Environmental Science

300-level

ENVR356
Field-focused Research Methods in Environmental Science
Description
This course links field-based learning and/or data collection with instruction in research methods and tutorials dedicated to working in research teams analysing, processing and interpreting data in the broad subject area of environmental science.
Occurrences
General non-calendar-based 2024
Special non-calendar-based Two 2024
Points
30 points
Prerequisites
Enrolment in the Frontiers Abroad programme and Head of Department approval. RP: Completion of course(s) at home institution in the broader field of Earth Systems Science and Environmental Science and Studies.
Restrictions
GEOL356. This course is not open to non-Frontiers Abroad students

Geology

100-level

GEOL101
Building Planet Earth: Fundamentals of Earth Science
Description
Welcome to Te Kura Aronukurangi | School of Earth and Environment at Te Whare Wananga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury. In this introductory course, we aim to provide you with a basic understanding of how Earth and its materials have developed through deep time. Since the birth of the Earth 4.55 billion years ago the only constant has been change. The oceans and atmosphere, the distribution of the continents and the life that they support are all part of an interactive system that makes Earth unique. In this course you will learn about the essential building blocks of Earth (minerals and rocks) and the processes that are responsible for how they form and change through time. In addition this course teaches you how to read the stories that the rocks are telling us and decipher key events in the evolution of life on Earth through the fossil record. Building Planet Earth gives you the opportunity to explore how our unique planet works and has sustained life, by showcasing our Zealandia continent. Aotearoa | New Zealand, on the active margin of the Pacific with its volcanoes, earthquakes, dramatic geomorphology, and 500 million years of geological history, is one of the best places on Earth to study geological processes.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Restrictions

GEOL102
Environmental Earth System Science
Description
This course provides foundational knowledge, understanding and practical skills aligned to complex challenges of the modern era from an Earth Science perspective. We currently face a number of critical problems that result from the complex interaction of Earth Systems that have no simple solution. Such challenges are known as ‘Wicked Problems’. From an Earth Science perspective, wicked problems include the modern period of human-induced climate change, access to critical resources, and the risk posed from natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides. This course explores these problems and outlines the geologic approaches available to help better understand these problems. The course will develop fundamental geologic skills including geoscientific data collection, analysis and visualisation, hazard analysis, spatial mapping, and written communication. Upon completion of this course, you will have acquired an appreciation for the role geoscience plays in creating, understanding and mitigating some of the most pressing issues facing humanity today, including * Rock and mineral derived contaminant cycling * Geologically derived carbon cycling and climate change * Hydroclimate, water resources and geosphere-hydrosphere-anthrosphere interactions * Novel metal resources * Plate tectonics; mountain building; faulting & folding * Natural hazards; earthquakes; landslides; tsunamis; volcanoes * Disaster risk; human-earth system interactions
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Restrictions

200-level

GEOL206
Volcanology and Science Communication
Description
This course will teach you how and why volcanoes erupt and how to communicate this to diverse audiences. During the course you will explore our local volcanoes on fieldtrips, and explore volcanoes in North Island NZ/Aotearoa and Iceland via virtual fieldtrips. During the labs you will use microscopes, cooking, and explosions to describe volcanic deposits, understand lava viscosity, and explain volcanic hazards Students will learn science observation methods and develop their bicultural competence, hearing from mana whenua, and applying their learning in a volcano science communication project. The course is intended for geology majors and those in any Sciences wishing to learn more about Aotearoa/New Zealand’s volcanoes and how to communicate science.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
Restrictions
GEOL306, GEOL336

GEOL209
Mantle and Magmatic Processes
Description
Have you ever wondered what the Earth’s mantle is made of, how it melts to generate magma, why the magma erupts where it does and why magmas erupting in different tectonic settings have different compositions? This course will provide answers to these questions and many more. It will examine the nature, origin, and interpretation of igneous rocks and mineral assemblages, as well as the magmatic processes that have produced these materials. Additionally, students will develop an understanding of the petrological evolution of the crustal lithosphere within a modern plate dynamic framework. Case studies will be used from across the globe to provide examples of various magmatic systems, but there will be a particular emphasis on those from the Pacific island nations, including Aotearoa New Zealand. Students taking this course will receive a broad grounding in the experimental, petrographical and geochemical aspects of igneous petrogenesis and magmatic processes. This will be achieved in two lectures and one laboratory class each week, along with half a day of fieldwork to collect geochemical data and a subsequent laboratory class to describe, evaluate interpret those data. Completion of activities in each lecture, marked output from lab classes and a discussion in which the student demonstrates the level of their understanding of key concepts will contribute to the course mark.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
Restrictions
GEOL309, GEOL336

