Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Environmental Earth Science field course provides immersive learning experience for StFX students

September 10th, 2020
Some StFX students returned to campus early this fall for an immersive learning experience in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park as part of the Environmental Earth Science field course. Participants are pictured here in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Some StFX students returned to campus early this fall for an immersive learning experience in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Earth sciences professor Dr. Dave Risk, along with course facilitators Katlyn MacKay and Chelsie Hall, took six students to the national park for the Environmental Earth Science field course. 

The students learned how to use equipment for sampling soil, water, air, vegetation, meteorology, and how to snap and analyze air photos taken by drone. They also learned how to navigate through the woods, and to work effectively as an outdoors team, Dr. Risk says. 

As has been the case for over a decade, Parks Canada facilitated the visit and allowed the group to stay together at the Big Intervale field station. 

“Ecosystems around the station are extremely varied and make for a unique learning experience, from deciduous-coniferous Acadian forests at sea level, to extensive boreal forest, to treeline-type Taiga ecosystems on the 500m-high plateau,” Dr. Risk says. 

Even though several individuals had to sleep outside the station in tents for physical distancing, the group had no trouble staying healthy and fit. 

The Environmental Earth Science field course has been flagged by students as one of the StFX's high impact courses and is offered every year to third year students taking Climate and Environment or Environmental Earth Sciences. 

 

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