Current Graduate Students

Graduate

Courses

Fall / Winter / Summer Courses for 2022 - 2023

Please contact the course instructor to find out if the course will be offered. For additional information, contact Kelly McCaugherty.

Select the course code from the list below to view additional details. 

Course Instructor: Staff - tbd

Graduate field school held in several regions of the world consisting of field trips to selected areas of geological interest, emphasizing relationships between local and regional geological environments and their natural resources and hazards, in the context of the tectonic evolution of the area visited. Students are expected to research background on areas to be visited and must produce one or more substantial reports and present one or more seminars. Extra fees may apply to cover the cost of travel. Field excursions in the fall, winter and/or beginning of summer term. Field trip costs will be finalized by September, when the detailed trip plan is presented to interested students. In previous years, the maximum cost of the trip has been $3000/student. Funding from thesis supervisors may be available to help offset these costs. (3 credit units)

Course Instructor: Staff

This course consists of a short and focused exploration of a pre-approved topic in engineering geology removed from the thesis research. The course may be hosted at Queen’s or offsite under the co-supervision of the designated departmental instructor. Course delivery may vary from special lecture series to supervised field/lab course. Deliverables would include a self-directed report and presentation. Field trip fee may apply. (1.5 credit units). PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.

Course Instructor: Staff

This course consists of a short and focused exploration of a pre-approved topic in applied geology removed from the thesis research. The course may be hosted at Queen’s or offsite under the co-supervision of the designated departmental instructor. Course delivery may vary from special lecture series to supervised field/lab course. Deliverables would include a self-directed report and presentation. Field trip fee may apply. (1.5 credit units). PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.

Course Instructor: Rob Harrap - offered Winter 2023

An introduction to 3d visualization of natural sciences data with a focus on methods relevant to geological engineering, mineral exploration and geoscience research. Perception, representation and analytical methods. Design tools and data integration methods. Temporal analysis of natural sciences data. LiDAR data analysis. Global and local models. Virtual worlds. (1.5 credit units) PREREQUISITE: GEOL/GEOE 463 or GEOL 853 or Permission of the instructor

Course Instructor: Dr. Bas Vriens - not offered 2022-23

An introduction to 3d visualization of natural sciences data with a focus on methods relevant to geological engineering, mineral exploration and geoscience research. Perception, representation and analytical methods. Design tools and data integration methods. Temporal analysis of natural sciences data. LiDAR data analysis. Global and local models. Virtual worlds. (1.5 credit units) PREREQUISITE: GEOL/GEOE 463 or GEOL 853 or Permission of the instructor

Course Instructor: Dr. Laurent Godin - not offered 2022-23

Mechanisms of brittle and ductile deformation, strain, rheology and deformation mechanisms applied to geological structures and rock fabrics, with an emphasis on microstructural development of fabrics, flow paths and vorticity analysis. Applications to problems in continental tectonics studies. (1.5 credit units) PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor. EXCLUSION: GEOL 481, GEOL 816

Course Instructor: Rob Harrap - offered Fall 2022.This course will be delivered online.

An overview of the major themes, approaches and methods of geographic information science and related GIS software tools. Spatial analysis, fundamentals of cartography and fundamentals of data management. Students will gain exposure at a level appropriate for effectively managing and using spatial data for graduate level projects. (1.5 credit units) PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor. EXCLUSION: GEOL 463, GPHY 243

Course Instructor: Dr. Gema Olivo - offered Fall 2022

This course addresses the major challenges of mineral exploration and mining industries in providing well-being for people and ecosystems; includes discussions of the global distribution of, and demand for, water, energy and mineral resources and the major geological, technological, economic, environmental, social and governance issues. It involves 20 hours of lectures and discussion of papers and it culminates with the presentation of comprehensive seminar and report by the participants. (1.5 credit units)