GEOL237
Special Topic
Description
Students may only enrol in this Special Topic course on the advice of the Department of Geological Sciences.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
Subject to approval of the Head of Department.

GEOL240
Field Studies A - Mapping
Description
Geological mapping involves the observation, recording, presentation and interpretation of field data, all fundamental skills required by practising geologists. Students enrolling in GEOL240 will complete laboratory classes and prepare a geologic map, cross-section, and written report for the Island Hills area of North Canterbury based on field data collected on a fieldtrip held during semester break.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
, GEOL101 and GEOL102, GEOL111 and 15 points at 100 level from GEOL
Co-requisites
15 points from any of GEOL242-246 offered in the same semester

GEOL241
Field Studies B - Field Techniques
Description
Geological mapping involves the observation, recording and interpretation of field data, and is a fundamental skill required by all practicing geologists. GEOL 241 introduces field techniques applied to metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary rocks, and rock deformation structures, through laboratory classes and field work completed during the August/September semester break.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
, GEOL111 and any 15 points at 100 level from GEOL.
Restrictions
GEOL231
Co-requisites
15 points from any of GEOL242-246 offered in the same semester

GEOL242
Rocks, Minerals and Ores
Description
An introduction to mineralogy, igneous and metamorphic petrology, and related ore deposits, and their use in interpretation of geological environments. Students will be introduced to geologic processes sensitive to pressure, temperature and volatile availability, including magma crystallisation and gold mineralisation.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
GEOL101 and GEOL102 OR GEOL111 and 15 points at 100 level from GEOL

GEOL243
Depositional Environments and Stratigraphy
Description
This course focuses on modern sedimentary environments, oceanography and marine organisms as a key to interpreting depositional environments, and the techniques and approaches that allow geologist to deal with geological time. The fundamental underpinning is stratigraphy, and using sedimentary features and fossils as palaeoenvironment indicators, with particular attention paid to New Zealand examples.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
GEOL101 and GEOL102 OR GEOL111 and 15 points at 100 level from GEOL

GEOL244
Structural Geology and Global Geophysics
Description
Nature and origin of structures produced by deformation in the Earth’s crust, and material properties of rocks that affect the way in which they respond. Practical geometric methods associated with deriving and representing the three dimensional form of structures commonly encountered in geological practice, and synthesis of tectonic settings. This course also covers large-scale geometry and processes of plate tectonics, and topics in global geophysics linked to current observation and plate tectonic theory.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
GEOL101 and GEOL102 OR GEOL111 and 15 points at 100 level from GEOL

GEOL246
Earth Surface Dynamics
Description
Earth surface behaviour is a primary interface between geology and society. Knowledge and cultural perspectives of that behaviour therefore inform societal behaviour and development. This course will provide students with the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to be able to investigate and report on the sustainability of proposed site-specific land-uses in the context of future dynamic Earth surface system behaviours.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
30 points from GEOL, MATH, EMTH, ENVR, PHYS at 100 level, or (GEOG106 and 15 points from GEOL, MATH, EMTH, ENVR, PHYS at 100 level). . RP: GEOL111; GEOL113; GEOG106; 100-level MATH

