DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
Chairperson: Robert Sharpe
Graduate Officer: Kevin Hanna
Director of the Waterloo-Laurier Graduate Program: James H. Bater (University of Waterloo)
The department, together with the Department of Geography at the University of Waterloo, offers a joint program leading to MA, MES and PhD degrees. The Waterloo-Laurier Graduate Program in Geography (W-LGPIG) is responsible for admissions, for the program of instruction and for the naming of students' supervisory committees. Students in the program register either at Wilfrid Laurier University or the University of Waterloo (normally depending on where the supervisor is located), but will normally undertake course work at both universities. Students in the program are governed by the general regulations of the university in which they are registered and their degree is granted by that university.
Areas of SpecializationFaculty/Research Interests
Environmental and resource management Economic and urban development Earth surface processes Cultural and Historical Geomatics
†Approved PhD Supervisor
Wilfrid Laurier University
†Boots, Barry N., BA (Bristol), MA, PhD (Rutgers), DSc (Bristol). Spatial patterns, urban, quantitative.
†Byrne, Mary-Louise, BA (Windsor), MSc, PhD (McMaster). Coastal geomorphology, physical geography.
†Carmichael, Barbara, BA (Bristol), MSc (Durham), PhD (Victoria). Tourism, recreation, economic development.
†Decker, Jody, BA, MA, PhD (York). Native issues, medical, cultural, historical, women's and environmental health issues.
†Doherty, Sean, BES, MA (Waterloo), PhD (Toronto).Urban transportation geography, human activity-travel patterns, decision processes, interactive survey methods, GPS and GIS, energy efficiency.
†English, Michael C., BSc (Trent), MSc (Alberta), PhD (McGill). Sub-Arctic delta hydrology and geomorphology, watershed hydrology and chemistry, temperate and Arctic.
†Hamilton, James, BA, MSc (Western), PhD (McMaster). Climate change and paleoclimatology, hydrology and geomorphology of karst terrains in cold regions.
†Hanna, Kevin, BA (British Columbia), MA, PhD (Toronto). Natural resources policy, economics and environment, land-use planning, growth and sprawl, forests and landscape conservation, Pacific Northwest.
†Hecht, Alfred, BSc, MA (Manitoba), PhD (Clark).Economic development, urban, industrial, ethnic, Germany.
Imort, Michael, BSc (Brock), MFS (Freiburg), PhD (Queen's).Cultural-historical geography and environmental history.
Petrone, Richard M., BSc, MSc (McMaster), PhD (Waterloo). Temperate and cold regions wetland hydrology and climatology, ecohydrology, wetland restoration.
†Saunderson, Houston C., BA (Queen's, Belfast), MA, PhD (Toronto). Glacial and fluvial geomorphology, applications of multi quadric interpolation in geomorphology.
†Sharpe, Robert G., BES (Waterloo), MA (WLU), PhD (York). Social, economic development, GIS.
†Slocombe, D. Scott, BIS (Waterloo), MSc (UBC), PhD (Waterloo). Ecosystem approaches to environmental, regional and protected areas planning and management.
Walton-Roberts, Margaret, BA (Manchester), MA, PhD (UBC). Canadian immigration and cultural diversity, how ethnic and gender differences shape settlement experiences.
Wolfe, Brent, BSc, MSc (Manitoba), PhD (Waterloo). Isotope hydrology and paleohydrology, paleolimnology, paleoenvironmental reconstruction.
†Young, Gordon J., BA (Cambridge), MSc, PhD (McGill). Glacial hydrology, alpine snow and ice.
