The course will introduce students to theoretical and experimental approaches to measuring and managing genetic diversity, as well as cultural and ethical issues in conservation biology through lectures, tutorial and case study discussion. Students will have hands-on experience with DNA and molecular marker analysis techniques, lead in-class discussions, write critical reviews of current research, and develop research proposals for selected questions in conservation genetics.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 875 QUANTITATIVE METHODS FOR THE ANALYSIS OF ANIMAL MOVEMENT
A better comprehension of animal movement is vital to interpreting key ecological and evolutionary processes, such as the spatial-temporal patterns of resource selection, foraging behaviour, and predator-prey interactions. As human activities continually alter landscapes and influence the behaviour and movement patterns of organisms, a variety of pressing ecological and health issues are emerging, such as the spread of invasive species and infectious diseases. Hence, advances in our understanding of animal movement will have direct implications in several disciplines including landscape ecology, conservation biology, and wildlife management, as well as those dealing with public health. In this course, the student will investigate the various methods currently employed to study animal movement in complex landscapes.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 877 VETERINARY BIOSTATISTICS
This course provides the student with a working knowledge of the basic statistical techniques used in veterinary science. Topics include descriptive statistics, inferential statistics non-parametric statistics, analysis of variance, regression and correlation and experimental design.
Cross-listed with graduate level course VHM 801.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 878 ISLAND BIOGEOGRAPHY AND CONSERVATION OF INSULAR SYSTEMS
This course examines the several fundamental patterns and processes that characterize biotas and environments on islands and other broadly defined insular systems. Topics covered include earth history and historical biogeography, speciation, dispersal, extinction, island biogeography, assembly and evolution of insular communities, island effect, adaptive radiation, environmental determinism, conservation biology, marine and terrestrial protected areas, and vulnerability of island biotas to terrestrial and aquatic invasive species.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 879 ADVANCED TECHNIQUES IN SCANNING ELECTRONIC MICROSCOPY
This course covers the principles of scanning electron microscopy including techniques used for the preparation of biological or other materials for microscopy and the use of specialized software to analyze surface features of samples. Students will learn to operate the instrument over the full spectrum of use and will generate their own images and learn to interpret patterns. A microscopical investigation of material relevant to the student’s discipline will form the basis of a course project.
Cross-listed with Molecular and Macromolecular Sciences and Human Biology (cf. MMS 813 and HB 825)
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 880 MOLECULAR BIOTECHNOLOGY
This course examines principles of gene manipulation, and the application of molecular biology in all the fields of biotechnology. Recent developments in medicine, agriculture, industry and basic research are considered. Emphasis is placed on reviewing current literature in the field, particularly on areas more closely related to the natural sciences/ environment.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3
 

Course Level: 
Required Courses
Courses: 

Students will be required to take three (3) mandatory graduate-level courses in Environmental sciences in addition to one (1) elective course in their disciplinary area. Each student is expected to complete these courses within the first 18 months of the degree. Graduate students are required to register for ESC 801 – PhD thesis throughout their degree program. Additional required constellation-based courses include:

ESC 802 - Communication strategies
ESC 803 - Current issues in Environmental Impact Assessment
ESC 804 - Practical issues Surrounding Environmental Management.

Students are also required to take 1 additional ESC elective at the graduate level.

