School of the Environment

Faculty List

Professor and Director 
† K. Strong, BSc, DPhil 

Associate Professor and Academic Associate Director 
† S. Finkelstein, AB, MPhil, PhD 

Professors 
† W.S. Prudham, BA, BSc, MA, PhD 
† J.B. Robinson, BA, MES, PhD 

Associate Professor 
† S.B. Scharper, BA, MA, PhD 

Assistant Professors 
† C. Abizaid, MA, PhD
† Hui Peng, BSc, PhD
† K. Neville, BSc, MEnvSci, PhD 
† N. Rollinson, BAT, MSc, PhD 
C. Wiseman, BES, M. Nat.Res.Mgmt., Dr. Phil. Nat. 
† D. Wunch, BSc, MSc, PhD 
T. Yoreh, BA, MA, PhD

Associate Professor, Teaching Stream 
K. Ing, BSc, MSc 

Senior Lecturer Emeriti
D. Macdonald, BA, MA, PhD
B. Savan, BSc, PhD

† Cross-appointed faculty

 

Introduction

The School of the Environment is an innovative interdisciplinary unit within the Faculty of Arts and Science; it brings together and leverages the enormous breadth of environmental teaching and research expertise throughout the Faculty. The School fosters opportunities for interdisciplinary research and scholarship in environment, spanning the sciences, social sciences and humanities. Students who enrolled in programs in the former Centre for Environment will be able to complete them.

Core Programs:

The School offers core programs in two areas: Environmental Science BSc Major and Minor, and Environment Studies BA Major and Minor. These programs are ideally suited to be taken in conjunction with another program(s) in a related academic field.   For example, the Environmental Science Major could be combined with a Major in Environment & Health, Environmental Ethics, Earth and Environmental Systems, Environmental Geography, Forest Conservation Science, Physical & Environmental Geography, Biomedical Toxicology, Chemistry, Physics, Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, or Environmental Biology, while the Environmental Studies Major could be combined with a complementary BA Major such as Political Science, Economics, Women and Gender Studies, Human Geography, Forest Conservation, Architecture, or BSc Major, such as Environmental Biology, Environment & Health, or Forest Conservation Science.  These programs of study provide students with a powerful combination of disciplinary depth and interdisciplinary breadth.

The School’s Environmental Science B.Sc. Major and Minor programs reflect the fact that most environmental issues are complex and involve aspects drawing from many different areas of science. These programs provide students with a breadth of knowledge spanning scientific disciplines, and the tools to understand and integrate scientific principles from across the physical and biological sciences, and across multiple spatial and temporal scales. At its core, environmental science is concerned with the scientific analysis and development of creative solutions to environmental problems. Students are exposed to disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge and research skills necessary to function as an environmental scientist.

The School’s Environmental Studies B.A. Major and Minor are interdisciplinary programs intended for students interested in studying and working in an environmental area, primarily within the social sciences or humanities.  These programs offer rigorous academic study of the economic, social, cultural and political forces that drive issues such as species extinction, loss of biodiversity, air and water pollution, and climate change.  The interdisciplinary structure of the programs provides grounding in scientific literacy while advancing critical thinking skills that will help students to evaluate complex environmental problems and sustainable solutions for improved environmental health and well-being.

Environmental Science students who wish to have a foundation in Environmental Studies beyond the ENV221H and ENV222H core courses, are encouraged to consider adding the Minor in Environmental Studies to their Environmental Science Major. It is possible to double count a number of courses between the two programs.

Collaborative Specialist, Major and Minor Programs:

The School collaborates with other disciplines to offer four collaborative Science Specialist programs: Environment & Health; Environmental Chemistry; Environmental Geosciences; and Environment & Toxicology. Other collaborative offerings include Major programs in Environment & Health, and Environmental Ethics, as well as collaborative Minor programs in Environmental Ethics, Energy & Environment, and Environment & Behaviour.  These programs combine the School’s interdisciplinary core with a deliberately focused set of discipline-specific courses.

Directed Environmental Minor Programs:

Environmental Minor programs are offered by a number of departments. Five of these Minors are in the sciences, and four are arts Minors. These programs are intended for students interested in acquiring a hierarchical body of environmental knowledge in a specific discipline.

These Minors are open to any student irrespective of program. As with any Minor, these programs can be combined with other programs of study (i.e., Minors and Majors) to meet the requirements for a degree. (See the Degree Requirements section of the Calendar for program requirement details).