Conrad, Catherine, BA (Saint Mary's), MES, PhD (WLU)
Hewitt, Farida, BA (Cambridge), MA, PhD (Waterloo)
†Hewitt, Ken, MA (Cambridge), PhD (London)
†Muncaster, Russell W., BA (WLU), MA, PhD (Clark) (Professor Emeritus)
Munro, D. Scott, BSc, MSc (McGill), PhD (McMaster)
Young, Bruce S., BA, MA (Cambridge), MA (Rhodes), PhD (Natal) (Professor Emeritus)
University of Waterloo
†Andrey, Jean, BA (WLU), MSc (Calgary), PhD (Waterloo)
†Bater, James H., BA, MA (British Columbia), PhD (London)
†Bunting, Trudi E., BA (York), MA (Western), PhD (Toronto)
Cukier4, Judith E., BA, MES (York), PhD (Waterloo)
Deadman, P.J., BSc, MLA (Guelph), PhD (Arizona)
†Dudycha, Douglas J., BA (WLU), MA (Waterloo), PhD (London)
†Dufournaud, Christian M., BA (Sir George Williams), MA (Laval), PhD (Toronto)
Feick7, Rob, BA (WLU), MA, PhD (Waterloo)
†Guelke, Leonard T., BSc (Cape Town), MA (York), PhD (Toronto)
†Hall7, G. Brent, BA (Otago), MA, PhD (McMaster)
†Howarth, Philip J., BA (Cambridge), PhD (Glasgow)
Irvine, Jane, BA(Sheffield), MSc (McMaster), PhD (Waterloo)
†Kay3, Paul, BSc (Toronto), MS, PhD (Wisconsin-Madison)
†Kay Guelke, Jeanne, BA (Mount Holyoake), MS, PhD (Wisconsin)
†LeDrew, Ellsworth F., BA (Toronto), MA, PhD (Colorado)
†McBoyle, Geoffrey R., BSc, PhD (Aberdeen)
†Mitchell, Clare J.A., BA (Guelph), MA, PhD (Waterloo)
†Mitchell, W. Bruce, BA, MA (UBC), PhD (Liverpool)
†Parker, Paul K., BSc, BA (Mount Allison), MA, GDIntl (ANU), PhD (London)
†Price, Jonathan S.8, BSc (Trent), MSc (Saskatoon), PhD (McMaster)
†Stone7, Michael, BSc (Waterloo), MA (WLU), PhD (Waterloo)
†Wall4, Geoffrey, BA (Leeds), MA (Toronto), PhD (Hull)
†Warner8, Barry G., BES, MSc (Waterloo), PhD (Simon Fraser)
†Rutherford, Todd D., BA, MA (Queen's), PhD (Wales)
Faculty members holding cross and/or joint appointments as shown
- Environmental Studies/Geography
- Geography/Urban and Regional Planning
- Environment and Resource Studies/Geography
- Geography/Recreation and Leisure Studies
- Recreation and Leisure Studies/Geography
- Urban and Regional Planning/Geography
- Geography/Earth Sciences/Biology
Applicants for the master's program should hold an undergraduate honours degree or equivalent with at least a B standing. Normally, the undergraduate degree will be in geography, but applications are welcomed from superior students regardless of background. However, applicants must demonstrate that they have the necessary background to pursue graduate work in their field of specialization.
Two types of master's programs are offered: MA/MES students are admitted to either the thesis or the coursework option. If a student wishes to switch from thesis to the coursework option, or vice versa, the change must receive approval by the W-LGPIG Executive Committee by the end of the first term after initial registration. The MA/MES with thesis program requires the student to complete nine units of credit (a unit of credit is the equivalent of a half-credit course). The coursework option MA/MES program requires the student to complete 10 units of credit. Both programs are available on either a full-time or a part-time basis. MES students are required to select a portion of their credits from a specified set of courses identified by an * in the course description section.
For full-time students the coursework option must be completed in three terms. For part-time students the coursework option must be completed in six terms.
Requires the successful completion of nine units of credit comprised as follows:
Note: A maximum of one reading course can be taken for credit in the thesis program.
- Research seminar (one unit); selected from GG600, GG620, GG630, GG640, GG660; for the MES degree this must be selected from research seminars identified by an * in the course descriptions.
- GG691 (one unit).
- Three electives (three units); for the MES degree, a minimum of two geography courses must be selected from those courses identified by an * in the course descriptions.
