About us

AboutUs2

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences provides excellent undergraduate programs, as well as advanced instruction at the graduate level.

Find out more about our degree programs.

Faculty and Research

1375200396204

Faculty and students within the department are involved in timely, important research covering a broad range of academic disciplines.

Find out more by exploring our Research page or visiting researchers' sites.

Are you a student looking for an Honours thesis project? Check out our Potential Honours Project page.

Undergraduate Summer Research Scholarships - Summer 2021

There are about 70 Faculty of Science-coordinated summer research awards available each year, on a competitive basis, for current undergraduate students. Interested students may apply for an award and indicate the faculty member they’d like to work with. Award winners spend 16 weeks participating in a research project, alongside graduate students and other undergraduates.

Questions? The department has a dedicated faculty member in charge of summer research awards who assists students through the application process, Isabelle Coutand. You can contact her at icoutand@dal.ca

Guidelines - Faculty of Science Summer Research Awards 2021
Faculty of Science Undergraduate Summer Research Awards Application Form (Summer 2021)

For more information see the department's Funding and Awards page or the Faculty of Science's Summer Research Awards page.

Congratulations to all those who received awards at the 2021 Earth and Environmental Sciences End-of-Year Awards Banquet:
Michael Keen Memorial Award: Rosa Toutah (ERTH)
David Barlow Memorial Award: Bailey Milos (ERTH)
Art and Dorothy Cook Scholarship: Sage Mosgrove (ENVS)
Environmental Science Award: Brooklin Craig (ENVS)
Owen Hertzman Prize: Michelle Mann and Chiara Ferrero-Wong (ENVS)
Pearson Education Canada Book Prize: Roberto Noriega Burrill (ENVS)
Professor of the Year: Heather Cray (ENVS), Michael Young (ERTH)
TA of the Year: Nina Garrett (ENVS), Lauren Morris (ERTH)
Best Thesis Presentation and Defence: Andrew Willms (ENVS), Anna Ryan (ERTH)
Best Honours Thesis: Nina Garrett (ENVS), Michael Kishchuk (ERTH)

Congratulations Mariah St. Pierre, one of Dalhousie's Top Co-op Students of the Year for 2020. Mariah is an ENVS Major COOP with a Minor in Statistics and the GIS Certificate.

Congratulations Science Atlantic Environment Conference 2021 participants and award recipients. The day was highlighted by impressive performances and presentations all around, with our students bringing home the following awards:
Undergraduate Research Award (best research presentation): 2nd place Samantha Howard
Communication Award (the student who is best able to communicate a science topic to his or her peers: 1st place Nina Garrett
Acadian Award (best presentation on Acadian fauna or flora): Andrew Willms
Science Atlantic Graduate Research Award: 1st place, Rachel Noddle

Grant Wach has been awarded the prestigious D’Arcy McGee Beacon Fellowship by the Ireland Canada University Foundation (ICUF). This fellowship enables leading Irish and Canadian academics, researchers, and thinkers to connect and engage, via online lectures. Dr. Wach will showcase his research in a lecture on Energy Sustainability, Atlantic Margin Geology, and Geoforensics.

2021 AGS student awards: Congratulations to EES' Bailey Milos, Rupert McNeil Award recipient for the best undergrad presentation and Anna Ryan, Honourable Mention recipient.

Siobhan Takala who was a double major in Environmental Science (Faculty of Science) and the Environment Sustainability and Society program (College of Sustainability) has been named one of the  Top 25 Environmentalists under 25  for 2020 by the Starfish Group. She has been recognized for her work in co-founding “Let’s Sprout”  which creates spaces for youth to learn and grow, with a special focus on important issues within society, such as the environment and gender. Two Recent Dal Grads Named to Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 List (DalNews 2021/01/29)

Kudos to Samantha Howard (Combined Honours in Environmental Science and IDS) in winning the Inaugural Margaret R. Crickard Scholarship (DalNews 2020/11/26).