General Program Information:

All Science programs in the School include a strong First Year science component with core interdisciplinary science courses in subsequent years. Students intending to pursue Environmental Science or any of the Science Specialist programs are advised to choose First Year courses from among (BIO120H1BIO130H1); (CHM136H1/CHM138H1, CHM135H1/CHM139H1)/CHM151Y1MAT135H1/MAT136H1/MAT137Y1/MAT157Y1/JMB170Y1; (PHY131H1,PHY132H1)/(PHY151H1,PHY152H1), and (GGR100H1/JEG100H1GGR101H1). Students should identify specific program requirements as well as the prerequisites for ENV234H1ENV237H1ENV238H1ENV316H1ENV334H1JEE337H1CHM210H1 when selecting specific First Year science courses.

Arts programs in the School build on a base of social science and humanities courses. Environmental Studies, as well as Environmental Ethics, do not require specific First Year courses. Students intending to follow arts programs in the area of environment are recommended to take ENV100H1, and might find it helpful to take ENV200H1 in first year, as well as to include some First Year course choices from the 100-level offerings in Anthropology, Biology, Economics, Geography, History, Philosophy, Political Science or Sociology.

Note: Majors and Specialists in School of the Environment programs are eligible for a number of School-based scholarships (see http://www.environment.utoronto.ca/Undergraduate/Scholarships.aspx)

Students interested in School of the Environment programs should refer to the Calendar program listings below and are encouraged to consult the School’s website at http://www.environment.utoronto.ca. For further information about the School’s programs and courses, please contact:

School of the Environment Academic Associate Director, Prof S. Finkelstein (finkelstein@es.utoronto.ca).

School of the Environment Undergraduate Student Advisor and Placement Coordinator, David Powell, Room ES 1022, 33 Willcocks Street Wing, Earth Sciences Centre, 416-946-8100 or david.powell@utoronto.ca

Environmental Programs in Other Academic Units: 

Students should also be aware that numerous programs offered by other academic units have relevance to the study of the environment, and most are highly suitable for double majors with the School of the Environment programs. Students interested in environment-related courses of study should also review the following programs:

Biodiversity & Conservation Biology (Science program offered by the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology):

Details available at: http://www.eeb.utoronto.ca/Learning/programs.htm

Students in the Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Major receive training in the relatively young, but already firmly established, synthetic fields of biodiversity and conservation biology. They will be equipped to aid in the response to what is perhaps humanity’s most pressing challenge, the conservation of biological diversity. As ecologically responsible and informed citizens, they will appreciate the increasing complexity and uncertainty of the world in which we all live, and be in a position to make informed policy and decisions about sustainable development, global environmental change, control of invasive species, and the conservation of genetic diversity and ecosystem integrity.

Earth and Environmental Systems (Science program offered by the Department of Earth Sciences):

(Details available at: http://www.es.utoronto.ca/programs/undergraduate/)

The new Major, Earth and Environmental Systems, takes a holistic approach to understanding how the Earth system works and how it has evolved over tens of millions to billions of years. This requires understanding the dynamics and interactions of all aspects of the system (solid Earth, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere) and provides the larger context at a time when climate change, resource consumption and global pollution weigh heavily on people and societies.

Environmental Biology (Science program offered by the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology):

Details available at: http://www.eeb.utoronto.ca/Learning/programs.htm  

The Environmental Biology Major provides a broad background in biology that is essential to understand the impact of humans on other organisms and their environments. It provides students with an understanding of ecology, the diversity and function of living organisms, the physical and chemical environment, and the ways organisms interact with, and affect, ecosystem processes. Students are exposed to ecosystem management, issues related to environmental change, and the consequences of interactions between humans and the environment.

Environmental Geography (Arts program offered by the Department of Geography): 

(See program details under Geography or at http://www.geog.utoronto.ca/)

These Specialist, Major and Minor programs can be taken in conjunction with either the School’s Arts or Science programs for an Honours Degree. They focus on resource and environmental planning, environmental assessment, water resources, waste management and Canada’s forests from the perspective of Geography.

Forest Conservation (Arts or Science programs offered by the Faculty of Forestry): 

(See program details under Forestry or at www.forestry.utoronto.ca)

These Specialist, Major and Minor programs can be taken in conjunction with the School’s science or arts programs for an Honours degree. Core subjects include world forests, forest products in sustainable forestry, forest conservation practices, forest management and resource allocation, and forests and society. Other topics include biodiversity maintenance, ecological sustainability, protection of wildlife and their habitats, international policy, certification, intensive forest management, community management, forest health and forest fragmentation.

Physical & Environmental Geography (Science program offered by the Department of Geography):

(See program details under Geography or at http://www.geog.utoronto.ca/)

These Specialist and Major programs can be taken in conjunction with the School’s science or arts programs for an Honours Degree. Core subjects include geomorphology, climatology, soil science and hydrology. Other topics include biogeography, remote sensing, climate assessment, biogeochemistry and environmental contaminants modeling.