300-level

GEOL309
Mantle and Magmatic Processes
Description
Have you ever wondered what the Earth’s mantle is made of, how it melts to generate magma, why the magma erupts where it does and why magmas erupting in different tectonic settings have different compositions? This course will provide answers to these questions and many more. It will examine the nature, origin, and interpretation of igneous rocks and mineral assemblages, as well as the magmatic processes that have produced these materials. Additionally, students will develop an understanding of the petrological evolution of the crustal lithosphere within a modern plate dynamic framework. Case studies will be used from across the globe to provide examples of various magmatic systems, but there will be a particular emphasis on those from the Pacific island nations, including Aotearoa New Zealand. Students taking this course will receive a broad grounding in the experimental, petrographical and geochemical aspects of igneous petrogenesis and magmatic processes. This will be achieved in two lectures and one laboratory class each week, along with half a day of fieldwork to collect geochemical data and a subsequent laboratory class to describe, evaluate interpret those data. Students will be expected to set their work in the context of the broader published literature. Completion of activities in each lecture, marked output from lab classes and a discussion in which the student demonstrates the level of their understanding of key concepts will contribute to the course mark.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
Restrictions
GEOL209, GEOL336

GEOL326
Volcanology and Science Communication
Description
This course will teach you how and why volcanoes erupt and how to communicate this to diverse audiences. During the course you will explore our local volcanoes on fieldtrips, and explore volcanoes in North Island NZ/Aotearoa and Iceland via virtual fieldtrips. During the labs you will use microscopes, cooking, and explosions to describe volcanic deposits, understand lava viscosity, and explain volcanic hazards Students will learn science observation methods and develop their bicultural competence, hearing from mana whenua, and applying their learning in a volcano science communication project. The course is intended for geology majors and those in any Sciences wishing to learn more about Aotearoa/New Zealand’s volcanoes and how to communicate science.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
GEOL101 or GEOL102, as well as 30 points from 200-level GEOL courses
Restrictions
GEOL206, GEOL336

GEOL331
Principles of Basin Analysis
Description
An introduction to the principles, methods and tools of basin analysis.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
GEOL243 and any 15 points at 200 level from GEOL

GEOL340
Special Topic
Description
Students may only enrol in this Special Topic course on the advice of the Department of Geological Sciences.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
Subject to approval of the Head of Department

GEOL342
Special Topic
Description
Students may only enrol in this Special Topic course on the advice of the Department of Geological Sciences.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
Subject to approval of the Head of Department

GEOL343
Special Topic
Description
Students may only enrol in this Special Topic course on the advice of the Department of Geological Sciences.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
Subject to approval of the Head of Department

GEOL345
Groundwater and Geothermal Systems
Description
This course provides an introduction to water in the subsurface environment. The emphasis is on the common unifying concepts that underlie the two main topics covered - groundwater and geothermal systems - and the linkages and differences between them. In addition to the concepts, the students will learn how to observe, measure and/or estimate key parameters, e.g. flow through porous and fractured media, interaction with surface water/springs, and the effects on these parameters from human exploitation (pumping and production). For geothermal systems, this will encompass the liquid and gas phases of water and how surface measurements can provide insights into the deep reservoir. Learning concepts, processes and parameters in groundwater and geothermal systems will be contextualised by the global significance of water and renewable energy resources, and how these are valued and managed in Aotearoa (including matauranga and kaitiakitanga perspectives) and the Pacific.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
Any 100 level GEOL course. MATH101 or equivalent is highly recommended.

GEOL351
Advanced Field Techniques
Description
Extended field work and related exercises aimed at broadening geological experience in the understanding and interpretation of rocks at outcrop, field map, and regional scales.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
, (1) GEOL240 and GEOL241, and (2) GEOL243 (3) 30 points from other GEOL 200-level courses.
Co-requisites
15 points from GEOL331-357 offered in the same semester.

GEOL352
Advanced Field Mapping
Description
Extended field mapping and related exercises aimed at broadening geological experience in the understanding and interpretation of rocks at outcrop, field map, and regional scales.
Occurrences
General non-calendar-based 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
, (1) GEOL240 and GEOL241, and (2) GEOL244 (3) 30 points from other GEOL 200-level courses.
Co-requisites
15 points from GEOL331-357 offered in the same semester.

GEOL354
Geodynamics and Geohazards
Description
This inter-disciplinary course focuses on the dynamics of potentially hazardous geological events and the connections between geodynamics and societal risk.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
GEOL102; any 30 points from GEOL244, GEOL246, or GEOG215.

