2023-2024 Graduate Calendar

Sustainability Science  
Sustainability Science This program is offered through the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC). Doctor of Philosophy in Sustainability Science Dean Ingrid Makus Faculty of Social Sciences Associate Dean Dawn Zinga Faculty of Social Sciences  
Faculty Go to top of document
Faculty Core Faculty Professors Christine Daigle (Philosophy), Diane Dupont (Economics), Xavier Fazio (Education), David Fennell (Geography & Tourism Studies), Francine McCarthy (Earth Sciences), Tim O'Connell (Recreation & Leisure Studies), Gary Pickering (Biological Sciences), Michael Pisaric (Geography & Tourism Studies), Ryan Plummer (Environmental Sustainability Research Centre), Liette Vasseur (Biological Sciences) Associate Professors Julia Baird (Environmental Sustainability Research Centre and Geography & Tourism Studies), Jessica Blythe (Environmental Sustainability Research Centre), Todd Green (Marketing, International Business & Strategy), Timothy Heinmiller (Political Science), Magnus Hultman (Marketing, International Business & Strategy), Marilyne Jollineau (Environmental Sustainability Research Centre), Kevin Turner (Geography & Tourism Studies) Assistant Professor Sylvia Grewatsch (Marketing, International Business and Strategy) Participating Faculty Associate Professors Adam Dickinson (English Language & Literature), Garrett Hutson (Recreation & Leisure Studies) Assistant Professors Kiyoko Gotanda (Biological Sciences), Vaughn Mangal (Chemistry) Adjunct Professors Amy Bowen (Environmental Sustainability Research Centre), Gillian Dale (Environmental Sustainability Research Centre), Sherman Farhas (Universidad de Córdoba), Jennifer Holzer (Environmental Sustainability Research Centre), Amy Lemay (Environmental Sustainability Research Centre), Bradley May (Environmental Sustainability Research Centre), Timothy F. Smith (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia), Dana Thomsen (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia) Graduate Program Director Jessica Blythe Jblythe2@brocku.ca Coordinator Erin Daly SSCI@brocku.ca  
Program Description Go to top of document
At its core, sustainability science is a transdisciplinary field that strives to generate creative, real-world solutions for complex problems. The PhD in Sustainability Science aims to cultivate a sustainable and equitable future by offering a state-of-the-art education in an established transdisciplinary centre that integrates rigorous scientific practice with an understanding of the unique linkages between humans and the environment. We seek to develop world class sustainability scientists who take a transdisciplinary approach to identifying critical social- environmental challenges, and who work toward formulating and implementing innovative solutions that support decision making, policy development, and best practices both locally and globally. Our Faculty, who come from diverse disciplines and units, share a common interest in environmental sustainability. Brock University is located in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve - a site seeking to reconcile social, economic and biophysical challenges confronting societies around the globe.  
Admission Requirements Go to top of document
Successful completion of a Masters-level degree (or equivalent) in environmental sciences, environmental studies, or a related field from an accredited university with an average of at least 80%. Successful completion of SSAS 5P01 (Foundation of Sustainability Science and Society) and SSAS 5P02 (Methods in Environmental Inquiry), or their equivalent, is also required. Applicants without these courses may take them during their initial year of study. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in English as specified in the section titled "Proof of English Language Proficiency in the Brock University Graduate Calendar." Agreement of a core program faculty member to supervise the student is also required for admission. Admission is not guaranteed by attainment of the minimum requirements. Admission is a competitive process.

Degree Requirements Go to top of document
Admitted students will consult with their supervisor when planning a program of study. The student's plan of study must be approved by the Graduate Program Director. Degree requirements are: SSCI 7P01, SSCI 7P02, SSCI 7P03, SSCI 7P91, and SSCI 7F90. Comprehensive Examination Comprehensive examinations are one program progression milestone. Students will be required to define a series of areas or topics that are relevant to their research and sustainability science, and will develop questions surrounding these topics in conjunction with their supervisory committee. The supervisory committee will then select one of the questions, and submit it to the Graduate Program Director, in consultation with the Graduate Program Sub-Committee, for approval. The student will then be required to write a well-researched and argued paper that answers the selected question. Critically, students must indicate how their arguments are situated within the field of sustainability science. Students are required to publicly present their work, defend their arguments, and answer questions posed by their supervisory committee. See Sustainability Science PhD Handbook for complete details. Research Proposal Development, presentation, and approval of the research proposal by the supervisory committee. The research proposal should be informed by the comprehensive examination and be clearly situated within sustainability science. The proposal should clearly communicate the intended research project in terms of rationale, aims/objectives, methodological considerations, scholarly contributions, and timelines. Upon satisfactory approval of the research proposal by the supervisory committee, a recommendation is made to the Graduate Program Director, on behalf of the program, for Admission to Doctoral Candidacy. See Sustainability Science PhD Handbook for complete details. Dissertation Intensive and independent research in sustainability science is at the heart of the program. Students are required to undertake substantive independent research from which they produce and publicly defend a dissertation. Students will receive guidance/mentorship from their supervisor and supervisory committee. A committee, composed of examiners within and outside of Brock University, will evaluate the dissertation. In the dissertation and defence, students will clearly demonstrate their mastery of independent research, capacity for scholarly excellence, understanding of sustainability science, and ability to make an original contribution to knowledge. See Sustainability Science PhD Handbook for complete details.  
Facilities Go to top of document
The program has two graduate student offices equipped with computer monitors and internet access. Core and participating faculty have active research programs with access to a variety of laboratories, specialized equipment, and array of field sites in Canada and internationally. The geographical location of Brock University, in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, on the Niagara Escarpment and near the Great Lakes, provides rich opportunities for local field research.  
Course Descriptions Go to top of document
Note that not all courses are offered in every session. Refer to the applicable timetable for details. Students must ensure that prerequisites are met. Students may be deregistered, at the request of the instructor, from any course for which prerequisites and/or restrictions have not been met. Additional courses of interest can be found at: https://brocku.ca/webcal/graduate/snss.html SSCI 7F90 PhD Dissertation An in-depth research project involving the preparation, public defence, and examination of a dissertation which makes a unique contribution to knowledge and demonstrates capacity for independent research, integration of knowledge, and understanding of sustainability science. SSCI 7P01 Research Apprenticeship in Sustainability Science Advanced training in sustainability science research. Apprentice with a mentor on a research project to further theoretical development, methodological approaches, analytical sophistication, and/or communication skills. SSCI 7P02 Engaging with Community in Sustainability Science Experiential education with community in sustainability science via embedded problem-based learning or internship. Note: Course taught in conjunction with SSAS 5P03 (Problem Solving in the Environment) SSCI 7P03 Transdisciplinary Tutorial and Seminar in Sustainability Science Transdisciplinary collaboration to probe the boundaries of sustainability science scholarship by facilitating discussions on complex sustainability issues, presenting research, and participating in scholarly exchanges about state-of-the-art research, policy, and practice. Note: Course taught in conjunction with SSAS 5P04 (Transdisciplinary Seminar) SSCI 7P80 Directed Study Specialized study in sustainability science on an individual basis, under the direction of a faculty member, to examine a significant topic in a student’s area of concentration. SSCI 7P91 Comprehensive Examination Comprehensive Examination as set by the Supervisory Committee, in consultation with the Graduate Program Director/Graduate Program Sub-Committee. Note: This course will be evaluated as Credit/No-Credit SSCI 7V80-7V89 Selected Topics in Sustainability Science A topic in sustainability science that will vary by instructor.  
Last updated: September 28, 2023 @ 03:14PM