Breadcrumbs

Earth Sciences

The demand for experts in Earth Sciences continues to grow as we look to better manage our soil, water, minerals, energy and coastal and marine resources, as well as understand natural hazards  such as floods, earthquakes, tsunami, landslides and volcanic eruptions.

Laura Hines

Bachelor of Science, Master of Science (Research)
Although Laura Hines says that University is not just about the learning, she did a lot of it while she was at the University of Waikato.


Tori Blomfield

Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science graduate Tori Blomfield began volunteering in 2013, wanting to make a difference in other people’s lives. This experience led to trip to America, a new group of life-long friends, plus a job as an Engineering Geologist.


Billy Bodger

Master of Science
Smaller class sizes, enthusiastic lecturers and field trips to exciting North Island locations has made Earth Sciences study at Waikato a top experience for student Billy Bodger.


Annette Carshalton

Bachelor of Science
Annette flew to Scott Base to begin her research in her version of paradise. She spent a week in Antarctica, flying by helicopter to nine different sites to collect soil climate data.


Anthony Coventry

Bachelor of Science (Technology)
“I really liked how the BSc(Tech) degree allowed me to have real work experience and connected me with people in the working world from a variety of industries”.


Aaron Huesser

Master of Science
Growing up in rural Taranaki, Aaron developed an appreciation and passion for the environment. Surrounded by natural energy producers he also gained an enthusiasm for the energy industry, which sparked his interest in the earth sciences.


Ryan Lee

Master of Science
The opportunity to spend plenty of time getting hands-on experience in laboratories and out in the field made Waikato University’s BSc the ideal choice for Ryan Lee.


Riki Lewis

Master of Science
For Riki Lewis, studying Earth Sciences at Waikato has led to an exciting job as a Soil Scientist with the Queensland Government.


Cathy (Zhi) Liu

PhD
Maintaining healthy harbours and estuaries is just one of the projects that Waikato PhD graduate Cathy Liu has been involved in during her time at the Waikato Regional Council (WRC).


Peter Longdill

Master of Science, PhD
A University of Waikato science graduate is in the Middle East working to reduce the environmental impacts of a major sea port project.


Tasman McKelvey

Bachelor of Science (Technology)
“The BSc(Tech) is such a flexible and job-orientated degree that incorporates both management as well as science and technology."


The University of Waikato is uniquely placed to offer a thorough grounding in all aspects of the Earth Sciences. We are situated close to both North Island coasts, a short drive from the active Taupo Volcanic Zone, at the heart of the richest New Zealand farming region, and have New Zealand's longest river on our doorstep.

We are a leader in teaching and research related to the Earth’s environment, and offer you a learning experience that goes beyond the laboratory and lecture room - and out into the world.

The Earth Sciences major at Waikato consists of four main sub-disciplines: geology, soil science, hydrology and coastal processes. The first two years concentrate on fundamental knowledge and skills across all subdisciplines. In your final year, you’ll have the option to specialise in a specific area.

Facilities

As an Earth Sciences student at the University of Waikato, you will have access to the University's well-equipped laboratories, and will have the opportunity to examine features in the field and undertake field investigations using a wide range of techniques. You'll be working alongside, and learning from, well-respected researchers, industry professionals and academics.

Build a successful career

As a graduate you will gain the knowledge and skills to pursue a wide range of careers. Earth Sciences graduates are spread across New Zealand and around the world, working in careers ranging from Earth resources' exploration to environmental management and planning, and from scientific research to teaching.

 Career opportunities

  • Coastal Engineer
  • Coastal Resource Manager
  • Engineering Geologist
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Geologist
  • Hydrologist
  • Soil Conservator
  • Volcanologist
  • Water Resource Manager
  • Hazard Manager

100 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EARTH101Introduction to Earth System Sciences18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
A lecture and laboratory paper that explores the interacting processes that affect the surface of the Earth, producing landforms and resources, with a focus on physical processes. Topics covered include coastal processes and hazards; climate change; weathering; erosion and mass movement; soil formation; the hydrological cycle; rive...
EARTH102Discovering Planet Earth18B (Hamilton)
This paper explores the Earth's interior and its dynamic interaction with the crust, including: the major rocks and minerals; interpreting the rock record and geologic maps; the geological time scale and fossils; plate tectonics; volcanism; earthquakes.

200 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EARTH211Earth Resources and Materials18A (Hamilton)
An introduction to the nature, composition and origin of earth resources and materials. Topics covered include: minerals in society and their properties; origin of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; volcanological and sedimentary processes and the importance of earth materials as sources for resources used by society.
EARTH221Soil Science18B (Hamilton)
An introduction to the nature, formation, and classification of soils, their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and biological properties, and issues of soil quality, land degradation and sustainable management.
EARTH231Water Resources, Weather and Climate18A (Hamilton)
New Zealand's water resources are coming under increasing pressure for human use, while their management requires that they also provide for healthy freshwater ecosystems. This paper describes the key physical processes that influence the distribution of water in space and time from a New Zealand perspective. Topics covered include...
EARTH241Oceanography18B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the broad scale properties, issues, and research importance of the global ocean via the main disciplines of oceanography: particularly biological, chemical, geological and physical oceanography
EARTH251Spatial Analysis in Geosciences18A (Hamilton)
An introduction to quantitative spatial analysis in the geosciences, including production of maps and cross-sections of geomorphology and Earth materials from field and aerial image interpretation, use of 3D models of Earth materials, and an appreciation of volumes and stresses in the Earth’s crust.