Calendar Courses

ESC 801 PhD THESIS
This is the main science-oriented component of the PhD, and as such, it is a course in which students will conduct an original research project, report orally on this work throughout the course of the degree, culminating in the submission and defence of a dissertation. A formal approval to initiate the research project will be granted after the supervisory committee has been established and a research proposal, including a thorough review of pertinent literature available, is provided by the candidate. Students must register in this course each semester to maintain enrolment in the program. It embodies the research component of this program.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 802 COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES
This workshop-style course is central to the certification in Environmental Communication Strategies and is built on the training offered through UPEI’s Centre for Conflict Resolution. This course promotes the development of communication skills in the context of environmental issues and exposes students to direct interaction with representatives from industry, government, community, and the social sciences. The course will also provide broad theoretical and practical knowledge needed to resolve disputes as well as skills training in techniques of mediation, facilitation, and negotiation. Due to the uniqueness of this course, it is considered a critical component towards the development of experience and involvement on the decision making process. The topics addressed during presentations and discussions will be the starting point for the development of written reports that at a later stage will benefit from the feedback from the coordinating faculty, and the representatives of industry, government and community.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 803 CURRENT ISSUES IN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
This course is intended to review the theory behind Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) through the use of case studies that best exemplify project development that prevent or minimize environmental degradation. This course will examine the needs, methods, regulatory frameworks and social implications of EIA with emphasis on recent Canadian case studies. On completion of this course, students will be familiarized with the concept of EIA (its history, principles, key constructs and main steps), the legislative and institutional context of EIA, and will be able to critically examine EIA cases and identify their implications.
Cross-listed with Enviromental Studies (c.f. ENV 431)
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 804 PRACTICAL ISSUES SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
This course intends to provide hands-on experience to our students by deploying them in NGOs, government agencies, or environmental consulting companies for approximately 75 flexible hours (the equivalent to the number of contact hours typically considered for a course’s lectures and laboratory). The primary goal of this course is to expose students of a given environmental discipline into the multiple aspects involved in the actual issues and decision-making process that take place in agencies outside the academic setting. This unique training period (spread from two weeks to an entire semester) will provide human resources to often resource-limited groups/ entities that will be chosen by each supervisory committee according to their relevance for the student research focus. Students are expected to gain unprecedented experience and, to some extent, provide actual input into environmental management. The student will prepare a written report and share their experience by giving a public seminar. The supervisory committee in collaboration with the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee will be responsible for identifying an appropriate placement based on the student’s discipline and interests.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ELECTIVE COURSES

ESC 862 ADVANCED FRESHWATER ECOLOGY
This course provides advanced study in the ecology of freshwater habitats, particularly those found on Prince Edward Island. The first part of the course concentrates on the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of fresh waters, classification of freshwater habitats, and applied limnology. A laboratory/field component includes an introduction to water analysis techniques and field equipment, field water analysis, the collection and analysis of biological samples, and the physical properties of water. The second part is a field/lab project on a limnological topic tailored to the student’s individual program, and consists of an experimental or observational study coupled with a comprehensive literature review, project write-up, and oral presentation.
NOTE: Credit is not given for both Biology 462 (Limnology) and Biology 862 and ESC 862

ESC 865 ADVANCES IN MARINE ECOLOGY
This course provides an update on relevant areas of ongoing marine research. The first part of the course concentrates on marine ecology topics including benthic-pelagic coupling, dispersal and adult-larval interactions, animal-sediment relationships, biodiversity ecosystem services, encrusting communities and their interactions, and aquatic invasive species. The second part includes participation in regular discussion sessions based on analysis of advanced literature relevant to the discipline and to the student’s particular research. Assignments include an essay relevant (but not restricted) to a student’s field of research, and a seminar on a topic relating general ecological hypotheses to the topic addressed in the essay.
NOTE: Credit will not be given for both Biology 465 (Marine Community Ecology) and ESC 865.
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3 (3 hours lecture and 3 hours lab/field trip per week, plus discussion group.)

