Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric SciencesWelcome to Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, one of the largest and most diverse departments of its kind in the world. Our research and teaching interests span the history of the Earth and the evolution of its structure from core to stratosphere. Overview of dept
The Department administers majors, honours and applied science programs that offer challenges to students at all levels. Prospective Students
NEW Earth Sciences BuildingThe planned Earth Sciences Building will incorporate the latest technologies to create a flexible learning environment, enabling us to further our success and to continue offering the best education to our students. The Faculty of Science is now working with our supporters in the resource industries and professional communities to fund this initiative. see this pdf.
NewsFlash, April 25
MDRU -- Mineral Deposit Research UnitThe Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) is a collaborative venture between the mining industry and UBC's department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences.
MDRU is an internationally recognized research group devoted to solving mineral exploration-related problems. It is part of an integrated geologic and geophysical research program at UBC devoted to training students for employment in the industry and to solving research questions of interest to the community. MDRU's home page
PCIGR Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical ResearchThe PCIGR is an integrated analytical facility dedicated to innovative research and training in the earth, environmental, oceanographic, atmospheric and biological sciences, and specializes in high-precision radiogenic and stable isotope ratios, elemental concentrations, laser ablation and geochronology. After nearly 10 years since its establishment at UBC, and relocation to EOAS in 2005, the PCIGR has more than doubled its analytical capacity and become a world-class facility with a pool of instruments that is unmatched in North America.
EESF -- Environmental Earth Sciences FacilityEESF studies the medium and large-scale dynamics of the lake, ocean, and atmospheric systems. The guiding principle in our work is that an understanding of physical mechanisms is key to eventual understanding of not only their physical evolution but also of at least some aspects of their bio/chemical evolution. EESF primary members are the research groups of Drs. Susan Allen, William Hsieh, Richard Pawlowicz and with colaboration with Dr. Roger Pieters. Read More
GDCFD Geophysical Disaster Computational Fluid Dynamics CentreThe GDCFD (GeoDisaster Centre) at UBC studies weather-related and other natural disasters, with an ultimate goal of enhancing the Canadian economy and saving lives. The major tool of the GeoDisaster Centre is a massively-parallel high-performance computer (HPC), which is used to solve fluid-flow equations describing weather, avalanches, forest fires, earthquakes and other natural phenomena. This research focuses on disasters that affect the complex mountainous and coastal terrain of Western Canada. GDCFD's home page
Electron Microbeam / X-Ray Diffraction FacilityThe Electron Microbeam/X-ray Diffraction Facility is an integration of three laboratories comprising the following instruments: Cameca electron microprobe, Philips XL-30 scanning electron microscope / Princeton Gamma-Tech energy- disperision X-ray spectrometer, a Bruker X-ray powder diffractometer, and a Philips X-ray generator for powder and single-crystal cameras. Two preparation laboratories with a carbon evaporator unit, micronising mill, and other miscellaneous equipment, support these operations. Read More
CESL Centre for Experimental Study of the LithosphereThe experimental examination of mechanical and transport properties is one of the most active and dynamic research fields in the geosciences. This facility contributes to a wide range of research programs including: 1) deformation of crustal and mantle rocks, 2) the study of fluid-rock interactions and transport phenomena, 3) physical property measurement of crustal and mantle materials, and 4) properties and physical chemistry of magmatic systems.
PME -- Pacific Museum of the Earth
(Event - Dec 16/13)
PCIGR is having a grand opening party/workshop on Dec. 16.
There will be technical talks by key Nu Instruments personnel, followed by
tours of this new $7.5 million, 2200 sq ft state-of-the-art facility.
The afternoon will feature engaging speakers, who are leaders in their fields,
addressing how modern mass
spectrometry and geochemistry are being used to drive cosmochemical
discoveries, unravel Earth formation, reconstruct past rainfall,
and as biomarkers of disease.
Please see the flyer for talk/tour schedules.
Also see the talk abstracts and Biographies.