- Thesis (four units).
The program director approves a thesis advisory committee for each candidate, consisting of a supervisor and one additional member. The candidate must prepare a thesis proposal to be approved in writing by the thesis advisory committee no later than the end of the second term of registration. The thesis must be defended successfully before a thesis examination committee composed of a non-voting chairperson (who may be the supervisor) appointed by the program director, the thesis advisory committee, and two readers who may be from outside the discipline, outside WLU or UW or both, and who are knowledgeable in the area of the thesis topic. At least two members of the thesis examination committee must be members of the Waterloo-Laurier Graduate Program in Geography.
The decisions available to the examining committee are the same as those for the PhD thesis defence page.
Requires the successful completion of ten units of credit composed as follows:
Note: Two GG675 courses can be taken for credit.
- Two research seminars (two units); selected from GG600, GG620, GG630, GG640, GG660; for the MES degree at least one of these must be selected from those research seminars identified by an * in the course descriptions.
- GG691 (one unit).
- Five electives (five units); for the MES degree at least three of these must be selected from those courses identified by an * in the course descriptions.
- Master's Research Paper (two units).
Each coursework MA/MES student will have a supervisor and a committee member. The student will develop a research paper proposal for approval by her/his supervisor and committee member prior to the end of the first term. The research paper will normally be completed in the spring (third) term. The paper should be approximately 12,000 words/50 pages in length, and include the following clearly defined sections: a problem statement; the status of research; research procedures; findings; and conclusions. The research paper must be defended successfully before an examination committee which includes the student's supervisor, the assigned committee member and one reader.
There are two routes of entry into the doctoral program. The first requires a master's degree in geography or equivalent. Normally only a master's student with an A- average on all graduate work will be admitted. The second route allows exceptional students early entry to the PhD program from the master's program. Such applicants must have completed all MA/MES requirements except the thesis, have demonstrated a superior academic record, and satisfied other conditions (details of which can be obtained from the director of the program).
The course load at the doctoral level is normally one research seminar (selected from GG600, GG620, GG630, GG640, GG660). Additional course work may be assigned subject to the needs of individual candidates. To continue in the program, students will be required to attain a minimum grade of B+ in each course.
GG691 is required of all students. While in residence, all doctoral candidates must participate in GG691.
The Comprehensive Examination focuses on the student's field of specialization and includes both a written and an oral component. The comprehensive examining committee includes the student's advisor and three other members, one of whom will be from outside of the program. At least two members of the comprehensive examining committee must be members of the Waterloo-Laurier Graduate Program in Geography. A chair of the comprehensive examination is appointed by the appropriate graduate dean or designate.
The examination will normally be completed by the end of the fourth term of registration in the doctoral program. (This requirement assumes continuous registration once admitted into the program.)
A candidate has only two opportunities to complete the Comprehensive Examination successfully. Any appeal by the student concerning a negative evaluation should be made to the appropriate appeals committee of the university in which the student is registered.
Decisions in the Comprehensive ExaminationResidence Requirements
Pass - No further formal work required. The supervisor will pass on suggestions as to areas in which work might be done to eliminate minor weaknesses. Pass with conditions - Further work required. The supervisor, in consultation with other examiners, will inform the student what is to be done and by what time. After meeting the specified conditions a pass will be given. Fail, opportunity to repeat - Major weaknesses noted. After further formal work, determined by the comprehensive examining committee, the student may retake the comprehensive examination. Fail, required to withdraw - Major weaknesses noted. The student is required to withdraw from the program.
Normal: six terms from master's degree, nine terms from honours bachelor's degree.
Minimum: four terms from master's degree, six terms from honours bachelor's degree.
PhD from honours bachelor's degree 18 terms (six years)
PhD from master's degree 12 terms (four years)
The number of terms specified in these time limits applies regardless of whether the student is registered full time or part time. For the purposes of these time limits, a term is one registration session, i.e., one term = one registration session regardless of full-time or part-time status.