Congratulations Earth and Environmental Sciences Fall 2020 Memorial Award Recipients:
Michael Powell, James L. Hall Scholarship
Megan MacDonald, G.V. Douglas Memorial Award
Michael Kishchuk, MacEachern-Ponsford Memorial Award 

Congratulations Nina Garrett, Joy M Cunningham Award Recipient, one of the top three finalists in the FoS' 2020 Summer Research Contest: How similarity to parental calls affects call discrimination in noise by... https://youtu.be/VEdhEh6lqqw

Congratulations Anna Ryan, NSERC Award Recipient, Honourable Mention in the FoS' 2020 Summer Research Contest:Tracking ocean currents through time https://youtu.be/0F5o22hFA_4

Congratulations  new Canada Research Chair, Dr. Vittorio Maselli, Canada Research Chair in Coastal Zone Processes: https://www.dal.ca/news/2020/08/26/dalhousie-team-of-canada-research-chairs-continues-to-grow.html

Congratulations to Susan Gass, this year's recipient of the Faculty of Science Award of Excellence for Teaching. https://twitter.com/Dal_ESnENVS/status/1249767644242350096

Congratulations 2020 Earth and Environmental Sciences' Earth Ring Recipients!

Watch 3 Minute Thesis competition finalist, Caitlin McCavour's presentation: https://youtu.be/WN7nlMRmzDY

 

Joining forces
Introducing the Department of Earth and Environmental Science

Watch Planetary Volcanologist (and EES alum, BSc(Hon)2004) Christopher Hamilton as he speaks with Anderson Cooper about Mount Fagradalsfjall. He also speaks about the role drones could play in future Mars missions. (See also DalMagazine's profile: Volcano Watcher)

‘Earth and Marine Sciences', ‘Geology’, ‘Geophysics’ and ‘Petroleum Engineering' all secured spots in the top 100 in global ranking that considers nearly 1,500 universities.

How to grow a young climate leader (a talk with Siobhan Takala, Environmental Science/ Environment Sustainability and Society program alum).

Alumni profile of Lily Briggs (Environmental Studies grad, BA’05). Lily describes the role environmental studies (and EES' Tarah Wright) played in her trajectory as an environmental educator.

The potential of Geographic Information Systems in COVID-19 response: student, Leah Fulton, developes web application to visualize recent exposure locations.

EES' Shannon Sterling contributes to Chronicle Herald article on global warming: Global warming trend accelerating in 2020 'unusual,' alarming, Dalhousie prof says

NS Salmon Association research scientist & EES adjunct, Edmund Halfyard, on the Todd Veinotte Show discussing study co-authored by Shannon Sterling that found aluminum concentrations in NS rivers are too high to sustain healthy aquatic life. Many former EES students (Marley Geddes, Siobhan Takla, Sarah MacLeod and Lobke Rotteveel) contributed to the study he discusses. Segment starts at the 10:30 mark.

Aluminum concentrations in Nova Scotia rivers are too high to sustain healthy aquatic life, according to a study by EES' Shannon Sterling and team. You can find the paper in the Hydrology and Earth System Sciences journal: https://hess.copernicus.org/articles/24/4763/2020/hess-24-4763-2020.html

Vittorio Maselli's recent paper published in Geophysical Research Letters was selected as an Editor’s Highlight on Eos.org:  Abrupt Climate Shifts Change the Latitudes of Storm Activity

Climate crisis lurking in the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic | The Chronicle Herald (Featuring EES' Shannon Sterling)

Susan R. Eaton, Earth Sciences Class of 1980 (BSc Honours): Epic Explorer

Dalhousie Originals: Kathryn Sullivan (PhD Dalhousie Geology 1978)
From the Ocean to Outer Space: The Adventures of Dr. Kathy Sullivan (Rolling Stone)
Kathy Sullivan: The woman who's made history in sea and space (BBC)

