Life Below Water

Sustainable Development Goal 14 is to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. 

The courses listed below contain content relative to the pursuit of this goal.  Click through to read more about each course, and to be linked to the course page in the UTSC Calendar.

For more information on the Goal itself, visit




The course covers community and population ecology, and provides an emphasis on how ecology relates to other areas of biology, and to contemporary human and environmental issues.

Biodiversity and Conservation


A seminar exploration of current topics in biodiversity and conservation, including genetic, organismal, and community levels. 

Environmental Pollution


This course illustrates the environmental effects of urban expansion, changing methods of agriculture, industrialization, recreation, resource extraction, energy needs and the devastation of war. 

Principles of Hydrology


The water and energy balances; fluxes through natural systems and process at the drainage basin scale: precipitation, evaporation, evapotranspiration and streamflow generation are discussedin this course.

Biodiversity and Biogeography


Emphasis will be on the highly diverse invertebrate animals. Topics include biomes, dispersal, adaptation, speciation, extinction and the influence of climate history and humans.



This basic course in hydrogeology introduces the principles of groundwater flow and aquifer storage and shows how a knowledge of these fundamental tools is essential for effective groundwater resource management and protection.



This course will introduce students to the dynamics of ocean environments, ranging from the deep ocean basins to marginal seas to the coastal ocean.



Terrestrial and aquatic geochemical processes such as: mineral formation and dissolution, redox, aqueous-solid phase interactions, stable isotopes, and organic geochemistry in the environment will be covered.

Environmental Microbiology


This course examines the diversity of microorganisms, their adaptations to special habitats, and their critical role in the ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles.

Glacial Geology


The course will review the geologic and geomorphologic record of past glacial and interglacial climates, the formation and flow of ice sheets , and modern day cold-climate processes in Canada's north.  

Environmental Science Field Course


Aquatic environmental issues require careful field work to collect related hydrological, meteorological, biological and other environmental data. 

Contaminant Hydrogeology


Natural hydrochemical processes; the use of major ions, minor ions, trace metals and environmental isotopes in studying the occurrence and nature of ground water flow. 

Advanced Watershed Hydrology


The motion of water at the hill slope and drainage basin scales and the relationship between surface and subsurface hydrological processes are examined in this course 

Fundamentals of Site Remediation


This course consists of a study of the ways in which hazardous organic and inorganic materials can be removed or attenuated in natural systems.

Introduction to Environmental Studies


This course introduces the Environmental Studies major and the interdisciplinary study of the environment through a team-teaching format.



Three modules take students from relatively simple determinations of risk (e.g., infrastructure flooding) towards more complex, real-world, inclusive considerations (e.g., ecosystem impacts of climate change).

Environmental Internship


This course offers students the opportunity to gain practical research experience as an intern with an environmental organization.