Course Instructor: Dr. Jean Hutchinson - offered Fall 2022

Overview of development of rock engineering; discussion of acceptability criteria for engineering design; site characterization techniques and objectives; rockmass classification methodology and property determination; analysis of structural instability; assessment of stress; design of underground structures in weak rock; rock support design; risk management for rock engineering. Three hours lecture, two hours tutorial. PREREQUISITE: Rock Mechanics course or permission of the instructor. (3 credit units)

Course Instructor: Dr. Laurent Godinand Dr. Christopher Spencer - not offered 2022-23

A seminar-based course focusing on advanced concepts in structural geology and Tectonics. Topics may include flow concepts applied to ductile deformation, description and interpretation of microstructural fabrics, subduction processes, fluid and faulting, modelling approaches to Tectonic problems and exhumation processes of metamorphic rocks. Far field effects such as lithosphere rheology, climate and erosion will also be discussed. Three hours lecture. (3 credit units). PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.

Course Instructor: Dr. Laurent Godin - not offered 2022-23

Mechanisms of brittle and ductile deformation applied to geological structures and rock fabrics. Emphasis is on structures in fold and thrust belts, fracture and vein analysis and studies of superposed deformation. (Offered jointly with GEOL 481, but extra assignments are given). Two hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial; 2 hours lab. (3 credit units)

Course Instructor: Dr. Georgia Fotopoulos - offered Fall 2023

This course covers key theoretical principles and practical applications for presenting science. Students will learn about different types of presentations and means for presenting scientific data based on their target audience. It should be emphasized that the “science” component of this course is also critically important and therefore students are expected to select their presentation topics according to their scientific discipline. (1.5 credit units). PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.

Course Instructor: Dr. Gema Olivo - offered Winter 2023

The major geological environments considered from a plate tectonic perspective and their associated ore deposits: approaches to the definition of the characteristics of ore deposit types, with particular emphasis on the role of theories of ore genesis in defining geological criteria for area selection in mineral exploration. (May be offered jointly with GEOL 422, depending on enrolment). Three hours lecture, three hours seminar, seminar/laboratory. (3 credit units)

Course Instructor: Dr. Bas Vriens - not offered 2022-23

This course will expose students to the concepts and the current practice of mine waste management including acid mine drainage, neutral-pH metal leaching, secondary mineral precipitates, prediction and permitting, site remediation, etc. Students who complete this course will have a comprehensive understanding of the nature of the environmental impact of mining on ecological and human health, the scientific principles behind the interaction between mine waste and the surface environment and the tools that professionals use to predict, control, remediate and regulate metal mining activities.(3 credit units)

Course Instructor: Staff

An investigation of selected geological problems. Offered on demand (3 credit units)

Course Instructor: Staff

A course unit composed of two modules on topics in the geological sciences and geological engineering. Each module will consist of a workshop, short course or extended field trip, as approved by the department. The unit will be completed within two years. (3 credit units)

Course Instructor: Staff

An investigation of selected geological engineering problems. Offered on demand. (3 credit units)

Course Instructor: Dr. Guy Narbonne - not offered 2022-23 

An investigation of selected paleontological problems. Seminar weekly plus a project and a major essay. Offered on demand. (3 credit units)

Course Instructor: Nicholas Joyce, MSc - not offered 2022-23 

The course develops those evaluation skills which enable exploration geologists and engineers to translate their technical knowledge and expertise into economic planning evaluation; cash flow and time value concepts, discounted cash flow methods; mining taxation considerations; sensitivity and risk analysis techniques; exploration economics and strategies; evaluation of exploration projects; exploration planning issues, and financial statement analysis. Seminars and lectures in the Fall term on economic Guidelines for Mineral Exploration, developed in conjunction with real-time analysis of the global mineral exploration industry. (3 credit units)

Course Instructor: Staff

A course unit composed of two modules on topics in the geological sciences and geological engineering. Each module will consist of a workshop, short course or extended field trip, as approved by the Department. The unit will be completed within two years. (3 credit units) PREREQUISITE: GEOL 841