Jane K. Willenbring, Stanford University (PhD Dalhousie EES 2006, ‘Jane Staiger’) wins the inaugural Marguerite T. Williams Award
https://www.agu.org/Honor-and-Recognize/Honors/Section-Awards/Marguerite-Williams-Award
https://eos.org/agu-news/2020-agu-section-awardees-and-named-lecturers

EES student Leah Fulton spent her summer developing guided online campus nature walks. Focused on some of the interesting trees on campus, it's an alternative the lunchtime urban nature walks held last year. Check out the project's story map:
https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/fb76f66443cc493496df89142d01f393

Mike Young and coop student Rosa Toutah are leading an ambitious project to create virtual field trips for many of our Fall Term courses. See https://sketchfab.com/mike.young for preliminary 3D models of field sites and sample.

Going the distance: Recent grad, Graeme Wach, ran 53 kilometres in 24 hours to raise donations for victims of Nova Scotia’s mass shootings

Grad Profile: Lily Barraclough, Building more physically active communities

Congratulations to Vittorio Maselli for leading this groundbreaking research on tsunami deposits just published in Geology and now featured in Dal on-line: How a 1,000‑year‑old tsunami in the Indian Ocean points to greater risk than originally thought

Check out this article featuring retired Earth Sciences' professor Dr. Barrie Clark: https://halifaxmag.com/features/titanic-tombstones/

Can liming N.S. forests help fight climate change?
NS: Mainstreet Halifax's Jeff Douglas spoke with EES' Shannon Sterling, who is researching whether liming forests can help them absorb more carbon dioxide.

EES' Shannon Sterling on CBC's Quirks & Quarks
Listen to Shannon answer Quirks and Quarks' question of the week: "As water covers most of the Earth, why isn't it completely shrouded in clouds?"

Halifax scientists endorse climate emergency letter


Meet EES' John Gosse, a geologist with a passion for landscape evolution and teaching the science of natural disasters.
The Sciographies Podcast – Episode 11: John Gosse, Geologist

Moon metals: New research considers what lies below the moon's surface

For conference details, click on the corresponding logo.


 

Check out Owen Sherwood's new paper published in PNAS on oil and gas wellbore integrity from more than 100k wells in CO/NM/PA: Public data from three US states provide new insights into well integrity

Check out Miao Zhang's new paper published in Geophysical Research Letters: Real-time Earthquake Early Warning with Deep Learning: Application to the 2016 M 6.0 Central Apennines, Italy Earthquake. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2020GL089394

Check out Owen Sherwood's new paper published in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: Amino acid δ13C and δ15N patterns from sediment trap time series and deep-sea corals: implications for biogeochemical and ecological reconstructions in paleoarchives https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0016703720307250

Check out Owen Sherwood's new paper: Microbial and Biogeochemical Indicators of Methane in Groundwater Aquifers of the Denver Basin, Colorado: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.0c04228#.X9GrSHhaKfM.twitter

Aluminum concentrations in Nova Scotia rivers are too high to sustain healthy aquatic life, according to a study by EES' Shannon Sterling and team. You can find the paper in the Hydrology and Earth System Sciences journal: https://hess.copernicus.org/articles/24/4763/2020/hess-24-4763-2020.html

Recent paper published in Nature Geoscience on the origins of iron ore deposits highlighted in this News and Views by James Brenan: https://rdcu.be/b7vG2

Check out Vittorio Maselli's paper "A 1000-yr-old tsunami in the Indian Ocean points to greater risk for East Africa": https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geology/article/doi/10.1130/G47257.1/586277/A-1000-yr-old-tsunami-in-the-Indian-Ocean-points
and online at the National Geographic Society's website: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/05/1000-year-old-bones-oldest-known-east-africa-tsunami-victims/

Check out Vittorio Maselli's paper Tidal modulation of river-flood deposits: How low can you go? just published in the journal GEOLOGY and his new OFI-funded project: https://oceanfrontierinstitute.com/research/pei-source

Check out this paper just published in Nature Geoscience co-authored by EES' James Brenan: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-020-0560-y

Notices

Undergraduate Summer Research Scholarships - Summer 2021

There are about 70 Faculty of Science-coordinated summer research awards available each year, on a competitive basis, for current undergraduate students. Interested students may apply for an award and indicate the faculty member they’d like to work with. Award winners spend 16 weeks participating in a research project, alongside graduate students and other undergraduates.

