Pair the natural sciences (laws of gravity, meterology, and chemical reactions), and the science that studies non-living systems (vs biology) and you end up with physical sciences.
To major in physical sciences means you choose two of the following disciplines:
and successfully complete the required number of courses. You may also choose to minor in any of the other disciplines offered in the Bachelor of Science program.
Marie Curie (first female Nobel laureate, discovered polonium and radium), Albert Einstein (greatest scientist of the 20th century, proposed the theory of relativity and Sir Isaac Newton (most renown for his description of the laws of motion and laws of universal gravitation) all made significant contributions to the world of physical sciences.
Become a lab technician, urban planner, or teacher. Go into natural resource management, or geological data collection & analysis. Or further your education and find yourself as a research scientist, an engineer, or perhaps in the field of environmental protection.
In addition to the following interdisciplinary courses, the department of Physical Sciences offers 100-400 level courses in:
PHSC 200 - Physical Science Field Skills
PHSC 300 - Alberta Oil and Gas Industry
A field course extends teaching and learning to sites outside of the classroom or laboratory in order to expose students to a real-world setting so that they can learn though direct interaction with an environment rather than textbooks and lectures. It stimulates higher understanding of previously learned material, and it stimulates an appreciation and concern for the visited environment.
PHSC 200 - Physical Science Field Skills
Destination Hawai'i: Spring 2017
Physical Science Field Skills (PHSC 200) centres on two weeks of intense fieldwork on the volcanically active Big Island of the Hawaiian Chain located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Field work in this remote and challenging landscape will take students from tropical beaches to icy volcanic summits, from active volcanos and desolate lava flows to lush rainforests and windswept grasslands. Earn 3 credits towards your degree as a course in any of our three Physical Sciences disciplines: Earth and Planetary Sciences, Physics, or Chemistry.
Experience 8 of the world’s 13 climate subzones
Study the Hawaiian water, soil and air using analytical chemistry
Explore elevations from sea level to over 4,000 metres
Observe active volcanos and lava flows
Examine ancient glaciation
Participate in observational astronomy exercises and tour a world class observatory
Discover Hawai'ian culture
PHSC 200 information sessions will provide you with detailed information about the course's structure and activities. These sessions are an opportunity for you to ask questions and discuss your concerns with the faculty. At the same time, your attendance at an information session will help the department gauge current student interest in the course.
Information sessions are held during the Fall. Watch for promotional posters and department announcements for the exact dates and times.
- Air, water and soil field sampling and analytical techniques
- Geochemical analytical techniques demonstrating complementarity of physical sciences disciplines
- Analytical techniques: SPME, FT-IR, ICP-OES,
- GC-MS, conductimetry and portable electro analytical devices.
- Analysis of air pollutants including CO2, SO2, H2S and NOx and their evaluation as green house gases
- Analysis of volcanically-influenced springs and non-volcanically influenced streams for fluoride, conductivity, pH and inorganic entities.
- Coastal dynamics and processes
- Beach and surf surveys
- Volcanology and volcanic landscapes
- Igneous mineralogy and petrology
- Ancient tropical glacial landscapes
- High altitude field surveys
- Field analysis of soil chemistry and structure
- Tropical weathering and soil formation
- Mapping of volcanic, coastal and glaciated landscapes
- Star charts and fundamentals of navigation
- Solar observing
- Assessing light pollution
- Mapping the lunar landscape and measuring the height of lunar mountains
- Measuring acceleration due to gravity
- Measuring meteor activity
- Determining tropospheric pressure and temperature gradients
- Introduction to observational astronomy and telescopes
- Monitoring Earth's magnetic field strength, declination and dip angle
PHSC 200 is offered during the spring semester (May through June) each year, and is dependent upon student interest. The dates below are subject to change depending upon the year of offering, and availability of flights and accommodations.
|May 1 – 26||Lecture, field trip preparations, pre-departure orientation||Monday - Friday |
8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
|May 29||Depart Edmonton for Hilo, Hawaii||TBA|
|May 30 – June 11||Field activities in Hawaii||All Day*|
|June 13||Depart Hawaii for Edmonton||TBA|
|June 15 – 23||Data analysis and final report presentation||Monday - Friday |
8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
*Field activities run all day and sometimes into the late evening for the astronomy component. The field portion of the course includes two days of R & R.
- Quizzes 10% to 40%
- Field Notebook 30% to 50%
- Final Report 30% to 50%
- Course participation
- Daily field notebook
- Adherence to code of conduct
Participation in the field skills course requires a good level of health and physical fitness including the ability to hike 10 km over rough ground at high altitude and the ability to participate in all-day activities in the following environments:
- Tropical forest: up to 30°C with intense sunshine or heavy rain
- Alpine desert: sub-zero temperatures, strong winds, intense sun, cloud
Enrolment for this course is closed to online registration until the selection process is complete. After the September information sessions, a call for applications will take place and students will be selected from the list of applicants.
To apply for the course, send an email to Dr. Andy Enggist at email@example.com with the subject header "PHSC 200 application." Include in the email the following:
- Your full name
- MacEwan University student ID
- MacEwan University student email address
- A brief statement of interest
- A list of first and second year courses successfully completed.
- You should have completed the first-year courses (6 credits) of two of the three disciplines: Earth and Planetary Sciences, Physics, or Chemistry, or obtain consent of the department.
- You must hold, or be able to obtain, a valid Canadian passport or entry visa to US
- Youmust be willing to sign student waivers related to health and medical conditions, code of conduct, study abroad, and release of information
Maximum class size is 18 students.
Course costs will depend upon enrollment. Based on maximum enrollment, the course fee will be approximately $2500, which includes:
- Return air fare
- Ground transportation
- Material fees and shipping costs
- Guides and gate fees
You should also budget an additional $1000 for the following expenses:
- Passport or visa fees
- All-inclusive insurance
- Field gear
- Personal expenses
A more detailed cost breakdown will be available before the registration period.
You will need to supply the following documentation to participate in the field skills course:
- Valid Canadian passport or entry visa to US (ESTA)
- Travel insurance (fully comprehensive)
- The following student waivers:
|October 7, 2016||Course application deadline. Selection process begins.|
|October 14, 2016||Student selection process complete.|
|October 21, 2016||Registration opens. If the course is undersubscribed, the course application deadline may be extended.|
|November 1, 2016||$500 non-refundable deposit due to secure course registration. Registration deadline.|
|January, 2017||Travel authorization approval due
Flight bookings due. You must book your own flight.
|February 2017||Travel insurance check|
|March 6, 2017||Passport and visa check|
|May 1, 2017||$500* final installment of special course fees due:|
|May 6, 2017||Course tuition fees due. Amount will vary depending upon enrolment and student status.
Student waivers and signed code of conduct due.
*The final installment amount is estimated based on enrolment.
If you are interested in this unique study abroad opportunity, please contact one of the field skills course coordinators. We will need your full name and your MacEwan University student email address.
Dr. Robert Hilts, Chemistry
Dr. Andreas Enggist, Earth and Planetary Sciences
Dr. Orla Aaquist, Physics