Courses Science

Course Descriptions - Undergraduate Calendar 2017-2018

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  1. Most science-labelled courses are offered by the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, and Physics, as determined by course content. They are of a general nature, and are intended to be taken as electives by students in any faculty.
  2. Normally, no more than three SCI-labelled units may be applied towards any Science degree Academic Plan.

SCI 00s

SCI 10 SEM 0.00Course ID: 015278
Communication Skills for Science
The course is designed to develop communication skills to prepare international Science students for assignments, group work, oral presentations, and technical writing. The course combines Science specific content and approaches to problem solving with specific learning objectives for written and spoken communication. Activities may include a field trip, a tour of department laboratories, and group work for an oral presentation. The course is taught by a department member, a writing instructor, and numerous peer mentors. The course focuses on providing individual feedback, self-improvement, and increasing student competence and confidence. [Offered F]
Prereq: Science students; Not open to students in 4th year.
Antireq: EARTH 10

SCI 200s

SCI 200 LEC 0.50Course ID: 013620
Energy - Its Development, Use and Issues
A survey course which deals with energy resources, their conversion into energy products and their use in today's industrial societies. In light of the Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) Model, energy supply demand, and conservation constraints, the use of non-renewable fossil and nuclear fuels, biofuels and other renewable fuels (wind, hydraulic, solar) will be reviewed and technical and social issues arising from their use explored. This course should prepare students to analyze and deal with the many contradictory energy useage claims and decide for themselves the best course of energy use. (Offered: F)

SCI 201 LEC 0.50Course ID: 014123
Global Warming and Climate Change
This course will survey a broad spectrum of topics relating to global climate change, with an emphasis on the scientific approaches to address this issue. Topics covered will include natural and anthropogenic causes of climate change, monitoring methods, current and low emission alternatives of energy production. The scientific, economic, public and political aspects of implementation of carbon capture and storage technology and other geo-engineering options to mitigate climate change will also be discussed. [Offered: W]
Antireq: EARTH 358

SCI 206 LEC 0.50Course ID: 010135
The Physics of How Things Work
A practical introduction to everyday technology, this course will look at the physics behind common devices used in consumer products and industry. Examples include air conditioners, microwave ovens, household wiring, nuclear reactors, and medical imaging. [Offered: F]

SCI 207 LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 014923
Physics, the Universe, and Everything
How does the universe work? How can it even exist? What is the ultimate nature of reality? This course explores big picture questions that connect humanity to the nature of the physical world. Beginning with introduction to Einstein's ideas and the quantum nature of the universe, this course considers how physicists tackle some of the mysteries (e.g., existence itself) and challenges (e.g., the world's energy problem) in science today.
[Note: No mathematics or other specialized knowledge is required; students from non-science faculties are encouraged to attend. Offered: W]
Prereq: Level at least 2A

SCI 227 LEC,SEM 0.50Course ID: 013362
Chemistry in Society: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
This course surveys the impact of chemistry on our lives and explores the role of chemists and the chemical sciences in addressing the past and especially the present and future needs of society. Topics will vary from year to year, but will be drawn from the following critical areas: food, energy, materials, health, and the environment. [Offered: W]
Prereq: Grade 12 Chemistry

SCI 237 LEC 0.50Course ID: 008513
Exploring the Universe
A survey course in astronomy (primarily intended for students in Applied Health Sciences, Arts and Environment). The solar system, stars, the Milky Way, galaxies and the Universe.
[Note: Cannot be taken for credit by Engineering, Mathematics, or Science students. Offered: F]
Prereq: Not open to Engineering, Mathematics and Science students.
Antireq: PHYS 175, SCI 238

SCI 238 LEC 0.50Course ID: 008514
Introductory Astronomy
A survey course in astronomy intended for Mathematics, Engineering and Science students. The solar system, the Sun and planets, stars, the Milky Way, galaxies and cosmology.
[Note: Students with a strong background in Physics and Mathematics should consider PHYS 175 instead of SCI 238. Offered: W,S; also offered online: F]
Antireq: PHYS 175, SCI 237
Also offered Online

SCI 240 LEC 0.50Course ID: 015360
Science of Forensics and Criminalistics
An introduction to the scientific methods and techniques for gathering physical evidence from crime scenes and the investigation of objects and sites associated with other kinds of illegal and criminal activity such as fraud, forgery, and gross negligence. This course examines the features and characteristics of minerals, rocks, fossils, gemstones, sand and soils and considers applications in forensic science and criminalistics. Other topics such as the geology of art, forensic anthropology and environmental forensics are included. [Offered: W]

SCI 250 LEC 0.50Course ID: 008515
Environmental Geology
An introduction to geological concepts; the influence of geological factors on the natural environment; Earth processes and natural hazards; Earth resources, including water, energy and mineral resources; waste disposal and pollution; global climatic and environmental change. [Offered: W]

SCI 255 LEC 0.50Course ID: 006156
The Biology of Aging
An introductory study of the biological processes of aging at the molecular, cellular and systemic levels. Topics include an examination of the theories of aging, methods used to study the aging process, the role of diseases and chronological changes in the organism during senescence.[Offered: S]
(Cross-listed with GERON 255)
Only offered Online

SCI 267 LEC 0.50Course ID: 008523
Introduction to the Philosophy of Science
This course considers fundamental questions concerning the nature of science. Consideration is given to such topics as scientific methodology, scientific revolutions, natural laws, and the debate about whether scientific theories represent reality, or just our perceptions of reality.
(Cross-listed with PHIL 258)

SCI 300s

SCI 395 LEC 2.50Course ID: 010366
Science Study Abroad Program
Waterloo students studying abroad for academic transfer credits under a Science Exchange Program during the Fall term.
Department Consent Required

SCI 396 LEC 2.50Course ID: 010367
Science Study Abroad Program
Waterloo students studying abroad for academic transfer credits under a Science Exchange Program during the Winter term.
Department Consent Required

SCI 397 LEC 2.50Course ID: 010368
Science Study Abroad Program
Waterloo students studying abroad for academic transfer credits under a Science Exchange Program during the Spring term.
Department Consent Required

SCI 400s

SCI 455 LEC 0.50Course ID: 011759
Human Impact on Aquatic Systems
An introduction to marine and freshwater ecosystems and examination of the impact of human activities such as eutrophication, contaminants, exotic invaders, hydrological alterations, and climate disruption.
[Note: Students whose major field is Biology should not take this course for credit. Offered: F]
Antireq: BIOL 450, BIOL 351/451, SCI 453, SCI 454

SCI 462 LEC 0.50Course ID: 008536
Biology of Food Production
A survey of world food production from the biologist's viewpoint. Topics: nutrition; food chains; origins of agriculture; basic plants and animal food crops; primitive and modern scientific agricultural practices and the environmental implications of each. [Offered: F]