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Associate of Science Degree - Environmental Geoscience Specialization


Do you have an interest in the natural sciences and a love of the outdoors?

The Environmental Geoscience Specialization encompasses a broad range of disciplines that allow students to develop an understanding of Earth’s related natural systems and processes. Graduates will be well versed in atmospheric, hydrological, ecological, and geological studies and may go on to complete degrees in geography, geology or biology or may find work in a variety of fields, such as mining and mineral exploration, fisheries, wildlife and freshwater management, climate modelling and green energy production. Fieldwork and field-based methods are an integral part of this Associate Degree. For more information please contact the Program Coordinator, Gordon Weary.


This credential also provides you with the first two years required for a B.Sc (Integrated) degree at the Terrace Campus of the University of Northern BC.  This program is designed specifically to provide NWCC Environmental Geoscience students with a full Bachelor of Science degree in two more years with an emphasis on aquatic sciences and environmental remediation. 

Gord Weary, NWCC Instructor of Geography & Geosciences, discusses how he gets students out of the classroom and into the field. Gord Weary says that getting out in the field makes his students at NWCC well-prepared for the economic boom coming to Northwest BC.

Program Outline 

This specialization program allows students to focus on Environmental Geosciences while still receiving the benefits of an Associate Degree. This program has been designed to facilitate maximum transferability to a full degree program or to conclude after two years at NWCC. Most of the courses listed below can also be applied towards the Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo) designation with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC.  

In order to obtain an Associate of Science - Environmental Geosciences Degree students must first complete the courses below. 

Environmental Programs Planning Guide 2018_19.docx


Course Number Course Name
BIOL 101 Introductory Biology I - Cells, Diversity and Physiology
BIOL 102 Introductory Biology II - Genetics, Evolution, and Ecology
CPSC 111 OR An Introduction to Computers
MATH 115   Pre-Calculus 
ENGL 101  University Writing 
ENGL 102 OR  Introduction to Literature 
ENGL 151  Technical Writing 
GEOG 110  People and The Environment 
GEOG 150  Physical Geography I: Biogeography, Meteorology, and Climate 
GEOG 160 OR  Physical Geography II: Geology, Geomorphology and Soils 
GEOL 157  Introduction to Northwest Geology 
GEOG 203 OR  Geomorphology 
OCGY 208  Intro to Physical, Chemical, and Geological Oceanography 
GEOG 207 OR  Hydrology Soils 
OCGY 209  Introduction to Biological Oceanography 
YEAR 2   
BIOL 201 OR Invertebrate Biology 
BIOL 202 OR Vertebrate Biology
BIOL 208 OR Plant Biology 
BIOL 235  Ichthyology 
BIOL 211 OR Principles of Ecology 
GEOG 202  Geography of Ecosystems 
GEOG 201 OR Environmental Climatology 
GEOG 210  Environments and Society 
GEOG 202 OR  Geography of Ecosystems 
GEOG 204  Spatial Analysis and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 
*MATH 101 Calculus I: Differential Calculus 
MATH 131  Introduction to Statistics 
CHEM 101  Introductory Chemistry I 
CHEM 111  Fundamental Chemistry I
CHEM 121  Principles of Chemistry I 
CHEM 102  Introductory Chemistry II 
CHEM 122 Advanced Chemistry 
MATH 102  Calculus II: Integral Calculus 
PHYS 101  Introductory Physics I 
PHYS 121 Physics I 
PHYS 102 Introductory Physics II 
PHYS 122  Advanced Physics 
TWO ARTS ELECTIVES: Any 3 credit Arts Courses (Field Schools Recommended) 

*Please note: Math 115 (or equivalent) is a required pre-requisite for Math 101. 

Career Opportunities 

The Environmental Geosciences encompasses a broad range of disciplines that allow students to develop an understanding of Earth’s  elated natural systems and processes. Students graduating in the Environmental Geosciences will be well versed in atmospheric, hydrological, ecological and geological studies.

Students who obtain this associate degree may go on to complete a specific degree in Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, or Biology, or may find employment in a variety of fields including:

  • Mineral and Resource Exploration
  • Parks and Recreation Planning
  • Fish, Wildlife and Freshwater Management
  • Forestry
  • Climate Modeling
  • Geotechnical Surveying
  • Community Planning
  • Conventional and Alternative Energy Projects
  • Any other profession that requires an individual with a knowledge of Earth and Earth’s processes.
Admission Requirements 
  1. Apply direct to the University Credit Program.
  2. Submit proof of English 12 or equivalent.
  3. Once admitted, register in the courses required for this specialization.

Course prerequisites may include:

  • Biology 11
  • Chemistry 11
  • Pre-Calculus 11
  • Physics 11

The prerequisites for individual courses are outlined in the course descriptions. Students missing prerequisites may enrol in Career & College Preparation (CCP) upgrading courses while completing the program.

English proficiency is required for all students entering NWCC programs.  Please visit our English Language Alternatives page to see how this requirement can be met. 

Need help with the application process?  Contact an Educational Advisor.

Dates and Locations 

Intakes:  September and January.  

Campus locations:  Prince Rupert and Terrace.

Field School courses available in the spring and summer.  

Study on a full or part-time basis.  Some courses are available online and by teleconference.

Note: not all courses are offered at every campus. Speak with an Educational Advisor for assistance with course selection.

Program Fees 

Full time course costs can be seen by viewing the University Credit Program Fee Table. Students in this program encouraged to take a minimum of two field schools and should budget an additional $1000 of field school costs to complete the program. Field school fees range depending on the location and activities.