ESC 871 ADVANCED STUDIES IN ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY
This course provides an in depth analysis of environmental impacts of the major classes of contaminants including methodologies for environmental impact assessment and monitoring. Effects of environmental contaminants are examined at the ecosystem, organismal, cellular, biochemical and molecular levels. Additional emphasis is placed on understanding the fate of contaminants of concern in aquatic and terrestrial environments including their environmental chemistry, biogeochemical cycles, and exposure and uptake pathways by organisms. The course consists of lectures, discussions of peer-reviewed literature, case studies, presentations by students and laboratories.
Cross-listed with MMS 824
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 872 ADVANCED STUDIES OF MACROECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY
This course examines our current understanding of the patterns of distribution and abundance of organisms from the integrative perspective of macroecology and biogeography. The first discipline is concerned with understanding patterns at large spatial and temporal scales via the use of large quantitative databases and statistical techniques. The second one is concerned with the study of the patterns of distribution of animal species by integrating information on historical events (e.g., plate tectonics), evolutionary processes, as well as ecological and physiological trends.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 873 CONSERVATION GENETICS
Conservation genetics is an emerging and topical field of biology that combines molecular genetic approaches with environmental, evolutionary and ecological research under the umbrella of conservation biology. This course will cover a range of research topics pertaining to the conservation of biodiversity including ecological and landscape genetics, contemporary evolution and human-mediated change, invasion biology, genomics for endangered species, and genetics of captive or isolated populations. The course will introduce students to theoretical and experimental approaches to measuring and managing genetic diversity, as well as cultural and ethical issues in conservation biology through lectures, tutorial and case study discussion. Students will have hands-on experience with DNA and molecular marker analysis techniques, lead in-class discussions, write critical reviews of current research, and develop research proposals for selected questions in conservation genetics.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 875 QUANTITATIVE METHODS FOR THE ANALYSIS OF ANIMAL MOVEMENT
A better comprehension of animal movement is vital to interpreting key ecological and evolutionary processes, such as the spatial-temporal patterns of resource selection, foraging behaviour, and predator-prey interactions. As human activities continually alter landscapes and influence the behaviour and movement patterns of organisms, a variety of pressing ecological and health issues are emerging, such as the spread of invasive species and infectious diseases. Hence, advances in our understanding of animal movement will have direct implications in several disciplines including landscape ecology, conservation biology, and wildlife management, as well as those dealing with public health. In this course, the student will investigate the various methods currently employed to study animal movement in complex landscapes.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 877 VETERINARY BIOSTATISTICS
This course provides the student with a working knowledge of the basic statistical techniques used in veterinary science. Topics include descriptive statistics, inferential statistics non-parametric statistics, analysis of variance, regression and correlation and experimental design.
Cross-listed with graduate level course VHM 801.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 878 ISLAND BIOGEOGRAPHY AND CONSERVATION OF INSULAR SYSTEMS
This course examines the several fundamental patterns and processes that characterize biotas and environments on islands and other broadly defined insular systems. Topics covered include earth history and historical biogeography, speciation, dispersal, extinction, island biogeography, assembly and evolution of insular communities, island effect, adaptive radiation, environmental determinism, conservation biology, marine and terrestrial protected areas, and vulnerability of island biotas to terrestrial and aquatic invasive species.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 879 ADVANCED TECHNIQUES IN SCANNING ELECTRONIC MICROSCOPY
This course covers the principles of scanning electron microscopy including techniques used for the preparation of biological or other materials for microscopy and the use of specialized software to analyze surface features of samples. Students will learn to operate the instrument over the full spectrum of use and will generate their own images and learn to interpret patterns. A microscopical investigation of material relevant to the student’s discipline will form the basis of a course project.
Cross-listed with Molecular and Macromolecular Sciences and Human Biology (cf. MMS 813 and HB 825)
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 880 MOLECULAR BIOTECHNOLOGY
This course examines principles of gene manipulation, and the application of molecular biology in all the fields of biotechnology. Recent developments in medicine, agriculture, industry and basic research are considered. Emphasis is placed on reviewing current literature in the field, particularly on areas more closely related to the natural sciences/ environment.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3
 

Students will be required to take three (3) mandatory graduate-level courses in Environmental sciences in addition to one (1) elective course in their disciplinary area. Each student is expected to complete these courses within the first 18 months of the degree. Graduate students are required to register for ESC 801 – PhD thesis throughout their degree program. Additional required constellation-based courses include:

ESC 802 - Communication strategies
ESC 803 - Current issues in Environmental Impact Assessment
ESC 804 - Practical issues Surrounding Environmental Management.

Students are also required to take 1 additional ESC elective at the graduate level.

Calendar Courses

PhD in Environmental Sciences Courses

ESC 801 PhD THESIS
This is the main science-oriented component of the PhD, and as such, it is a course in which students will conduct an original research project, report orally on this work throughout the course of the degree, culminating in the submission and defence of a dissertation. A formal approval to initiate the research project will be granted after the supervisory committee has been established and a research proposal, including a thorough review of pertinent literature available, is provided by the candidate. Students must register in this course each semester to maintain enrolment in the program. It embodies the research component of this program.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 802 COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES
This workshop-style course is central to the certification in Environmental Communication Strategies and is built on the training offered through UPEI’s Centre for Conflict Resolution. This course promotes the development of communication skills in the context of environmental issues and exposes students to direct interaction with representatives from industry, government, community, and the social sciences. The course will also provide broad theoretical and practical knowledge needed to resolve disputes as well as skills training in techniques of mediation, facilitation, and negotiation. Due to the uniqueness of this course, it is considered a critical component towards the development of experience and involvement on the decision making process. The topics addressed during presentations and discussions will be the starting point for the development of written reports that at a later stage will benefit from the feedback from the coordinating faculty, and the representatives of industry, government and community.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 803 CURRENT ISSUES IN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
This course is intended to review the theory behind Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) through the use of case studies that best exemplify project development that prevent or minimize environmental degradation. This course will examine the needs, methods, regulatory frameworks and social implications of EIA with emphasis on recent Canadian case studies. On completion of this course, students will be familiarized with the concept of EIA (its history, principles, key constructs and main steps), the legislative and institutional context of EIA, and will be able to critically examine EIA cases and identify their implications.
Cross-listed with Enviromental Studies (c.f. ENV 431)
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 804 PRACTICAL ISSUES SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
This course intends to provide hands-on experience to our students by deploying them in NGOs, government agencies, or environmental consulting companies for approximately 75 flexible hours (the equivalent to the number of contact hours typically considered for a course’s lectures and laboratory). The primary goal of this course is to expose students of a given environmental discipline into the multiple aspects involved in the actual issues and decision-making process that take place in agencies outside the academic setting. This unique training period (spread from two weeks to an entire semester) will provide human resources to often resource-limited groups/ entities that will be chosen by each supervisory committee according to their relevance for the student research focus. Students are expected to gain unprecedented experience and, to some extent, provide actual input into environmental management. The student will prepare a written report and share their experience by giving a public seminar. The supervisory committee in collaboration with the Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee will be responsible for identifying an appropriate placement based on the student’s discipline and interests.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ELECTIVE COURSES

ESC 862 ADVANCED FRESHWATER ECOLOGY
This course provides advanced study in the ecology of freshwater habitats, particularly those found on Prince Edward Island. The first part of the course concentrates on the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of fresh waters, classification of freshwater habitats, and applied limnology. A laboratory/field component includes an introduction to water analysis techniques and field equipment, field water analysis, the collection and analysis of biological samples, and the physical properties of water. The second part is a field/lab project on a limnological topic tailored to the student’s individual program, and consists of an experimental or observational study coupled with a comprehensive literature review, project write-up, and oral presentation.
NOTE: Credit is not given for both Biology 462 (Limnology) and Biology 862 and ESC 862

ESC 865 ADVANCES IN MARINE ECOLOGY
This course provides an update on relevant areas of ongoing marine research. The first part of the course concentrates on marine ecology topics including benthic-pelagic coupling, dispersal and adult-larval interactions, animal-sediment relationships, biodiversity ecosystem services, encrusting communities and their interactions, and aquatic invasive species. The second part includes participation in regular discussion sessions based on analysis of advanced literature relevant to the discipline and to the student’s particular research. Assignments include an essay relevant (but not restricted) to a student’s field of research, and a seminar on a topic relating general ecological hypotheses to the topic addressed in the essay.
NOTE: Credit will not be given for both Biology 465 (Marine Community Ecology) and ESC 865.
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3 (3 hours lecture and 3 hours lab/field trip per week, plus discussion group.)