Questions? The department has a dedicated faculty member in charge of summer research awards who assists students through the application process, Isabelle Coutand. You can contact her at icoutand@dal.ca

Guidelines - Faculty of Science Summer Research Awards 2021
Faculty of Science Undergraduate Summer Research Awards Application Form (Summer 2021)

For more information see the department's Funding and Awards page or the Faculty of Science's Summer Research Awards page.

Kudos!

Congratulations to all those who received awards at the 2021 Earth and Environmental Sciences End-of-Year Awards Banquet:
Michael Keen Memorial Award: Rosa Toutah (ERTH)
David Barlow Memorial Award: Bailey Milos (ERTH)
Art and Dorothy Cook Scholarship: Sage Mosgrove (ENVS)
Environmental Science Award: Brooklin Craig (ENVS)
Owen Hertzman Prize: Michelle Mann and Chiara Ferrero-Wong (ENVS)
Pearson Education Canada Book Prize: Roberto Noriega Burrill (ENVS)
Professor of the Year: Heather Cray (ENVS), Michael Young (ERTH)
TA of the Year: Nina Garrett (ENVS), Lauren Morris (ERTH)
Best Thesis Presentation and Defence: Andrew Willms (ENVS), Anna Ryan (ERTH)
Best Honours Thesis: Nina Garrett (ENVS), Michael Kishchuk (ERTH)

Congratulations Mariah St. Pierre, one of Dalhousie's Top Co-op Students of the Year for 2020. Mariah is an ENVS Major COOP with a Minor in Statistics and the GIS Certificate.

Congratulations Science Atlantic Environment Conference 2021 participants and award recipients. The day was highlighted by impressive performances and presentations all around, with our students bringing home the following awards:
Undergraduate Research Award (best research presentation): 2nd place Samantha Howard
Communication Award (the student who is best able to communicate a science topic to his or her peers: 1st place Nina Garrett
Acadian Award (best presentation on Acadian fauna or flora): Andrew Willms
Science Atlantic Graduate Research Award: 1st place, Rachel Noddle

Grant Wach has been awarded the prestigious D’Arcy McGee Beacon Fellowship by the Ireland Canada University Foundation (ICUF). This fellowship enables leading Irish and Canadian academics, researchers, and thinkers to connect and engage, via online lectures. Dr. Wach will showcase his research in a lecture on Energy Sustainability, Atlantic Margin Geology, and Geoforensics.

2021 AGS student awards: Congratulations to EES' Bailey Milos, Rupert McNeil Award recipient for the best undergrad presentation and Anna Ryan, Honourable Mention recipient.

Siobhan Takala who was a double major in Environmental Science (Faculty of Science) and the Environment Sustainability and Society program (College of Sustainability) has been named one of the  Top 25 Environmentalists under 25  for 2020 by the Starfish Group. She has been recognized for her work in co-founding “Let’s Sprout”  which creates spaces for youth to learn and grow, with a special focus on important issues within society, such as the environment and gender. Two Recent Dal Grads Named to Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 List (DalNews 2021/01/29)

Kudos to Samantha Howard (Combined Honours in Environmental Science and IDS) in winning the Inaugural Margaret R. Crickard Scholarship (DalNews 2020/11/26).

