GGR317H5 The Cryosphere: Canada's Frozen Environments

Course Desciption

Course Description

Snow and ice dominate the Canadian landscape. There is virtually no area in Canada that escapes the influence of snow and ice. We skate on frozen ponds, ski down snow-covered mountains, drive through snow blizzards and watch how ice jams in rivers cause rivers to swell and floods to occur. The duration and the thickness of snow and ice increase rapidly northwards, and glaciers are found in mountainous areas and in large parts of the Arctic region. Given that snow and ice impact heavily on the Canadian way of life, this course seeks to understand the dynamics of snow and ice in a hydrological context. This course will examine snow properties, snow cover distribution, glacier hydrology, melt runoff, and ice in its many forms (lake ice, river ice, sea ice, and ground ice). This course will also examine some of the recent observed changes occurring in the cryosphere regions of Canada. This course includes an off-campus field trip. This course fulfills two field days.

Credits: Science

Lecture hours: 24

Practicum hours: 12

Prerequisite: 9.0 credits including GGR214H5 or GGR217H5

The field trip was … a highlight of the course. It provided the opportunity to gain field work experience as well as have an opportunity to interact or use in class material. I really enjoyed the course.

Core Skills Developed

  • understanding of the current state of the frozen regions of the Earth
  • critical data analysis and interpretation
  • field work
  • interpretation and comprehension of scientific literature