Fall Semester in Natural Resource Science (Sept - Dec)

"The edge of the sea is a strange and beautiful place." Rachel Carson


Distinct from our Winter Semester which takes a social approach to the study of natural resource management, the Fall Semester is science-based. Applicants should be in third year standing of a natural science program and have completed at least one university level statistics course. 

The Haida Gwaii Semester courses provide an integrated, interdisciplinary examination of issues in natural resource management, using Haida Gwaii as the primary example for study. Students learn outside the walls of the classroom through the use of experiential and participatory approaches to student learning implemented by passionate instructors, each experts in their fields. Each course is three weeks in length, except the 'Ecosystems-Based Management Seminar' which runs throughout the semester, one afternoon per week. The course instructors create linkages for smooth transitions between course topics and themes. 


Applied Ecology of Coastal Terrestrial Ecosystems (HGSE 355)

Instructed by Dr. Sue Grayston

This course is an in-depth examination of the processes that shape coastal terrestrial ecosystems through time and applications of that information to our current ecological reality. It covers topics from the historical geology of the islands to the structure, function and diversity of forests and landscapes today. 

Biophysical Dynamics of the Marine-Terrestrial Interface (HGSE 356)

Instructed by Dr. Scott Wallace

Land and sea have dynamic and profound influences on one another in Haida Gwaii, and students taking this course have a unique opportunity to explore such marine-terrestrial connections. Students learn about nutrient cycling between the marine environment and coastal forest ecosystems, how the physical characteristics of this interface can affect these inputs, and which species play a pivotal role in driving interactions. 

Ecology and Management of Island Wildlife (HGSE 357)

Instructed by Frank Doyle

This course focuses on unique biological attributes of island wildlife, such as subspecies, isolated populations and distinct evolutionary pathways. Topics for this course include an overview of endemic species on Haida Gwaii and their evolutionary history in the context of island biogeography theory and an examination of the parameters that drive population-level outcomes for native and introduced species. 

Conservation Ecology: Applications of Multiple Sources of Ecological Knowledge (HGSE 358)

Instructed by Dr. Dan McCarthy

This course provides an opportunity to learn and apply conceptual tools in the context of a real case study of fostering social change and building adaptive capacity through interactions with groups/agencies on Haida Gwaii. Students are provided with an introduction to the conceptual tools of systems thinking and resilience that help understand the dynamics of social change and social innovation. 


Ecosystem Based Management Seminar (HGSE 359)

Semester-long weekly "project course". Update coming soon!

Click here for information on accrediting these courses towards your academic program.

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Photo Gallery

Views of Haida Gwaii Haida Gwaii Semester Fall 2013 Out of Class Experiences Haida Gwaii Semester Winter 2012

“Experiences like our trip to see forest operations are a constant reminder of the pressures put on forests to sustain resource dependent communities and the changes that must be made to ensure a functional relationship with the forest can continue into the distant future.”

Ansley Charbonneau, 2010 Haida Gwaii Semester Student (University of Guelph)