Course Instructor: Rob Harrap - offered Fall 2022

A broad base of digital and analog methods will be used to examine the collection, correction and analysis of geologic data. Field data collection using GPS and handheld computers will lead to a discussion of field data semantics, Geographic Information Systems technology, and the acquisition and distribution of data across the internet. Manipulation of air photo and remotely sensed imagery will lead to a discussion of state of the art geologic sensing systems including Radar and Hyperspectral methods. The underlying theme of the labs and assignments will be the application of these techniques to resource and environmental assessment. (Offered jointly with GEOL 463). Two hours lecture, three hours laboratory. (3 credit units)

Course Instructor: Dr. Alexander Braun - offered Fall 2022

This course emphasizes theory and practise of advanced applied geophysical methods and the applications in engineering and science. Design of geophysical surveys considering the intrinsic limitations and sources of uncertainty. (3 credit units). PREREQUISITE: GEOL 319 or permission of the instructor.

Course Instructor – Gema Olivo – Offered Fall 2023

This course addresses the role of mineral exploration and mining industries in providing wellbeing for people and ecosystems; includes discussions of the global distribution of, and demand for, water, energy and mineral resources, and the major geological, technological, economic, environmental, social and governance issues. It culminates with the design of solutions based on sustainable management. 3 hours, 1 hour tutorial: including lectures, panel discussions and seminars. G.R. Olivo.

Course Instructor: Dr. Matthew Leybourne - not offered 2022-23 

A course for advanced students in the fields of biology, chemistry, geography or geology in the principles of stable isotope and radiogenic isotope systematics in natural processes. Emphasis will be placed on the use of isotopes in tracing elemental cycles, biological cycles and hydrologic cycles and how some isotopes can be used to place constraints on the timing of specific events within these cycles. (Offered jointly with GEOL 466). Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory. (3 credit units)

Course Instructor: Dr. Mark Diederichs - offered Winter 2023

Course focusses on a comprehensive suite of numerical analysis techniques suited to geotechnical design of rock structures and analysis of rockmass stability in natural and engineered settings. Finite element, finite difference, discrete/distinct element and boundary element methods are all discussed with hands-on application workshops using state-of-the-art geomechanics software. Analytical models and pre- and post- processing techniques suited to typical rock engineering problems are developed through assignments. Strength criteria and non-linear inelastic constitutive models for continuum plasticity, brittle fracture and discontinuum deformation are explored in detail. Projects involving real case histories are undertaken to highlight the application of and engineering judgement associated with numerical analysis for problems involving rockmasses. 2 hours lecture, 2 hours lab. (3 credit units)

Course Instructor: Dr. Matthew Leybourne - offered Winer 2023

Principles of rock-water interaction and element migration in the near surface environment applied to environmental and exploration geochemistry. Students learn field and analytical techniques, evaluate and interpret geochemical data and design solutions related to geochemical hazards to human health, environmental impacts of mining and formulation of strategies for detecting mineral deposits. Field trip fee $50. (3 credit units). PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor. (Offered jointly with GEOL 475)

Course Instructor: Dr. Elisabeth Steel - offered Fall 2022

Detailed examination of depositional processes and external controls on the facies organization and sequence stratigraphy of fluvial, coastal, shelf and deep-marine environments. Introduction to sedimentary basin types. Three hours lecture, three hours lab; Fall.  PREREQUISITE: GEOL 238 or permission of the instructor.

Course Instructor: Dr. Alexander Braun - offered Winter 2023

Theory and application of observing geophysical fields from space-borne platforms. Orbital mechanics, signal propagation, uncertainty will be addressed. Current missions including radar and laser altimetry, gravimetry and magnetometry and synthetic aperture radar. Applications in science and engineering (site investigation, geodynamics, ocean and ice, natural resources) through student projects. (3 credit units)

Course Instructor: not offered 2022-23 

The alteration of carbonate sediments in different diagenetic environments leading to the formation of limestone and dolomite. Topics addressed will include biological and chemical modification, cementation, neomorphism, porosity evolution and karst. Emphasis to be on rock-water interactions as revealed through petrography as well as trace element and isotope geochemistry. Three hours; seminars, selected lectures and laboratories. (3 credit units). PREREQUISITE: GEOL 368 or permission of instructor.