REGISTER at: http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/pcigr-nubc-grand-opening-tickets-9446604047
(Award - Nov 20/13)
Ordrich Hungr elected a Fellow of Geoscientists Canada.
At a gathering on November 28th, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia will be formally recognizing Professor Hungr's achievements and exemplary dedication to the geoscience profession.
(Award - Nov 13/13)
MDRU star Shaun Barker wins the 2013 Lindgren award for outstanding contributions to economic geology
The Society of Economic Geologists has announced that Dr Shaun Barker has been conferred with the Waldemar Lindgren Award for 2013. This international award is bestowed annually to a young geoscientist in recognition of published research that represents an outstanding contribution to economic geology, and who shows tremendous potential for making ongoing contributions.
Dr Barker, now on faculty at the University of Waikato, completed his BSc Hons degree at the University of Otago in 2004, and his PhD at the Australian National University in 2007. From October 2007 until November 2012, Dr Barker was a Post-Doctoral Fellow and then Research Associate at the Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) at the University of British Columbia. The Waldemar Lindgren Award conferred on Dr Barker reflects, to a large degree, the contribution his research made to economic geology over the five years he worked at the University of British Columbia.
(Award - Oct 11/13)
Doug Oldenburg has been elected to fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada
The citation from the RSC website reads:
OLDENBURG, Douglas W. - Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, The University of British Columbia Douglas W. Oldenburg is the world's leading developer of geophysical inversion methods and software for quantitative interpretation of geophysical data acquired by the mineral industry and others to explore Earth's shallow subsurface. The research by him and his co-workers has set the standard by which all similar developments are judged. His software is used by hundreds of scientists in industry and academia.
(Award - Oct 11/13)
2013 John A. Franklin Award - Erik Eberhardt
Bi-annual award by the Canadian Geotechnical Society recognizing an individual who has made outstanding technical contributions in the fields of rock mechanics or rock engineering applied to civil, mining or petroleum engineering in Canada and/or internationally.
(Award - Oct 11/13)
2014 Canadian Geotechnical Colloquium - Scott McDougall (EOS PhD 2006, supervised by Oldrich Hungr)
The Canadian Geotechnical Colloquium prize involves the selection of a young (under 40) engineer who shows top promise in their professional or academic career, to present a state-of-the-art colloquium address at the annual Canadian Geotechnical Conference.
(Award - Oct 11/13)
Second place, 2013 Canadian Geotechnical Society's Student Competition Undergraduate Report Award - Jenna Bowling, Ryun Humenjuk, Crystal Lei, Adam Woods, Xiao Qin Yang. EOSC 445 (Engineering Design Project): "Foundation and West Approach Embankment Design of the New Fraser River Crossing".
Nicole Eriks - 4th-year Geology Major Student; Nicole has been awarded the Mineralogical Association of Canada "Distinguished 2012-2013 Undergraduate Student Awardee" for demonstrated academic excellence in Mineralogy, Crystallography, Petrology, Geochemistry and Economic Geology at the University of British Columbia.
(Award - Oct 3/13)
Kathi Unglert is one of 26 UBC graduate students to receive a 2013 Vanier Fellowship.
Kathi's fellowship supports work that builds
understanding of the character and mechanics of seismic tremors
that occur before and during volcanic eruptions.
A principal motivation of her project is to provide a reliable
way to use the emergence and evolution of various tremor
properties to inform eruption forecasting models. Congratulations Kathi!
For more information about the Vanier program: http://news.ubc.ca/2013/10/03/young-researchers-receive-4-8-million-boost/
(Research - Sep 26/13)
Nature: Groundbreaking discovery changes Earth's early oxygen record
A recent study published in Nature by EOAS Assistant Professor Sean Crowe with colleagues at the University of Copenhagen says that Oxygen appeared in Earth's atmosphere 3 billion years ago, which is 700 million years earlier than previously thought. Crowe and colleagues found evidence for low concentrations of oxygen in 3 billion year old soils found in South Africa. These soils are among the oldest on Earth. Crowe's work suggests that photosynthesis, which led to the oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere and the eventual evolution of aerobic life, began much earlier than previously believed.
