Micro-Program in Climate Change

Micro-Program in Climate Change

New: Several merit-based scholarships are available for the winter 2021 session courtesy of generous support from Énergir. There is no formal application process, and candidates will be considered based on the strength of their application.

Program Description

Finding solutions to the problems brought on by climate change requires educating a new generation of global citizens well-versed in the concepts, issues, and challenges associated with such a complex topic. Bishop’s University has responded to this need by developing a new graduate-level Micro-Program in Climate Change. The new program, the first English-language program of its kind in Québec, will offer instruction from leading experts on the science of climate change, its impacts, and strategies for its mitigation. At the end of the program, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Take a position and provide evidence to support arguments concerning major issues in climate change science
  • Develop an understanding of the causes and effects of climate change on local, regional, and international scales, in major regions of the world (poles, tropics)
  • Articulate a range of plausible solution strategies to confront climate change in terms of adaptation and mitigation

Graduates of the Micro-Program will be well positioned to compete for jobs in both government and the private sector. Moreover, the Micro-Program could be used as a springboard for further study, whether it involves graduate school in a climate or environment-related field, or a professional degree such as law school or an MBA. Indeed, the Micro-Program has been designed so that it will provide students with a solid understanding of both the scientific and non-scientific aspects of climate change and thus will be highly applicable to a range of career options.

Courses Offered

The Micro-Program consists of a broad range of courses covering cutting-edge topics in climate change science. The selection of courses we teach varies from year-to-year. In the winter 2021 semester we will be offering ESG 502, ESG 561, ESG 575, and ESG 577. To complete the Micro-Program, students will do three of these three-credit masters-level courses (for a total of nine credits).

At present, the courses are only offered in the winter semester of each year. Students may take all three courses in one semester, or take courses over a period of several years. Students who take all three courses in the same semester will be registered as full-time students at Bishop’s University as this is a graduate-level program. The courses consist of a combination of seminar, lecture, fieldtrip, and laboratory instruction.

Micro-program courses (four offered every year)

ESG 502: Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change

ESG 502: Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change

The purpose of this course is to examine the nexus of agriculture and climate change.  What are the impacts that climate change is having on agriculture, and what are the impacts that agriculture is having on climate change? We will examine climate change projections, changing agricultural practices, and their impact of food security. We will also learn agriculture’s role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and discuss how agroecological and regenerative approaches to agriculture can build resilient systems, and help people adapt to climatic changes.

(usual instructor: Dr. Darren Bardati)

ESG 525: The Anthropocene

ESG 525: The Anthropocene

The idea of an Anthropocene is changing our view of the extent to which humans have shaped the natural world. However, many questions still remain concerning the Anthropocene, such as when it began and what activities characterize it. This course will examine recent research in the Anthropocene and the controversies surrounding it. The course material will be centered around a project the class undertakes that involves the study of human impacts in the Eastern Townships using a variety of data sources.

(usual instructor: Dr. Matthew Peros)

ESG 526: Environmental Impacts of Climate Change and Human Activities on the Oceans

ESG 526: Environmental Impacts of Climate Change and Human Activities on the Oceans

People living in cities remote from the sea often forget about the role of the oceans in their economy and in the climate system. The course will examine society’s relationship with the oceans, especially in coastal zones. Oceans are the site of many important human activities, and thus are sensitive to pollution and modifications brought by climate change. The goal of the course is to increase students’ awareness of the major environmental issues presently affecting the oceans and the challenges facing decision makers when dealing with the impacts of climate change on the oceans (e.g., sea level rise, saltwater intrusions into aquifers, fisheries, etc.).

(usual instructor: Dr. Elisabeth Levac)

ESG 561: Arctic and Antarctic Environmental Change

ESG 561: Arctic and Antarctic Environmental Change

The polar environments, especially the Arctic, are undoing change at a rate far faster than most other regions. Change at the poles has happened in the past and will continue to have important consequences for all Earth’s systems. This course will examine the development of these extreme environments and examine what can be expected for the future.