ESC 871 ADVANCED STUDIES IN ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY
This course provides an in depth analysis of environmental impacts of the major classes of contaminants including methodologies for environmental impact assessment and monitoring. Effects of environmental contaminants are examined at the ecosystem, organismal, cellular, biochemical and molecular levels. Additional emphasis is placed on understanding the fate of contaminants of concern in aquatic and terrestrial environments including their environmental chemistry, biogeochemical cycles, and exposure and uptake pathways by organisms. The course consists of lectures, discussions of peer-reviewed literature, case studies, presentations by students and laboratories.
Cross-listed with MMS 824
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 872 ADVANCED STUDIES OF MACROECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY
This course examines our current understanding of the patterns of distribution and abundance of organisms from the integrative perspective of macroecology and biogeography. The first discipline is concerned with understanding patterns at large spatial and temporal scales via the use of large quantitative databases and statistical techniques. The second one is concerned with the study of the patterns of distribution of animal species by integrating information on historical events (e.g., plate tectonics), evolutionary processes, as well as ecological and physiological trends.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 873 CONSERVATION GENETICS
Conservation genetics is an emerging and topical field of biology that combines molecular genetic approaches with environmental, evolutionary and ecological research under the umbrella of conservation biology. This course will cover a range of research topics pertaining to the conservation of biodiversity including ecological and landscape genetics, contemporary evolution and human-mediated change, invasion biology, genomics for endangered species, and genetics of captive or isolated populations. The course will introduce students to theoretical and experimental approaches to measuring and managing genetic diversity, as well as cultural and ethical issues in conservation biology through lectures, tutorial and case study discussion. Students will have hands-on experience with DNA and molecular marker analysis techniques, lead in-class discussions, write critical reviews of current research, and develop research proposals for selected questions in conservation genetics.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 875 QUANTITATIVE METHODS FOR THE ANALYSIS OF ANIMAL MOVEMENT
A better comprehension of animal movement is vital to interpreting key ecological and evolutionary processes, such as the spatial-temporal patterns of resource selection, foraging behaviour, and predator-prey interactions. As human activities continually alter landscapes and influence the behaviour and movement patterns of organisms, a variety of pressing ecological and health issues are emerging, such as the spread of invasive species and infectious diseases. Hence, advances in our understanding of animal movement will have direct implications in several disciplines including landscape ecology, conservation biology, and wildlife management, as well as those dealing with public health. In this course, the student will investigate the various methods currently employed to study animal movement in complex landscapes.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 877 VETERINARY BIOSTATISTICS
This course provides the student with a working knowledge of the basic statistical techniques used in veterinary science. Topics include descriptive statistics, inferential statistics non-parametric statistics, analysis of variance, regression and correlation and experimental design.
Cross-listed with graduate level course VHM 801.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 878 ISLAND BIOGEOGRAPHY AND CONSERVATION OF INSULAR SYSTEMS
This course examines the several fundamental patterns and processes that characterize biotas and environments on islands and other broadly defined insular systems. Topics covered include earth history and historical biogeography, speciation, dispersal, extinction, island biogeography, assembly and evolution of insular communities, island effect, adaptive radiation, environmental determinism, conservation biology, marine and terrestrial protected areas, and vulnerability of island biotas to terrestrial and aquatic invasive species.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 879 ADVANCED TECHNIQUES IN SCANNING ELECTRONIC MICROSCOPY
This course covers the principles of scanning electron microscopy including techniques used for the preparation of biological or other materials for microscopy and the use of specialized software to analyze surface features of samples. Students will learn to operate the instrument over the full spectrum of use and will generate their own images and learn to interpret patterns. A microscopical investigation of material relevant to the student’s discipline will form the basis of a course project.
Cross-listed with Molecular and Macromolecular Sciences and Human Biology (cf. MMS 813 and HB 825)
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3

ESC 880 MOLECULAR BIOTECHNOLOGY
This course examines principles of gene manipulation, and the application of molecular biology in all the fields of biotechnology. Recent developments in medicine, agriculture, industry and basic research are considered. Emphasis is placed on reviewing current literature in the field, particularly on areas more closely related to the natural sciences/ environment.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to a graduate program in Science
HOURS OF CREDIT: 3
 

Required Courses

Students will be required to take three (3) mandatory graduate-level courses in Environmental sciences in addition to one (1) elective course in their disciplinary area. Each student is expected to complete these courses within the first 18 months of the degree. Graduate students are required to register for ESC 801 – PhD thesis throughout their degree program. Additional required constellation-based courses include:

ESC 802 - Communication strategies
ESC 803 - Current issues in Environmental Impact Assessment
ESC 804 - Practical issues Surrounding Environmental Management.

Students are also required to take 1 additional ESC elective at the graduate level.

Contact UPEI