Last updated: February 14, 2023 @ 04:49PM

Earth and Planetary Science Communication

This program is offered through the Department of Earth Sciences

Frank Fueten

Uwe Brand, Richard J. Cheel,Frank Fueten, Martin J. Head, Francine McCarthy, John Menzies, Michael Pisaric, Mariek E. Schmidt >

Associate Professors
Gregory C. Finn, Kevin Turner

Participating Faculty
Ebru Ustundag, Duncan Koerber

Senior Lab Co-ordinator
Astride Silis

Online Course Developer/Administrator
Justin Pentesco

Co-operating Faculty from
Geography and Tourism Studies and Communication, Popular Culture and Film

General Information

Administrative Assistant
Caroline Romero
905-688-5550, extension 3526
Mackenzie Chown D431

This four-year Honours program leading to a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (BASc) in Earth and Planetary Science Communication is designed to provide graduates with a solid understanding of Earth and Planetary Science and the ability to communicate effectively in a variety of formats. This program is a transdisciplinary offering which combines scholarship within the Department of Earth Sciences with those of the department of Geography and Tourism Studies as well as that within the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film. The aim is to provide graduates with the knowledge about Earth and Planetary Science concepts, coupled with strong communication skills which will enable them to pursue careers in Communication for government agencies, NGOs, private companies, and journalism.

Students will take the same courses as Earth Science and Communications majors. The first two years provide fundamental background knowledge in both disciplines. In the senior years, students have more freedom to choose courses in their areas of interest. A capstone course in year 4 (ERSC 4F95), consist of a supervised project on a topic in the media format of the student’s choice, provided it has been approved by a faculty supervisor.

The overall goal of this degree is to prepare graduate with extensive knowledge about the Earth and planetary sciences and the skills to communicate well and create positive relationships between organizations and stakeholders. Students in this program prepare to work effectively in various roles and positions within science policy debates and developments in a wide range of settings, including governments, NGOs and private companies.

Program Notes
  1. This program does not meet curriculum requirements for Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (PGO). Student who wish to pursue careers as professional geoscientists will need to enrol in the department’s BSc programs.
  2. Students who do not have SCH4U with a minimum grade of 70 percent must take CHEM 1P00 in year 1.
  3. Students who want to purse careers in social media or related fields are recommended to take COMM 2P91 or IASC 3P01 in year 3.
  4. Recommended Earth Sciences electives in year 4 are ERSC 3P90, 4P31, 4P85.
  5. It is recommended that subject topics and media format for ERSC 4F95 are discussed with the potential supervisor prior to the Fall of year 4.
  6. In 20 credit degree programs a maximum of eight credits may be numbered 1(alpha)00 to 1(alpha)99; at least three credits must be numbered 2(alpha)90 or above; at least three credits must be numbered 3(alpha)90 or above; and the remaining credits must be numbered 2(alpha)00 or above.
    In some circumstances, in order to meet university degree and program requirements, more than 20 credits may be taken.

Honours Program

Year 1
·   ERSC 1P01 and 1P02
·   GEOG 1F90
·   COMM 1P91, 1P92 and 1P96
·   INDG 1F90
·   CHEM 1P00 or WRDS 1P06

Year 2
·   ERSC 1P94,2P08 and 2P18
·   COMM 2P15 and 2P50
·   WRDS 2P14
·   one and one-half credits from ERSC 2P03, 2P05, 2P07, 2P15, 2P61
·   one-half elective credit

Year 3
·   ERSC 2P93, 3P04 and 3P98
·   COMM 3P18 and 3P62
·   one credit from ERSC 3P01, 3P03, 3P05, 3P07, 3P12, 3P24
·   one and one-half elective credits

Year 4
·   ERSC 4F95 and 4P04
·   one credit from COMM 4P58, 4P18, 4P35
·   one credit from ERSC 3(alpha)00 or above
·   one and one-half elective credits

Prerequisites and Restrictions

Students must CHECK TO 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.

Courses of interest can be found at: