New Environment program gives undergraduates the opportunity to tackle climate change from all angles

Monday, November 1, 2021

melting ice in the water
The Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo is proud to announce the launch of the BSc in Climate and Environmental Change, a program specifically designed to train professionals to meet a growing demand for leaders who can integrate climate solutions across traditional boundaries. 

“Nearly every course in the Faculty of Environment deals with climate change in some way, but this is the first undergraduate program specifically aimed at teaching the foundations of climate change to undergraduates,” said Jean Andrey, Dean of the Faculty of Environment. “By taking a transdisciplinary approach to climate change we’re meeting the demand for workers and citizens who can identify and find climate solutions where our natural and human environments meet.”

A core component of the program is how weather and climate influence geomorphology, hydrology, and biogeochemistry. With classes beginning in fall 2022, the program will train students in solutions- oriented approaches to environmental challenges such as:
•    Flooding
•    Permafrost thawing
•    Drought and forest fires
•    Peatland degradation
•    Changes to the water cycle regime in different regions
•    Sea level rise and coastal change
•    Changing economic opportunities in climate sensitive sectors, 
•    Development of climate services

The BSc in Climate and Environmental Change will be housed in the Faculty of Environment’s well-known Department of Geography and Environmental Management — ranked among top five in Canada.

“Climate change solutions require a fundamental understanding of the natural sciences coupled with technological and other innovations,” said Andrey. “Our department of geography is well positioned to tackle these problems since it is rooted in environmental science and has a strong applied component that draws on new and established technologies in geomatics. Students will learn how to combine knowledge across scientific disciplinary fields such as, biology, chemistry, physics and Earth science, with human geography for effective environmental management.”

The Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo is the largest post-secondary institution devoted entirely to issues of sustainability. In 2012 it made history by establishing Canada’s first course focusing specifically on the multiple ways climate change affects society and the environment.

To learn more about this exciting new program, visit Climate and Environmental Change.