(Award - Aug 8/13)
Catherine Johnson was elected to be a 2013 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union for her varied and fundamental contributions to research in Planetary Science and Geomagnetism. Congratulations Catherine!
(Facilities - Jul 3/13)
New Nu Plasma 1700 (first in Canada)
The Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research (PCIGR)
welcomed the arrival of the Nu Plasma 1700, a high-resolution
multi-collector mass spectrometer. After 45 days via sea-freight,
the shipment arrived at EOAS in 11 large crates, which took 6 hours
to unpack and bring into the cleanlabs.
This instrument is the first of its kind in Canada, and only the fifth worldwide. The Nu Plasma 1700's large geometry, and 4.5 ton magnet, allows precise and accurate measurements even for challenging isotope systems (e.g. Fe, Cr, Si). This will open avenues for new isotopic tracer studies in the Earth, ocean, atmospheric, environmental and biological sciences, and marks a significant addition to the Department's analytical capacity.
For Photos see Picasa web album.
(Research - Jun 18/13)
Plate Tectonic Gemstones in the New York Times
A recent paper by Lee Groat and colleagues (Stern et al. 2013) in the journal Geology entitled "Plate tectonic gemstones" was recently highlighted in the online edition of the New York Times.
(Award - Jun 5/13)
Richard Pawlowicz was awarded the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society's President Prize for his outstanding contribution in developing the new seawater standard TEOS-10. His novel contributions provide greater accuracy in estimating the physical properties of seawater. The groundbreaking publication was: Pawlowicz, Wright and Millero (2011), The effects of biogeochemical processes on ocean conductivity/salinity/density relationships and characterization of real seawater, Ocean Sci. 7, 363-387.
(Award - Jun 5/13)
Susan Allen was awarded the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society's Francois Saucier Prize in Applied Oceanography for her application of fluid dynamics to better understand biological and chemical processes in the ocean and, in particular, for her recent groundbreaking work in developing a robust method for forecasting spring blooms in the Strait of Georgia.
(Award - Jun 5/13)
Emilie Benoit (UBC Undergrad) was awarded the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society's Undergraduate Scholarship for academic excellence.
(Award - May 22/13)
The following undergraduate students were awarded Shell Mapping Prizes for excellence in geological mapping at the Oliver Field School (EOSC 328), May 2013 : Tim Jusupov, Patrick Hill, Moses Towell and Melissa Friend.
(Research - May 7/13)
Nature Communications: Pyroclastic passage zones in glaciovolcanic sequences
Kelly Russell, Ben Edwards and Lucy Porrit recently published the first description of a passage zone (stratigraphic surfaces marking major transitions in depositional environments) preserved entirely within pyroclastic deposits (in Nature Communications; see http://science.ubc.ca/news/702). Their discovery requires extension of the passage zone concept to accommodate explosive volcanism and guides future studies of hundreds of glaciovolcanic edifices on Earth and Mars.
(Research - Mar 14/13)
Dr. Stull wins research support from CSSP
Dr. Roland Stull,
a professor in the UBC Dept. of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric
Sciences (EOAS), wins research support from the Canadian Safety and Security
Program (CSSP), as announced 12 March 2013 by The Honourable Peter MacKay,
Minister of National Defence.
Collaborating with Natural Resources Canada, British Columbia's Ministry of Environment, and Parks Canada, Stull's research team will help enhance Canada's ability to predict and track smoke from forest fires and provide guidance to health agencies with regards to evacuation decisions.
For the past six years, Stull's team has run the BlueSky wildfire smoke forecasts for western Canada, initially supported by the BC Ministry of Environment, and more recently with support from all the western provinces. (See http://www.bcairquality.ca/bluesky/ and for more on other projects funded by CSSP)
Welcome Prospective Students
The Department administers majors, honours and applied science programs that
attract over 300 undergraduate and 160 graduate students.
Our programs offer challenges to students at all levels.
To learn more see;
current undergraduate students