300 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EARTH311VolcanologyThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
EARTH312Sedimentary and Petroleum GeologyThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
EARTH313Engineering GeologyThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
EARTH321Pedology and Land EvaluationThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
EARTH322Soil and Water ManagementThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
EARTH331Water Resources and HazardsThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
EARTH341Coastal OceanographyThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
EARTH342Coastal Geomorphology and ManagementThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
ERTH321Volcanology18A (Hamilton)
A study of pyroclastic rocks, physical volcanology, volcanic hazards, the origin of magmas, crystallisation of rock-forming minerals and phase equilibria, petrology and trace element geochemistry of volcanic rocks, and geothermal and mineral resources.
ERTH322Sedimentary and Petroleum Geology18B (Hamilton)
A study of sedimentary processes, depositional environments, sedimentary basins and associated resources (petroleum and coal). Introduction to sequence stratigraphy, seismic reflection mapping and wireline logging as used in the petroleum exploration industry.
ERTH333Pedology and Land Evaluation18B (Hamilton)
Soil genesis and spatial variability, quantitative soil survey and soil-landscape modelling, soil taxonomy, and the interpretation of soil and land data in a form applicable to land-use planning and management.
ERTH334Soil and Land Management18A (Hamilton)
Analysis and interpretation of soil properties relating to land and environmental management. Soil fertility, soil water management, land treatment of wastes, soil degradation and remediation, soil nitrogen and phosphorus cycling.
ERTH343Coastal Geomorphology and Management18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Tauranga)
A study of the geomorphic development of coastal features. Topics include qualitative and semi-quantitative assessments of coastal hazards, impacts of sea-level rise, dredge spoil disposal, stability of coasts, coastal protection and mitigation of hazards.
ERTH344Coastal Oceanography and Engineering18A (Hamilton)
A study of water movement in estuarine and shelf environments. Methodologies for quantifying processes and responses for coastal planning and management. Evaluation of design conditions for engineering purposes. Introduction to numerical modelling.
ERTH345Catchment Hydrology18A (Hamilton)
A study of the measurement, analysis and modelling of surface hydrological processes at the catchment scale, emphasising river flow, evaporation, interception loss and hillslope runoff processes.
ERTH346Freshwater Resources and Hazards18B (Hamilton)
Overview of freshwater resources and their analysis, with some emphasis on groundwater resources; introduction to hydrological hazards including flood hazard analysis and river contamination modelling.
ERTH352Engineering Geology18A (Hamilton)
Study of the nature and mechanics of soil instability, slope erosion processes and the physical properties of earth materials. Mitigation and avoidance of hazards resulting from slope instability and associated erosion processes.
ERTH384Advanced Environmental MonitoringThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.

Prescriptions for the GradCert(EarthSc) and GradDip(EarthSc)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Earth Sciences at an advanced level in their first degree.

For further details, contact the School of Science.

Prescriptions for the PGCert(EarthSc), PGDip(EarthSc), BSc(Hons), MSc, MSc (Research) and MSc(Tech)

Students in masters degrees are normally required to take a thesis and a selection of papers. Normally, only 30 points from ENVS coded paper may be taken as part of an Earth Sciences graduate qualification. Enrolment in papers towards the BSc(Hons) is only by invitation of the Graduate Convenor. Candidates for these graduate qualifications should select their papers in consultation with the Graduate Convenor.

To complete a BSc(Hons) in Earth Sciences, students must complete 120 points at 500 level, including at least 60 points from the papers listed for Earth Sciences, of which at least 30 points must be of research (normally ERTH591).

