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Students will complete 24 credits according to the MRP option.  In this option students will complete six (6) 3-credit courses and write an MRP (Master Research Paper) worth 6-credits, normally within one year.  Students in the MRP option will complete the following:

Core Courses: (3 credits each)

Plus three (3) of the following specialty courses: (3 credits each)
MESc-Science specialty courses

MES-Studies specialty courses
ENST 5346   Integrated Watershed Management

ENST 5115  Major Research Paper (MRP): (6 credits)
Students in the MRP option write an MRP constituting either an original literature review or limited primary research. This paper will be evaluated by the supervisor and one other member of the graduate faculty, but will not be subject to an oral defence.

Speaker Series/Graduate Conference (0 credits)
All students are required to participate in the regular program speaker series and to present their research at an academic conference, either at Nipissing University or elsewhere.​
Course Descriptions:

ENST 5027: Spatial Computing (John Kovacs)

This course is a presentation of concepts in programming, imaging, and visualization in geography and geomatics. Topics we will examine include computational techniques for solving spatially based problems.​


ENST 5116: Perspectives on the Environment (3.0 credits)

This course will explore the philosophy and ideas of the natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities, with respect to their application in defining the causes, consequences of and solutions to environmental problems. Students will pursue a critical understanding of the values and limitations of these different approaches to studying human-environment interactions. The course will elucidate different ways of thinking about environmental problems, comparing and contrasting the scientific method and its application in natural and social sciences to humanistic approaches. Students will be challenged to consider these different paradigms and think beyond the boundaries of their individual background disciplines. Two members of the graduate faculty representing the sciences and the social sciences/humanities will co-teach the course, and will present specific topics such as the application of scientific method, deductive and inductive reasoning, falsification and reification of hypotheses, interpretation and communication of information, the nature of proof, ethics and morality, nature as culture, and the development of policy. Practical analyses using a holistic approach will be carried out through the examination of several case studies of specific environmental issues (e.g. water quality, resource depletion, climate change) offering students the opportunity to collaborate with others from different academic backgrounds and develop interdisciplinary solutions. Ultimately, students completing this course will be expected to recognize, assess, and communicate the value of scientific and humanistic approaches to dealing with specific environmental problems.


ENST 5117: Methods of Inquiry in Environmental Research (3.0 credits)

 The exchange of credible information and its correct interpretation are fundamental to achieving a clear understanding of environmental problems and making good decisions in policy development and management. This challenge requires a broad knowledge of the different methods of information collection and communication used in scientific and humanistic studies of environmental issues. The objective of this course will be to provide students with the necessary skills and experience they require to evaluate and interpret information from these disparate sources in an interdisciplinary setting. Following the same pedagogical model developed in ENST 5XXX Perspectives on the Environment, this course will be presented by two members of the graduate faculty representing the sciences and the social sciences/humanities, who will illustrate the key methods used in a variety of disciplines to pose and answer questions of environmental relevance. Specific topics will include research study design, sampling and error, bias and integrity of information, description and inference, spatial and temporal pattern analysis, geomatics, archival research methods and the nature and authority of archives, evaluating traditional sources of knowledge, data mining, and the use and limitations of models. Practical exercises and critical reading will supplement lectures and group discussions to provide students with a broad experience across the range of techniques covered. This course will instill in students the knowledge required to critically assess the quality and relevance of various types of information presented to support conclusions drawn about environmental problems.


ENST 5126: Geomatics for MES/MESc Graduate Students (3.0 credits)

This course will be offered for all MES/MESs students and will cover a range of techniques and applications.



ENST 5316: Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring (John Kovacs)

The aim of this course is to explore advanced techniques in remote sensing, digital image analysis, processing and interpretation. Depending on the interest of the student, applications for classification and monitoring of terrestrial landscapes may include the use of polarimetric radar data, object-oriented classification algorithms or hyperspectral data analysis techniques. Tools for remote sensing field validation will include the use of field spectroradiometers, global positioning systems, weather stations, and indirect leaf area index instruments.


ENST 5317: Topics in Forest Ecology and Management (Jeff Dech)

This course will explore the concept of forest ecosystem management and its application in Canada. Topics will include, the watershed concept and long-term ecological research (e.g. hubbard brook forest), the coarse filter approach to biodiversity management, reconstruction of disturbance histories, emulation of natural disturbance regimes, biological and economic aspects of ecosystem services from Canadian forests, social and community forestry, forest regeneration and restoration, and the unique importance of old growth. An emphasis will be placed on examining threats to the diversity and stability of forest ecosystem functions with respect to climate change, habitat destruction and fragmentation.


ENST 5326: Topics in Watershed Analysis and Modeling (April James)

The goal of this course is to explore tools of watershed analysis, field data collection techniques, sampling and analysis of natural tracers (e.g. stable isotopes, hydrochemistry), use of data in the conceptualization and development of catchment models.


ENST 5327: Topics in Aquatic Behavioural Ecology (Reehan Mirza)

This course will examine interactions between aquatic organisms (invertebrates, fishes and amphibians) focusing on key ecological activities such as predation, foraging, mating/reproduction, homing/migration, kin/individual recognition and how these processes are intrinsic in developing management strategies.


ENST 5336: Topics in the Environmental History of Land and Subsistence (James Murton)

This course will explore selected topic(s) in the environmental histories of food systems, agriculture, land, and/or settler colonialism. The focus will be on the different approaches by which historians have understood how systems for producing and distributing critical subsistence resources (primarily food) have been created over time out of an interaction between human societies and the environment (focusing on land). What role has been played in this shaping by economic, political, and legal systems and human agents, and with what effects on society and the environment?


ENST 5346: Integrated Watershed Management (Dan Walters)

This course will introduce students to themes and principles of integrated watershed management and good governance. We will examine water resource issues in northern Ontario and how these principles are integrated into water related decision processes.


ENST 5347: Special Topics in MES/MESc (3.0 credits)

This course will accommodate guest lecturers/ adjunct or regular faculty to direct a reading course.​


ENST 5656: Chemical Approaches to Air and Water Pollutants (Stephen Kariuki))

Topics include a study of air pollutants that can alter the atmosphere and affect human health, organic pollutants, toxicity arising from heavy metals, chemistry of natural waters and purification of water, pre-concentration techniques of toxics, and techniques for qualitative and quantitative analysis of toxics in various matrices.​

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