Congratulations Earth and Environmental Sciences Fall 2020 Memorial Award Recipients:
Michael Powell, James L. Hall Scholarship
Megan MacDonald, G.V. Douglas Memorial Award
Michael Kishchuk, MacEachern-Ponsford Memorial Award 

Congratulations Nina Garrett, Joy M Cunningham Award Recipient, one of the top three finalists in the FoS' 2020 Summer Research Contest: How similarity to parental calls affects call discrimination in noise by... https://youtu.be/VEdhEh6lqqw

Congratulations Anna Ryan, NSERC Award Recipient, Honourable Mention in the FoS' 2020 Summer Research Contest:Tracking ocean currents through time https://youtu.be/0F5o22hFA_4

Congratulations  new Canada Research Chair, Dr. Vittorio Maselli, Canada Research Chair in Coastal Zone Processes: https://www.dal.ca/news/2020/08/26/dalhousie-team-of-canada-research-chairs-continues-to-grow.html

Congratulations to Susan Gass, this year's recipient of the Faculty of Science Award of Excellence for Teaching. https://twitter.com/Dal_ESnENVS/status/1249767644242350096

Congratulations 2020 Earth and Environmental Sciences' Earth Ring Recipients!

Watch 3 Minute Thesis competition finalist, Caitlin McCavour's presentation: https://youtu.be/WN7nlMRmzDY

 

EES in the News

Joining forces
Introducing the Department of Earth and Environmental Science

Watch Planetary Volcanologist (and EES alum, BSc(Hon)2004) Christopher Hamilton as he speaks with Anderson Cooper about Mount Fagradalsfjall. He also speaks about the role drones could play in future Mars missions. (See also DalMagazine's profile: Volcano Watcher)

‘Earth and Marine Sciences', ‘Geology’, ‘Geophysics’ and ‘Petroleum Engineering' all secured spots in the top 100 in global ranking that considers nearly 1,500 universities.

How to grow a young climate leader (a talk with Siobhan Takala, Environmental Science/ Environment Sustainability and Society program alum).

Alumni profile of Lily Briggs (Environmental Studies grad, BA’05). Lily describes the role environmental studies (and EES' Tarah Wright) played in her trajectory as an environmental educator.

The potential of Geographic Information Systems in COVID-19 response: student, Leah Fulton, developes web application to visualize recent exposure locations.

EES' Shannon Sterling contributes to Chronicle Herald article on global warming: Global warming trend accelerating in 2020 'unusual,' alarming, Dalhousie prof says

NS Salmon Association research scientist & EES adjunct, Edmund Halfyard, on the Todd Veinotte Show discussing study co-authored by Shannon Sterling that found aluminum concentrations in NS rivers are too high to sustain healthy aquatic life. Many former EES students (Marley Geddes, Siobhan Takla, Sarah MacLeod and Lobke Rotteveel) contributed to the study he discusses. Segment starts at the 10:30 mark.

Aluminum concentrations in Nova Scotia rivers are too high to sustain healthy aquatic life, according to a study by EES' Shannon Sterling and team. You can find the paper in the Hydrology and Earth System Sciences journal: https://hess.copernicus.org/articles/24/4763/2020/hess-24-4763-2020.html

Vittorio Maselli's recent paper published in Geophysical Research Letters was selected as an Editor’s Highlight on Eos.org:  Abrupt Climate Shifts Change the Latitudes of Storm Activity

Climate crisis lurking in the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic | The Chronicle Herald (Featuring EES' Shannon Sterling)

Susan R. Eaton, Earth Sciences Class of 1980 (BSc Honours): Epic Explorer

Dalhousie Originals: Kathryn Sullivan (PhD Dalhousie Geology 1978)
From the Ocean to Outer Space: The Adventures of Dr. Kathy Sullivan (Rolling Stone)
Kathy Sullivan: The woman who's made history in sea and space (BBC)

Jane K. Willenbring, Stanford University (PhD Dalhousie EES 2006, ‘Jane Staiger’) wins the inaugural Marguerite T. Williams Award
https://www.agu.org/Honor-and-Recognize/Honors/Section-Awards/Marguerite-Williams-Award
https://eos.org/agu-news/2020-agu-section-awardees-and-named-lecturers

