The Earth at Your Feet. Experience Yukon's Natural Laboratory.
Become an Earth Scientist. The Earth Sciences program uses Yukon’s dynamic environment as a laboratory to deliver the first two years of a B.Sc. degree in geoscience. Faculty work with students to identify pathways for upper-level programming en route to degree completion. At Yukon College, students have the advantage to complete introductory science courses in a personalized environment characterized by small sizes and dedicated instructors. Geology programming uses local landscapes and partnerships with industry to provide experiential learning opportunities that prepare students to meet the needs of employers and solve big-picture earth science problems facing society today.
Earth science literacy is critical to meet the needs of modern society. The study of the Earth is focused not only on the rocks and minerals that make up solid Earth but also on the interaction of these materials with other earth systems. An understanding of Earth’s evolution through time allows earth scientists to interpret present-day conditions on our planet and predict how they will change in the future; these changes will affect both human societies and the natural environment.
Earth scientists are stewards of the planet’s mineral, energy and water resources. They must also be problem solvers, as Earth’s natural resources are currently threatened by climate change, overconsumption and natural disasters. In the North, we live in a complex landscape where earth scientists must address the legacy of contaminated sites, support sustainable resource discovery and extraction, and grapple with a rapidly changing environment.
Students completing the two-year program will receive a diploma in Earth Sciences and be eligible for transfer into upper-level standing in many Canadian B.Sc. geoscience degree programs. Coursework is compatible with the educational requirements for achieving a professional geoscientist (P.Geo.) designation in the environmental geoscience or geology streams. Completion of a B.Sc. degree following the Earth Sciences program allows for upward workplace mobility in scientific and technical fields and enables graduates to continue to upper-level training in science (M.Sc., Ph.D.).
Program Pathways and Duration
Students can complete the Earth Sciences diploma program with two years of full-time study. Part-time study is welcomed. Students have reduced course requirements in the summer months to allow for geoscience work experiences. Recommended course completion matrices for each year are provided below.
|Fall Semester||Winter Semester||Summer Semester (end of August)|
|CHEM 110 - The Structure of Matter||CHEM 111 - Chemical Energetics and Dynamics||GEOL 101 - Introductory Geology Field School|
|ENGL 100 - Academic Writing and Critical Thinking||COMM 193 - Introduction to Scientific and Technical Communication|
|GEOL 105 - Physical Geology||GEOL 106 - Historical Geology|
|MATH 101 - Single Variable Calculus II|
Science Elective (choose 1):
Science Elective (choose 1):
|Fall Semester||Winter Semester||Spring Semester (May)|
|GEOL 111 - Structural Geology||GEOG 250 - Introduction to Mapping and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)||GEOL 113 - Intermediate Geology Field School|
|GEOL 2XX - Mineralogy||GEOL 211 - Geochemistry|
|GEOL 206 - Sedimentary Stratigraphy||MATH 105 - Introductory Statistics|
Science Elective (choose 1):
Geoscience Elective (choose 1):
Science Elective (choose 1):
Program Learning Objectives
The guiding objective of the Earth Sciences program is to provide students with a broadly applicable foundation in geoscience with extensive hands-on exposure and strong connections with industry and government. Graduates should be well equipped to:
- Explain the fundamentals of major concepts in earth science, including surface and groundwater; natural hazards; glaciers, permafrost and climate change; and mineral and hydrocarbon resources.
- Explain earth processes in the context of plate tectonics and the rock cycle.
- Identify the basic physical and chemical controls on the formation of minerals and rocks, and their fundamental properties.
- Identify, measure, and interpret geologic structures and stratigraphy.
- Explain events in geologic history using geologic evidence and place those events in the context of the geologic timescale.
- Characterize geologic environments, past and present, in which rocks and other geologic materials are formed.
- Apply geologic observations to interpret and solve real-world problems related to energy, water and mineral resource development.
- Effectively communicate geoscience concepts and observations to their peers and the general public.
- Describe indigenous perspectives on Earth evolution and geologic history (ethnogeology) and how those perspectives compare with Western scientific knowledge.
- Demonstrate understanding of indigenous land claim agreements and current best practices for consultation in the context of resource development.
- Safely work and collaborate in a field-based setting.
Standard Earth Sciences Admission
- English 12 (minimum 75%), Math 12 ( Precalculus; minimum 65%), and Chemistry 11; OR
- Yukon College prerequisite courses ENGL 060 or EAP 060 (minimum B+, MATH 060 (minimum B-), and CHEM 050.
Earth Sciences Bridging Program
Applicants who do not meet these requirements are encouraged to apply to the Earth Sciences Bridging Program. This program allows students to complete academic upgrading while starting on their program coursework. Minimum prerequisites for the Bridging Program are:
- English 12 (minimum 75%), Math 10 ( Principles or Precalculus; minimum 65%), and Science 10; OR
- Yukon College prerequisite courses ENGL 060 or EAP 060 (minimum B+, MATH 030 (minimum B-), and SCI 030.
Students interested in applying to the Earth Sciences Bridging Program should identify the bridging program as their desired program of study (not Earth Sciences) when applying for program admission.
Students must successfully complete all required courses within the program, as well as obtain twelve (12) credits from approved fundamental science electives and three (3) credits from geoscience electives. An overall GPA of 2.00 is required to receive the Earth Sciences diploma.
Employment opportunities exist for program graduates in a wide array of fields including environmental monitoring and protection, water resources, mineral exploration, mining, energy, and engineering/geotechnical fields. Program faculty actively work with students to help find meaningful employment both between the two years of the program and after graduation.
The Earth Sciences program is supported and informed by the Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining (CNIM). CNIM's Governing Council consists of industry, academia, government, and First Nations representatives that help ensure programming is applied and relevant and that graduates are well-equipped to succeed in fields across the mineral exploration, mining, and remediation/reclamation sectors. The support of CNIM partners enables the Earth Sciences program to deliver unique, hands-on experiences across Yukon and Alaska that greatly enhance traditional geoscience programming.
The Earth Sciences program also has a program advisory committee (PAC) of local geoscientists who help inform programming and support student experiences. In 2020, program advisory committee members include:
Robin Black, M.Sc., P.Geo.
Heather Burrell, P.Geo.
Senior Geologist and Partner
Archer, Cathro and Associates
Scott Casselman, P.Geo.
Head, Mineral Services
Yukon Geological Survey
Tara Christie, M.A.Sc., P.Eng.
President and CEO
Banyan Gold Corp.
Matthew Zago, P.Geo.
Newmont Goldcorp - Coffee Gold Project
Yukon College recognizes that a greater understanding and awareness of Yukon First Nations history, culture and journey towards self-determination will help to build positive relationships among all Yukon citizens. As a result, you will be required to achieve core competency in knowledge of Yukon First Nations.
For details, visit Yukon First Nations Core Competency.
Tuition for credit programs is calculated per course credit. See Money Matters for more information.
Additional costs above and beyond college tuition are associated with this program of study - see Ancillary Fees.
Ancillary fees cover activities such as:
- transportation to and from field school sites
- accommodation and food during field school
- basic geology field equipment, including sturdy hiking boots, rock hammers, field notebooks, and hand lenses
Yukon College Student Financial Awards
Education is an investment in your future, your family and your community. Yukon College is pleased to support that investment by offering some of the most competitive tuition rates in the country, as well as several Student Financial Awards to help offset your educational and living costs.
There are government programs, scholarships, bursaries, awards and First Nation funding available to financially support you throughout your academic career.