GEOL356
Field-focused Research Methods
Occurrences
General non-calendar-based 2024
Special non-calendar-based Two 2024
Points
30 points
Prerequisites
Subject to approval of the Head of Department.
Restrictions

Not Offered Courses in 2024

Geology

100-level

GEOL111
Planet Earth: An Introduction to Geology
Description
A general introduction to the study of the dynamic Earth and its geology, including Earth structure and plate tectonics, volcanic activity, crystal processes and the nature of minerals and rocks.
Occurrences
Not offered 2024, offered in 2018 , 2019 , 2020 , 2021 , 2022
For further information see GEOL111 course details
Points
15 points

GEOL113
GeoHazards
Description
'GeoHazards' provides an introduction to the dynamic nature of the Earth’s surface and the hazards that geological processes pose for human society. The introductory course focuses on earthquake, volcanic, tsunami, and landslide hazards - exploring how the processes occur, how they can be hazardous to society, analyses disaster events, and identifies strategies that reduce the impact of disasters.
Occurrences
Not offered 2024, offered in 2019 , 2020 , 2021 , 2022
For further information see GEOL113 course details
Points
15 points

GEOL115
The Dynamic Earth System
Description
The 4.55 billion year story of Earth is a story of constant renewal and interaction among tectonics, rocks, water, plants, animals, soil and air. The Dynamic Earth System teaches you how to read this story present in both the rock record and Earth's modern natural environment.
Occurrences
Not offered 2024, offered in 2018 , 2019 , 2020 , 2021 , 2022
For further information see GEOL115 course details
Points
15 points

200-level

GEOL237
Special Topic
Description
Students may only enrol in this Special Topic course on the advice of the Department of Geological Sciences.
Occurrences
GEOL237-24S1 (C)
Semester One 2024 - Not offered
For further information see GEOL237 course details
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
Subject to approval of the Head of Department.

GEOL247
Forensic Palaeontology
Description
The palaeontology and palaeobiogeographic development of Aotearoa New Zealand is examined through the investigation of selected marine and terrestrial fossil invertebrate and vertebrate groups. The course is recommended for geology majors and those in biological or environmental sciences with an interest in New Zealand's palaeontological history and unique taonga.
Occurrences
Not offered 2024, offered in 2023
For further information see GEOL247 course details
Points
15 points

300-level

GEOL338
Engineering and Mining Geology
Description
Principles and practices of geology associated with engineering and mining activities.
Occurrences
GEOL338-24S2 (C)
Semester Two 2024 - Not offered
For further information see GEOL338 course details
Points
15 points
Prerequisites

GEOL339
Special Topic
Description
Students may only enrol in this Special Topic course on the advice of the Department of Geological Sciences.
Occurrences
GEOL339-24S1 (C)
Semester One 2024 - Not offered
For further information see GEOL339 course details
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
Subject to approval of the Head of Department

GEOL340
Special Topic
Description
Students may only enrol in this Special Topic course on the advice of the Department of Geological Sciences.
Occurrences
GEOL340-24S1 (C)
Semester One 2024 - Not offered
For further information see GEOL340 course details
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
Subject to approval of the Head of Department

GEOL343
Special Topic
Description
Students may only enrol in this Special Topic course on the advice of the Department of Geological Sciences.
Occurrences
GEOL343-24S1 (C)
Semester One 2024 - Not offered
For further information see GEOL343 course details
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
Subject to approval of the Head of Department

GEOL347
Forensic Palaeontology
Description
The palaeontology and palaeobiogeographic development of Aotearoa New Zealand is examined through the investigation of selected marine and terrestrial fossil invertebrate and vertebrate groups. The course is recommended for geology majors and those in biological or environmental sciences with an interest in New Zealand's palaeontological history and unique taonga.
Occurrences
Not offered 2024, offered in 2023
For further information see GEOL347 course details
Points
15 points

GEOL357
Topics in New Zealand Geology
Description
This course examines New Zealand geology in a regional and global context of tectonics, climate, and oceanographic events. Topics covered will include tectonics, resources and the geological development of New Zealand. The course aims to develop student’s research, presentation and written communication, and geological synthesis skills, and to build an understanding of New Zealand geology relevant to our future. This course is seen as a capstone course for BSc students, and useful preparation for those going on to postgraduate study.
Occurrences
Not offered 2024, offered in 2018 , 2019 , 2020 , 2021 , 2022
For further information see GEOL357 course details
Points
15 points