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENVS524Environmental Evaluation18A (Hamilton)
This paper explores the interface between science and environmental planning. Insight into the resource consent process and the role of science in supporting sustainable resource management under the RMA is developed.
ERTH512Special Topic18A (Hamilton), 18B (Hamilton) & 18C (Hamilton)
Guided individual study on an aspect of Earth sciences.
ERTH513Special Topic18A (Hamilton), 18B (Hamilton) & 18C (Hamilton)
Guided individual study on an aspect of Earth sciences.
ERTH524Volcanic Processes and Hazards18A (Hamilton)
A study of volcanic landforms, physical characteristics of volcanic deposits, processes associated with eruption, transport and deposition of volcanic products, and volcanic hazards in active volcanic regions.
ERTH525Hydrothermal Mineral and Energy Systems in New Zealand18A (Hamilton)
A study of geochemical approaches and methods to solve various problems in the Earth Sciences including volcanic environments, with particular attention to hydrothermal systems, geothermal energy, and the formation of hydrothermal ore deposits.
ERTH526Field Analysis of Sedimentary BasinsThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
ERTH527Sedimentary and Petroleum Geology18B (Hamilton)
This paper deals with the application of sedimentary geology and analysis of petroleum systems in New Zealand and other sedimentary basins.
ERTH528Quaternary: Past Environments18A (Hamilton)
This paper examines environmental change during the Quaternary - the last 2.6 million years - and analyses some important methods and evidence used in reconstructing past environments using a stratigraphic framework and geochronology.
ERTH533Soil and Greenhouse Gases18B (Hamilton)
This paper examines the role that soils and their management play in the production and consumption of greenhouse gases, including a specific focus on the importance of solid carbon.
ERTH535Land and Soil Evaluation18A (Hamilton)
This paper examines how soil and land may be evaluated to provide an improved understanding of sustainable land management, taking into account productivity and environmental goals.
ERTH547Introduction to Hydrological Modelling18B (Hamilton)
Optimal use of water resources is an essential part of national economic development. Hydrological science is considered with emphasis on techniques of water resource studies through hydrological model construction and simulations.
ERTH548Ecohydrology18A (Hamilton)
Ecohydrology is the interdisciplinary study of the interactions between water and ecosystems. It views water, carbon and energy as essential ingredients for living systems, and recognises that ecosystems may modify the hydrological systems of which they are a part. This paper bridges the gap between hydrological, soils, ecological ...
ERTH552Rock Slope Engineering18B (Hamilton)
This paper considers rock mechanics within engineering geology, including the strength of intact rocks and rock joints, engineering geological hazards, slope stability modelling, and an applied site investigation project.
ERTH562Coastal Sedimentation18A (Hamilton)
This paper addresses modern contentious issues of coastal sedimentation and sedimentary processes within a range of sedimentary environments. Both fundamentals and applied contexts are examined.
ERTH563Coastal and Estuarine Processes18A (Hamilton)
This paper provides an understanding of processes controlling movement of water in the ocean, including longwaves, baroclinic and barotropic circulation, wind-driven processes, surf-zone waves and currents, and nearbed currents in the coastal ocean.
ERTH564Coastal and Freshwater Modelling: Physical Approaches18C (Hamilton)
This paper examines the use of conceptual, empirical and numerical models of coastal systems.
ERTH565Time Series Analysis for Environmental ScientistsThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
ERTH590Directed Study18A (Hamilton), 18B (Hamilton) & 18Y (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
ERTH591Dissertation18C (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
ERTH592Dissertation18C (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
ERTH593Earth Sciences Thesis18C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
ERTH594Earth Sciences Thesis18C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
ERTH595Earth Sciences Thesis18C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

Prescriptions for the MPhil

The Master of Philosophy is a one year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis that critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ERTH800Earth Sciences MPhil Thesis18C (Hamilton)
No description available.

Prescriptions for the PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy is a three syear research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis that critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ERTH900Earth Sciences PhD Thesis18C (Hamilton)
No description available.

Broad Memorial Fund

For students who are enrolled in the thesis year of a MSc, MSc(Research), MPhil or PhD qualification in Earth Sciences. The value of the scholarship will vary.

Closing Date: 2018-03-31 23:59:00

DairyNZ Masters Scholarship

For students who are enrolled in the final year or have completed a Bachelors degree in Science, agricultural science, agricultural business or economics and are eligible to enrol in a masters degree at a New Zealand University. Up to three scholarships of $30,000 will be available each year + tuition fees.

Closing Date: 2016-08-08 23:59:00

School of Science Postgraduate Study Scholarship

For students who qualify to enrol at the University of Waikato, and are intending to enrol part or full-time in semester B 2016 in the School of Science in either a 180pt masters, the taught components of a masters degree or the research component of a masters degree. The Scholarship will have a value of $5,000 per year for two years.

Closing Date: 2016-07-18 23:59:00

Science and Engineering Masters Fees Awards

For students enrolling full-time in the first year MSc (research), MSc, MSc (Tech) ME or MEnvSci programme in the faculty of Engineering. Part-time applicants may be considered but any scholarship awarded will be on a pro-rata basis. The Scholarship will have a value of up to $2,000.

Closing Date: 2017-03-15 23:59:00

Terry Healy Memorial Award

For students who are enrolled or are intending to enrol, part- or full-time in a masters or doctoral degree in Earth Sciences, and who are not receiving other awards providing significant funds or substantial financial assistance under a research contract. The value of the award will vary.

Closing Date: 2016-10-31 23:59:00

University of Waikato Research Masters Scholarship

For students intending to enrol full-time in a thesis of 90 points or more as part of their first master's degree at the University of Waikato. International students must have completed at least 120 points of study at a New Zealand university in order to be eligible for this Scholarship.

Closing Date: 2018-04-30 23:59:00

Contacts

Faculty of Science & Engineering

Phone: +64 7 838 4625 / 0800 438 254
Email: science@waikato.ac.nz
Website: sci.waikato.ac.nz
Facebook: facebook.com/WaikatoScienceEngineering