(usual instructor: Dr. Alexandre Langlois, Département de géomatique appliquée, Université de Sherbrooke)

ESG 570: Special Topics in Climate and Environmental Change

ESG 570: Special Topics in Climate and Environmental Change

A graduate-level lecture/seminar course offered by regular and visiting faculty on topics related to their research interests in climate and environmental change. Topics are determined by the instructor therefore content of the course varies year by year. The course will be offered on an occasional basis.

ESG 573: Energy and the Environment

ESG 573: Energy and the Environment

This course introduces the concepts of energy and power and their units and reviews energy sources, fossil fuels, their environmental impacts, and resource consumption. The basics of heat transfer, energy conversion, and its efficiency according to thermodynamics are covered (including the concepts of temperature, specific and latent heat, the first and second law of thermodynamics, heat engines, and thermal systems). Other topics discussed include electromagnetic and blackbody radiation, the greenhouse effect, the Earth’s energy balance, the basics of electromagnetism, and electric power. Radioactivity, nuclear energy, and renewable energy sources are introduced.

(usual instructor: Dr. Valerio Faraoni)

ESG 575: Tropical Environments and Climate Change

ESG 575: Tropical Environments and Climate Change

This course attempts to provide an overview of the tropics as a unique environment and one that poses special problems to its human occupants. The working assumption in the course is that the tropics comprise a far too complex and heterogeneous environment for simple generalizations to apply. However, by gaining some understanding of how its component systems work, one can be in a better position to identify the appropriate questions to be asked and experiments to be performed, so that site-specific solutions can be developed for management problems in different parts of the tropical world. The course will provide a review of tropical climatology, soils, and biomes, in addition to discussing more applied issues such as forestry and agriculture.

(usual instructor: Dr. Matthew Peros)

ESG 577: The Health Impacts of Climate Change

ESG 577: The Health Impacts of Climate Change

Climate change is expected to affect human health in numerous ways. The most obvious health impacts are those associated with thermal stress and extreme weather events such as floods and hurricanes (premature deaths, infectious diseases; diarrhoeal disease). Global warming will also be associated with a spread of vector-borne diseases (such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, Lyme disease, etc.) and increases in seasonal allergies. The shrinking of the natural world also means we live in greater proximity with the animal world, increasing the probability of new virus emergence and pandemics. The course will examine the overall impact of environmental degradation, displacement and loss of livelihood on the general physical and mental health of populations.

(usual instructor: Dr. Elisabeth Levac)

Our Faculty

Admission Requirements

To apply, go to the Bishop’s University Online Application page, look under the Winter (January 2021) section and click the “Graduate Winter Application form” link. Applicants will need at least a B average in the last two years of their undergraduate degree to be eligible for admission. In terms of application materials, you will need to upload official versions of all university transcripts, a CV, a statement indicating why you would like to be in the program and what you hope to gain from it (no more than 400 words), and two letters of reference. The letters can be uploaded to the website or emailed directly to: admissions@ubishops.ca.

The admission deadline for the Winter 2021 session is August 31, 2020, at 4:00 PM. All questions about the program can be sent to Ms. Jean Porter at jean.porter@ubishops.ca.

Information for International Students

We welcome international students into the Micro-Program in Climate Change. The language of instruction is English. In order to be accepted, international applicants will also need to submit proof of English-language proficiency, sent directly to the university from the testing organization. We accept any of the following:

  • TOEFL (minimum overall score of 237 for computer-based or 90 for internet-based testing)
  • IELTS (minimum overall score of 6.5)
  • MELAB (minimum overall score of 85)
  • CAEL (minimum overall score of 70)
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) minimum score of C
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) minimum score of C
  • Pearson Test of English: Academic (PTE: Academic) minimum score overall score of 61

In addition, international tuition and fees for the Micro-Program are approximately $6000 CAD (subject to change without notification). Bishop’s University does not offer tuition waivers, although a small number of competitive scholarships are available to help partly offset this; prospective students are automatically considered for these upon receipt of their applications. In addition, accommodation, food, and local transportation costs are estimated to be approximately $1000 CAD per month.

Because the Micro-Program is less than 6 months in duration, no Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) or study permit is required. However, upon acceptance into the program, all international students will need to apply for a SX-1 visa (short term studies visa) from the Government of Canada. Questions concerning the immigration process can be directed to info@iheartcanada.ca or +1-647-836-8472.