An extension of up to three terms may be granted by following the usual petition procedures at the appropriate university. Further extensions must be approved by the appropriate dean of Graduate Studies.
PhD Thesis Requirements
Upon successful completion of the comprehensive examination, a thesis committee consisting of four members will be established and approved by the dean of Graduate Studies. Normally, this committee will have the same membership as the comprehensive examining committee. At least two members of the thesis committee must be members of the Waterloo-Laurier Graduate Program in Geography. When the thesis committee has approved the thesis proposal, the student completes the research and submits a thesis for oral defence.
Decisions in the PhD Thesis Defence
Prior to the oral defence, a thesis examining committee is established. This consists of the thesis committee plus an external examiner and a chair, both of whom are appointed by the graduate dean of the appropriate university. The decision of the examining committee is based both on the thesis and on the candidate's ability to defend it.
Four decisions are open to the examining committee.If the examining committee is not prepared to reach a decision at the time of the thesis defence, it is the responsibility of the chair to determine what additional information is required by the committee to reach a decision, to arrange to obtain this information for the committee and to call another meeting of the committee as soon as the required information is available. It is also the responsibility of the chair to inform the candidate.
Accepted - Thesis may require typographical and/or minor editorial corrections to be made to the satisfaction of the supervisor, normally within one month. Accepted conditionally - Thesis is acceptable but requires some changes in substance or editorial changes which are to be made to the satisfaction of members of the cxamining committee designated by the committee. The examining committee's report must include a brief outline of the nature of the changes required and must indicate the time by which the changes are to be completed. In any case, changes must be completed to the committee's satisfaction within one calendar year of the date of the defence or the student must withdraw from the program. Decision deferred - Thesis requires modifications of a substantial nature, the need for which makes the acceptability of the thesis questionable. The examining committee's report must contain a brief outline of the modifications expected and should indicate the time by which the changes are to be completed. The revised thesis must be resubmitted to the dean of Graduate Studies for re-examination. Normally, the re-examination will follow the same procedures as for the initial submission except that the display period may be reduced or eliminated at the discretion of the dean. Normally the same examining committee will serve. A decision to defer is open only once for each candidate. Rejected - Thesis is rejected. The examining committee shall report the reasons for rejection. A student whose doctoral thesis has been rejected will be required to withdraw from the PhD program. The dean of Graduate Studies will inform the student, in writing, within one week of the date of the examination, of the decision of the examining committee and of the requirement to withdraw.
Not all courses are offered every year. Contact the department before accepting an offer of admission to determine whether the courses you wish to complete will be offered during your period of residency.
* Indicates a course which may be used for credit in the MES program.
Seminar in Spatial Data Handling
An overview of concepts and methodologies in several aspects of spatial data handling: cartography, geographic information systems, remote sensing, spatial statistics. Analysis of spatial data sets.
Recent developments in cartographic theory, research and applications.
Geographic Information Systems
Concepts and methodologies for the integration and analysis of different types of spatial data sets in geographic information systems. Applications in geographic studies.
Theory, methodology and applications of remote sensing in environmental analysis.
An overview of spatial statistics and their use in geographic studies.
Industrial Location Theory and Concepts
Examination of industrial location theory and themes concerning the role of manufacturing in the space-economy. Factors of location will be considered as will the way that manufacturing has led to spatial disparity on international, regional and local levels.
(Cross-listed as Planning/Local Economic Development 611 at University of Waterloo)
Regional Development Principles and Practice
This course reviews the principles underlying regional development theory and evaluates the application of these principles in policy and practice. The purpose is to explore regional development options in the context characterized by fiscal conservatism and intense international competition for investments.
(Cross-listed as Planning/Local Economic Development 613 at University of Waterloo)
Development, Communities and the Environment
This course highlights the complex set of relationships between development and the environment at the community level. Principles are illustrated with local examples.
Theory and application of multivariate statistics, regression and correlation analysis, factor analysis, discriminant analysis and grouping analysis, with emphasis on the use of the computer.
