Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, & Resources - Physical Geography
Faculty of Engineering

Program description

Physical Geography examines the natural and physical systems of the Earth including the atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere (ice and snow), hydrosphere (water) and lithosphere (land surface). Physical geographers also look at the connections between these systems, how they change over time, and the implications of these changes. Atmospheric science covers topics such as climate change, storms (including tornadoes), weather systems and other atmospheric phenomena. Biogeography is the study of the biosphere, and examines the geographic nature of plants, animals, and ecosystems. Hydrology is the study of the Earth’s water in its many forms including ice, snow, rivers, lakes, and groundwater. Lastly, geomorphology examines the nature of the Earth’s land surface features such as mountains and river.


Program options

Degree options

B.Sc. Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography – 4 years
B.Sc. Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography Co-op – 4 years
B.Sc. (Hons.) Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography (Honours) – 4 years
B.Sc. (Hons.) Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography (Honours) Co-op – 4 years

Interesting courses and unique opportunities

Interesting courses

  • Selected Issues: Severe Thunderstorms - Storm Chasing & Field Techniques
  • Selected Issues: Sea Ice in the Arctic Marine System
  • Introduction to Climate Change and Its Causes

A number of undergraduate students were awarded NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA), allowing them to participate in the 2010 Arctic cruise of Canada’s research icebreaker, the CCGS Amundsen (for some it was part of their Cooperative Education Option).


Professional opportunities

  • Atmosphere & Hydrological Sciences
  • Geomatics
  • General Physical Geography
  • Arctic System Science (climate and environmental change)

Admission Requirements

Visit the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth and Resources Direct Entry (high school applicants) or Advanced Entry (post-secondary applicants) application for admission page to learn more about admission requirements, application dates and how to apply.


What is unique about this program at the U of M?

Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources has the only Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Manitoba. The chair holder is Dr. Søren Rysgaard, whose research is in Arctic Geomicrobiology and Climate Change. The CERC is one of only nineteen awarded across the country.
“Severe Thunderstorms - Storm Chasing & Field Techniques” is the only storm and tornado chasing course in Canada.

Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources is about the begin work an experimental facility, the Sea-Ice Environmental Research Facility (SERF) that will include a large pool to examine the behaviour of sea ice. The Riddell Faculty is also home to the Cretaceous Menagerie and geological sciences museum exhibiting minerals, fossils, and dinosaurs.


Important links

Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources
Department of Environment and Geography