- About ISAR
- The Program
"Anybody who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel prizes - one for peace and one for science." U.S. President John F. Kennedy
Why incorporate a water focus into your StFX degree?
Water is one of the most basic requirements for life on planet Earth. It shapes our planet through erosion and weather, it provides habitat for varied marine and freshwater species, it provides human populations with the ability to produce and procure food, to create energy, to develop and maintain industries, to maintain households, and we use it for recreational and spiritual activities.
But will there be enough fresh water to drink as human populations continue to expand rapidly in the 21st century?
How will our environment and ecosystems respond to these global changes in planetary hydrology?
Will predicted world water wars become a reality of the not too distant future?
These are just some questions of worldwide significance with obvious importance to Canada, because although we have only 0.5% of the world's population, our landmass contains approximately 7% of the world's renewable water supply and we are bordered on three sides by oceans that support a myriad of resources. Canada could be considered ‘water wealthy’ in an era where the demand for freshwater already exceeds supply in many parts of the world and where marine resources – both below and above the seabed – are sought after for food, energy and profit.
The study of water – whether marine, freshwater or groundwater resources; science or policy-focused; micro or macro approaches – will particularly appeal to students who
- have a keen interest in understanding, developing and applying interdisciplinary approaches to solve a diverse range of environmental and water problems;
- enjoy taking their study into the outdoors to field locations, and
- wish to complete a degree that will equip them for employment or advanced educational opportunities in the growing environmental professions.
We believe that Aquatic Resources students are better prepared to understand topics impacting our planet such as water resource issues, climate change, global warming, desertification, fisheries and aquaculture challenges, conservation and extinctions, among others. With an interdisciplinary education, combining science and social science perspectives, our students are well-positioned to comprehend and explain global political issues that occur between and within countries, cultures, cities, and to apply scientific knowledge about our rapidly-changing world and how humans are impacting the planet.
You will be learning more about water, and perhaps considering a water-related career path, during the United Nations Decade for Action ‘WATER FOR LIFE’ 2005 – 2015. http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/index.shtml
From the UN World Water Development Report:
- By 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of freshwater
- Right now more than 1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water
- Over 3 billion people live without access to adequate sanitation systems
- Oceans contain nearly 200,000 identified species, but actual numbers may lie in the millions
- As much as 40 per cent of the world oceans are heavily affected by human activities, including pollution, depleted fisheries, and loss of coastal habitats
- Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods
Some 60% of wetlands worldwide, and up to 90% in Europe have been destroyed in the past 100 years, principally due to drainage for agriculture but also through pollution, dams, canals, groundwater pumping, urban development and peat extraction
The Aquatic Resources Program
AR is a 4-year, interdisciplinary program of study leading to a Bachelor or Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. We offer small class sizes - no more than 40 students in AQUA 100 and AQUA 200 - where you will get to know everyone, including the professors!
All StFX students complete 120 academic credits to earn their degree and this includes AR students. Plus, there are lots of benefits for AR students because part of your major includes a work term and/or volunteer position(s) and a senior seminar class; field trips; guest speakers; individual academic advising (just make an appt); information about exchange, study abroad and service learning opportunities; information about summer jobs and career opportunities; and more..
Yes, part of the AR Program is a mandatory Work Term (AQUA 400) that offers you opportunities to obtain hands-on, career-related experience in an aquatics-related job and/or volunteer position. There is no extra fee for work term preparation activities or assistance; it’s all part of your tuition, and you earn 3 academic credits! The work term takes place during the summer months between your third and fourth year of study. Some AR students complete their work term conducting research with a university professor, while others volunteer in other countries to learn about endangered species and conservation, and still others work for their local watershed associations conducting surveys, water testing and public education activities, etc.
As an Aquatic Resources student you follow a degree pattern whereby you earn a BA or a BSc degree, as follows:
BA major Economics and major Aquatic Resources
BA major Public Policy and Social Research (a combination of Political Science, Anthropology and/or Sociology) and major Aquatic Resources
BSc major Biology and major Aquatic Resources
BSc major Earth Sciences and major Aquatic Resources
BSc major Math, Statistics and Computer Science and major Aquatic Resources
**yes, you can apply to do an Advanced Major or an Honours degree while you are majoring in AR.
WATER … Today’s issues … Your future!