Curriculum Guideline

Field Research Project

Effective Date:
Course Code
SCIE 2307
Field Research Project
Environmental Science
Science & Technology
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
6 hours/week: 2 hours lecture, 4 hours lab/field trip
Method Of Instruction
Field Experience
Methods Of Instruction

This course involves 2 hours per week of classroom instruction and 4 hours per week of laboratory and field work.

Course Description
The focus of this course is a semester-long research project involving a field location associated with a particular environmental topic. The project will be analogous to a major project undertaken by an environmental consulting company. Students will engage in data collection and analysis relevant to the environmental issue associated with the field location. Technical report writing and working in teams are required components of this course.
Course Content

Major topics may include:

  1. Population, community and ecosystem processes
  2. Biological diversity and conservation biology
  3. Geological topics including:
  • Bedrock & surficial geology
  • Landscapes & hillslopes
  • Streams & flooding
  • Earthquakes & hazards
  • Shorelines & coastal processes
  • Soils & groundwater
  • Toxic and hazardous wastes
  • Air & water pollution
  • Water quality sampling
  • Solid & liquid waste management
  • Habitat destruction and restoration
  • Biological invasions
  • Genetically-modified organisms
  • Geological, natural and environmental history of a local field site eg.:
    • Fraser Estuary
    • Coquitlam River
    • Boundary Bay
    • Burns Bog
    • Byrne Creek
  • Application of environmental management strategies eg.:
    • Adaptive management
    • Impact assessment
    • Stakeholders & partnerships
    • Conflict resolution
    Learning Outcomes

    Upon completion of SCIE 2307, the student will be able to:

    1. Describe biological and geological features of a field site of environmental interest.
    2. Design a sampling protocol and collect biological, geological and chemical samples from a field site.
    3. Identify and catalogue biological and geological samples in the laboratory.
    4. Use GPS equipment and GIS software to map a field site.
    5. Conduct simple chemical analyses of field-collected samples (eg. water samples) in the laboratory.
    6. Design and conduct simple field experiments to answer questions of environmental interest.
    7. Operate and maintain field equipment used for collection of data.
    8. Accurately record data from field collections and experiments and enter into an appropriate computer program (eg. Microsoft Excel).
    9. Prepare data for presentation (eg. graphically) and conduct simple statistical analyses.
    10. Organize field, laboratory and data analysis activities by collaboration with a team of students.
    11. Research an environmental topic related to the data collection above, prepare a major report and present findings in a student conference.
    Means of Assessment
    Project proposal 10%
    Quizzes 20%
    Group participation 10%
    Interim project report & presentation 20%
    Final project report & presentation 40%


    Textbook Materials

    Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students

    Courseware manual