(Cross-listed as Planning 616 at University of Waterloo)
Presentation of analytical and simulation models useful in analyzing geographic phenomena such as spatial interaction, spatial dependence, spatial equilibria and locational optimization; consideration is given to both theoretical and empirical components.
(Cross-listed as Planning 618 at University of Waterloo)
Regional Planning Economic and Investment Analysis
Application of economic and social measurement techniques in regional planning; includes discussion of input-output analysis; regional accounting techniques; cost-benefit analysis; planning, programming and budgeting systems; the multiplier and accelerator concepts; and balance of payments.
(Cross-listed as Planning 619 and LED 619 at University of Waterloo)
Recommended: Introductory statistics course before enrolling in GG619
Seminar in Urban and Economic Geography
An overview of paradigms and methodologies of urban and economic geography, illustrated by focusing on a specific project relating to the development of the space economy or the internal structure of cities.
Metropolitan Form and Structure in Canada
A seminar on selected topics of particular relevance to understanding and planning for contemporary processes of metropolitan change in Canada. Major topics represent an interrelated set of exogenous forces (globalization, economic restructuring, technological innovation, and immigration and demographic shift) and endogenous structural responses (central city decline, revitalization, dispersed styles of suburban development and new urbanist and ecologically sustainable styles of planned intervention).
(Cross-listed as Planning 621 at University of Waterloo)
Perspectives on Social and Behavioural Geography
Examination of geographical contributions to contemporary social and behavioural research. Among the topics considered are behaviour-based research in learning, perception and personality. Topics in contemporary social theory and research are also considered such as class, ethnicity, gender and community.
Geography of Commerce
An overview of concepts and methodologies for examining the spatial aspects of commercial systems.
Concepts and methodologies for examining mobility and various impacts of transportation systems.
Seminar in Cultural and Historical Geography
Students' analytical and applied skills are developed through a mix of readings, discussions and individual student-originated research projects. Appropriate use of cultural and historical evidence in both physical and human geographical research is emphasized. Readings include the following themes: environmental history, ethnohistory, post modernism, gender studies and interpretation of culturally modified landscapes.
Research in Historical Geography
The investigation of a substantive topic in historical geography using the concepts, approaches and techniques of the field.
Research in Cultural Geography
An investigation of a selected topic in terms of the social organization of space, and of the cultural and subcultural beliefs and values involved. Examination of the kinds, locations and uses of primary sources of data and other sources.
Concepts and Research in Regional Studies
An investigation of holistic approaches involving temporal and national origins and cross-influences; examination of the kinds, locations and uses of primary sources of information and other sources.
A - H Selected Topics in Regional Studies
Detailed study of physical, cultural, economic and political geography of a specified world region.
d) Soviet Union
e) East Asia
h) North America
Development Issues in the Third World
This course emphasizes both theoretical and conceptual frameworks, techniques, practices and methods for analysis of development, focusing in particular on the development/environment interface and questions of sustainability.
Gender Perspectives on Geographical Issues
This course examines several conceptual research methods and action approaches, ranging from the purely theoretical to applied planning and program development issues.
Seminar in Physical Geography
Basic concepts related to temporal and spatial scales together with variability as they directly affect data collection and analysis. Leading-edge research related to selected sub-disciplines of physical geography will be critically discussed.
Advanced study of the atmosphere as a natural resource system. Emphasis on the enhanced greenhouse effect, climate change scenarios, impacts and policy implications.
Advanced study of boundary-layer meteorology. Energy balance regimes for complex surfaces are examined. The theory of turbulent and radiant transfer is studied using field data collected during the course.
An overview of current issues and methodologies in geomorphology with special emphasis on processes operating in fluvial, glacial, periglacial or coastal environments.
An examination of the way in which human activities modify landscapes and the impacts of government policy and planning with respect to landscape change. The role of the geomorphologist in landscape rehabilitation.
