Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences

Curriculum Planning and course reform

At the curriculum level, we are developing plans for a “Curriculum Matrix” which will explicitly identify links in learning goals among courses, help us identify and remedy gaps, overlaps, and bottlenecks, and serve as a dynamic roadmap for future curriculum evolution. 

During this project we will examine curricular goals with increasing detail as more courses become involved. An evolving, dynamic product of this effort will be a three dimensional curriculum matrix with axes of “learning goals”, “courses”, and “years” used to track how core concepts and skills (both cognitive and professional) link among courses. This ongoing exercise will stimulate discussion and allow us to identify and remedy gaps and overlaps in our curricular structure.

PDFPoster (April 2010): Exit Survey of Graduating EOS Students: Goals and Results - Josh Caulkins
PDFSurvey of Hiring Practices in Geoscience Industries - Kerry Ko, Francis Jones, Josh Caulkins, Sara Harris, Devlin Tompkins (April 2010) - Interviews with delegates at the Mineral Exploration Roundup trade show and convention for mining industries to learn about needs and expectations of companies hiring new geoscience graduates.

Status of Curriculum review as of January 2013:

  • Service Courses Curriculum Committee evaluated precedents, conducted surveys, and analyzed student data to articulate a list of learning goals for all service courses under the subheadings “Knowledge and Major Concepts”, “Skills”, and “Habits and Attitudes”. The list was revised based on faculty input, was presented at the department’s retreat in April 2009, and adopted by the department.  Goals are posted on the departmental website.
    PDFPoster (April 2009): Service course curriculum in Earth & Ocean Sciences - Francis Jones
    PDFProposed Departmental Goals for Service Courses (April 2009)

  • Atmospheric Science Curriculum Committee defined program goals. (S. Allen, chair)

  • Environmental Science Curriculum Committee conducted student focus groups and extensive data analysis on student enrollment data and developed a set of recommendations and a revised curriculum (D. Steyn, chair)

  • Geophysics Curriculum Committee reinstated the Geophysics Majors program (E. Hearn, chair)
    PDFResults of discussions with the Vancouver professional geophysics community: Geophysics Community Questionnaire Results - Francis Jones (October 2009)

  • Geology Curriculum Committee reinstated the Geology Majors program. A matrix correlating courses and program objectives is under development (J. Scoates and S. Sutherland).

  • Oceanography Curriculum Committee is actively working to define program goals & build links among courses. They have also created two new combined majors in Oceanography programs (with biology and with physics), and a new oceanography minor. (S. Allen, chair)

  • Geological Engineering Curriculum Committee has started a course/objectives matrix in anticipation of an upcoming program review.

Exit Survey

An online survey has been developed for graduating 4th year EOAS students from all streams. Data will provide us with student perspectives on the EOAS academic programs, career goals and curriculum recommendations. This information will help us improve our program structure, content, and courses. The survey was initiated in April 2009 and administered annually since then. Results 2009–2014 have been processed and summarized.