Course Instructor: not offered 2022-23 

Principles of carbonate facies models as derived from modern environments and ancient successions. Assessment of current trends in modelling and the temporal response of carbonate systems to intrinsic and extrinsic controls. Three hours seminar. (3 credit units). PREREQUISITE: GEOL 368 or permission of the instructor.

Course Instructor: Dr. Georgia Fotopoulos - offered Winter 2023

Principles and applications of space-based systems for geo-spatial data acquisition with particular focus on Global Navigation Satellite Systems and Geodetic Satellite Missions. Applications for small to mid-scale engineering problems and larger scale Earth monitoring systems. (3 credit units) PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.

Course Instructor: Dr. Peir Pufahl and Dr. Laurent Godin - offered Fall 2022

An advanced course discussing the principles of earth evolution as exemplified by North America. The holistic approach illustrates the way in which geodynamics, geochemistry, sedimentation, paleo-biology and oceanography are used to unravel the history of the continent. (Offered jointly with GEOL 488). Three hours lecture; five day field trip. (3 credit units). PREREQUISITE: A geology core program or permission of the instructor.

Course Instructor: Dr. Alexander Braun - not offered 2022-23 

Theory of elastic waves and seismic processing methods. Application of seismic reflection and refraction methods to oil and gas exploration. Hands-on experience in seismic data processing using leading-edge software systems. (3 credit units) PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor

GEOL 898 – Master’s Project (Non-Research)

GEOL 899 – Master’s Thesis (Research)

Course Instructor: Dr. Peir Pufahlnot offered 2022-23

Sequence stratigraphy is a primary analytical tool for investigating sedimentary successions, with the aim of understanding how sedimentary environments change through time, predicting the distribution of hydrocarbons, and correctly framing lithogeochemical data.  This advanced, seminar-based course targets graduate students and upper-level undergraduates. Weekly student talks focus on linking stratigraphic sequences and their bounding discontinuities with facies analysis of terrigenous clastic and chemical sedimentary systems.  Introductory sedimentology/stratigraphy is a prerequisite. (3 credit units)

Course Instructor: Dr. Hom Nath Gharti - not offered 2022-23

With the advancement of modern computing technology, computation has become one of the most important research tools in many fields, including geosciences. In this course, we will explore commonly used computational methods, namely, finite-difference method, pseudo-spectral method, finite-element method, and spectral-element method applied to problems in geosciences. Specifically, we will solve wave propagation, tsunami problem, steady-state, and unsteady-state heat diffusion equations. We will start from 1D examples and gradually expand to 2D and 3D examples. All examples will be supplemented by programming exercises. We will provide program templates for most exercises in Matlab or C, or FORTRAN. Students are welcome to use any language of their choice. At the end of the course, students will be able to design and solve their own problems in computational geosciences. Additionally, students will be able to make informed decision on using geoscientific software rather than simply using them as black boxes.

Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistants are an essential part of the teaching team in the Department, providing a crucial personal link between the Professor and the students.

With the instructor's assistance, Teaching Assistants prepare and lead the labs and/or tutorials, and grade student work. Because of their close contact with the students, Teaching Assistants play an important role in helping students learn the material, and commonly serve as mentors and career advisors. Without Teaching Assistants, the educational experience of our students would not be as rewarding as it is.

To recognize the best of our Teaching Assistants, various individual and corporate donors have created a significant number of Teaching Assistant Awards. These awards, which are given on the basis of nominations by students and faculty, carry no additional monetary value for the student so honoured. However, the funding supplied by the donors to this program, is an essential contribution to the Department's ability to maintain good quality teaching in our laboratories and field schools, and is gratefully acknowledged. However, receipt of one of these awards is recognition of outstanding performance as a Teaching Assistant, and can be used on CVs and applications for scholarships and/or graduate school as an indication of communication and interpersonal skills.