Fluvial and Glaciofluvial Sediment Transport
Laboratory (hydraulic) models and sediment transport theory are emphasized in the analysis of modern and ancient (Pleistocene) landforms of fluvial and glaciofluvial origin.
An overview of hydrological processes with emphasis on Canadian examples related to the hydrological cycle, surface hydrology, groundwater hydrology and measurement techniques.
Recent Advances in Wetland Studies
Selected topics on the distribution, classification, functional dynamics and ecosystem structure of wetlands. A scientific basis for wetlands management is emphasized.
Perspectives in Resource and Environmental Management
Current research and practice in resources and environmental management.
(Cross-listed as Planning 660 and Environment and Resource Studies 660 at University of Waterloo)
Planning and Conservation of Water Resources 1
The course begins with a survey of limnological principles and of water and sewage treatment. Topics in water resources are discussed with a focus on storm water management and wetlands planning and conservation.
(Cross-listed as Planning 661A at University of Waterloo)
Planning and Conservation of Water Resources 2
Continuation of GG661A
(Cross-listed as Planning 661B at University of Waterloo)
Environment Planning Theory and Practice
An interdisciplinary approach to environmental planning. Focuses on the socio-economic, planning, environmental science, design and decision-making theories and methods utilized in environmental planning theory and practice. Regional and local case studies and studio projects will be used to demonstrate professional practice issues and techniques.
(Cross-listed as Planning 665 at University of Waterloo)
Recommended: Senior-level course in ecology, environmental science, landscape architecture or equivalent.
Ecosystem Approach to Park Planning
An ecological approach to planning national and provincial parks, focusing on system planning, master planning and park administration. Examination of the theory and practice of parks planning utilizing ecological concepts. Course requires additional fees.
(Cross-listed as Planning 666 at University of Waterloo)
Recommended: Senior undergraduate or graduate ecology course.
Problems in Resource Management
Analysis of existing management concepts and practices. Study of proposed theories, concepts, methods and techniques relevant to the management of resources.
(Cross-listed as Planning 667 and Environment and Resource Studies 667 at University of Waterloo)
Techniques and technicalities covered in the first part of the course include legal aspects, teamwork, data collection and manipulation, public participation and cost-benefit analysis. These topics are followed by case histories considered from the perspective of proponent, public, consultant and government. Finally, the ethics and politics of environmental impact assessment are reviewed. Students are required to participate in a group case study on a current impact assessment issue.
(Cross-listed as Planning 668 at University of Waterloo)
Contemporary Perspectives on Tourism
This course will introduce participants to a variety of topics and research methods through presentations made by active researchers from Canada and abroad.
(Cross-listed as TOUR 601, LED 671 at University of Waterloo)
Human Ecology of Stressed Environments
An analysis of aspects of natural resources, their development, and the natural hazards and adverse environmental impacts associated with them. Students normally focus on one particular problem; for example, water resources, coastal hazards or soil erosion and one region.
Geographical Perspectives on Resource Management-International Issues and Prospects
An overview of the international and complex nature of resource and environmental management: implications at international, national, regional and local levels.
A - Z Selected Topics in Geography
Topic(s) to be negotiated on an individual basis with faculty members. An outline of the course, approved by the professor in charge and the department dhair, must be submitted to the program director within three weeks of registration.
Theory of Local Economic Development
This course focusses on economic development for regions, communities and municipalities. Organizational structures and strategies that a community may employ to increase its capacity to control its destiny are examined. Topics include strategic economic planning, information management, partnerships, internet opportunities, entrepreneurship, incubators, tourism, sustainable development and healthy community initiatives. Various evaluation methods are critiqued.
(Cross-listed as LED 685 at University of Waterloo)
Geographic Thought and Methodology
An analysis of changing methods and philosophy of geographic research, with emphasis on problem formulation and the design and evaluation of geographic research.
Graduate Student and Faculty Seminar in Geography
Participation in departmental seminars; invited presentations by guest speakers, program faculty and students.
Graded on a CR/NCR basis
Master's Research Paper
PhD Comprehensive Examination