EES student Leah Fulton spent her summer developing guided online campus nature walks. Focused on some of the interesting trees on campus, it's an alternative the lunchtime urban nature walks held last year. Check out the project's story map:
https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/fb76f66443cc493496df89142d01f393

Mike Young and coop student Rosa Toutah are leading an ambitious project to create virtual field trips for many of our Fall Term courses. See https://sketchfab.com/mike.young for preliminary 3D models of field sites and sample.

Going the distance: Recent grad, Graeme Wach, ran 53 kilometres in 24 hours to raise donations for victims of Nova Scotia’s mass shootings

Grad Profile: Lily Barraclough, Building more physically active communities

Congratulations to Vittorio Maselli for leading this groundbreaking research on tsunami deposits just published in Geology and now featured in Dal on-line: How a 1,000‑year‑old tsunami in the Indian Ocean points to greater risk than originally thought

Check out this article featuring retired Earth Sciences' professor Dr. Barrie Clark: https://halifaxmag.com/features/titanic-tombstones/

Can liming N.S. forests help fight climate change?
NS: Mainstreet Halifax's Jeff Douglas spoke with EES' Shannon Sterling, who is researching whether liming forests can help them absorb more carbon dioxide.

EES' Shannon Sterling on CBC's Quirks & Quarks
Listen to Shannon answer Quirks and Quarks' question of the week: "As water covers most of the Earth, why isn't it completely shrouded in clouds?"

Halifax scientists endorse climate emergency letter


Meet EES' John Gosse, a geologist with a passion for landscape evolution and teaching the science of natural disasters.
The Sciographies Podcast – Episode 11: John Gosse, Geologist

Moon metals: New research considers what lies below the moon's surface

Conferences

For conference details, click on the corresponding logo.


 

Publications

Check out Owen Sherwood's new paper published in PNAS on oil and gas wellbore integrity from more than 100k wells in CO/NM/PA: Public data from three US states provide new insights into well integrity

Check out Miao Zhang's new paper published in Geophysical Research Letters: Real-time Earthquake Early Warning with Deep Learning: Application to the 2016 M 6.0 Central Apennines, Italy Earthquake. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2020GL089394

Check out Owen Sherwood's new paper published in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: Amino acid δ13C and δ15N patterns from sediment trap time series and deep-sea corals: implications for biogeochemical and ecological reconstructions in paleoarchives https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0016703720307250

Check out Owen Sherwood's new paper: Microbial and Biogeochemical Indicators of Methane in Groundwater Aquifers of the Denver Basin, Colorado: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.0c04228#.X9GrSHhaKfM.twitter

Aluminum concentrations in Nova Scotia rivers are too high to sustain healthy aquatic life, according to a study by EES' Shannon Sterling and team. You can find the paper in the Hydrology and Earth System Sciences journal: https://hess.copernicus.org/articles/24/4763/2020/hess-24-4763-2020.html

Recent paper published in Nature Geoscience on the origins of iron ore deposits highlighted in this News and Views by James Brenan: https://rdcu.be/b7vG2

Check out Vittorio Maselli's paper "A 1000-yr-old tsunami in the Indian Ocean points to greater risk for East Africa": https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geology/article/doi/10.1130/G47257.1/586277/A-1000-yr-old-tsunami-in-the-Indian-Ocean-points
and online at the National Geographic Society's website: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/05/1000-year-old-bones-oldest-known-east-africa-tsunami-victims/

Check out Vittorio Maselli's paper Tidal modulation of river-flood deposits: How low can you go? just published in the journal GEOLOGY and his new OFI-funded project: https://oceanfrontierinstitute.com/research/pei-source

Check out this paper just published in Nature Geoscience co-authored by EES' James Brenan: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-020-0560-y