Senior undergraduate students can apply to be a Teaching Assistant in our introductory courses. Students who are interested in applying for a Teaching Assistant position should complete an online application form. To view more information on courses, download the PDF below. Please contact Laboratory Coordinator, Anne Sherman, for more information.

Find more information about TAships.

FAQ's

Frequently asked questions for current graduate students. For general questions about graduate studies, see the School of Graduate Studies FAQ's.

Transfers from full-time to part-time status will be considered in the following circumstances:

1. When there has been a change in the student's personal circumstances which prevent her/his studies from being pursued on a full-time basis. This would include increases in family commitments for childcare, care of other dependents or changes in personal health.

2. An opportunity for full-time professional employment arises which would make it impossible for the student to maintain his/hers studies on a full-time basis.

3. If a student registers full-time in another degree program.

Students request this status and receive permission for it by completing and submitting a request form, available as an e form or PDF, from the School of Graduate Studies website: Part Time Status. https://webapp.queensu.ca/sgs/forms/student/forms/create?t=transfer-part-time In order for the request to be considered, the request form must be accompanied by:

1. A statement by the student of the reasons for requesting the transfer and a plan of study setting out the steps to be taken and a timetable for completion;

2. A statement from the supervisor that the study plan and timetable are realistic.

Additional documentation is required to support a request to change to part time status in some cases. These requirements are stated on the form. Part-time students are normally considered to be Off Campus students, unless they inform the School of Graduate Studies that they wish to be On Campus students and pay all due fees associated with this status.

Graduate students who wish to take a maternity and/or parental leave from their program of study may register as inactive without prejudice to their academic standing. The maximum duration of the maternity and parental leave is two terms and two terms respectively. Both parents are entitled to a parental leave. In addition, mothers are entitled to a maternity leave. The maternity and/or parental leave would normally be taken during the first year of the child's life, or, in the case of adoption of a child, within 12 months after the child first comes into the custody of the parent. A fee waiver for the period of the leave will be granted by the university through the School of Graduate Studies.

Students apply for this status by completing and submitting the designated form, available as an e form or PDF from the School of Graduate Studies website: Maternity/Parental Leave.Maternity/Parental Leave (PDF, 468 KB)OR complete the online form: https://webapp.queensu.ca/sgs/forms/student/forms/create?t=notification-of-leave

Talk to your supervisor or the Graduate Assistant in your graduate program. Each graduate program receives funding from the School of Graduate Studies to assist students who need to travel to present a paper at a conference. Graduate programs also provide funding in some cases. Presenting conference papers is an important part of graduate studies and is encouraged whenever possible.

Yes, you can find support and assistance through academic support services at Queen's. The Learning Strategies part of the Student Academic Success Services Department in particular offers workshops and support for graduate students.

Contact the Writing Centre, also part of the Student Academic Success Services Department. Help is available, for example, through a Thesis Support Group run by Learning Strategies Development.

First, resolution of an issue should initially be sought through informal departmental channels. Find out your graduate program's departmental procedures on dealing with issues or problems. A discussion of the problem should occur first between you and your supervisor or supervisory committee. If the issue cannot be resolved there, you should consult the Graduate Coordinator and/or the Department Head to seek possible resolution. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, assistance can be requested of the Associate Dean(s) of the School of Graduate Studies. In consultation with the student, the Dean may elect to appoint an advisory committee to help resolve the issue. All consultations in the Departmental and School of Graduate Studies are kept confidential and no direct action should be taken without the prior consent of the student. Resolution of the issue can also be sought through the University’s Grievance Procedures, which include informal, administrative and formal channels. The Queen’s Senate Statement on Grievance, Discipline and Related Matters and the University’s Grievance and Appeal Procedures document should be consulted. Note that, unless warranted by unusual circumstances, no interruptions to a student's academic program may be put into effect until all channels of appeal or grievance have been exhausted, or the time for appeal has been allowed to lapse.