A person wearing hip waders stands outside, holding a measuring tool.

Ecology Co-op Student Information

About The Program

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences program at the University of Guelph is unique in that it is comprised of several disciplines, all of which help address environmental problems. This distinct degree program ensures that you will gain the expertise needed to deal with scientific environmental issues within a socioeconomic perspective and trains you to solve the complex environmental problems that government, industry, and society are currently addressing. In this program, there are 4 majors, all of which have a co-op option:

  • Ecology
  • Environment & Resource Management
  • Environmental Economics & Policy
  • Environmental Sciences

Why Co-op?

As a co-op student, you will gain relevant work experience, build professional networks, and develop essential interpersonal skills needed to succeed in the workplace, all while getting paid and earning your university degree. Guelph’s co-op program is unique due to the exceptional level of support provided throughout the co-op experience. Students will complete a comprehensive course preparing them for the co-op employment process, and will receive guidance from a knowledgeable team of staff dedicated to their development and success.

Course Sequencing








Acquired Knowledge & Skills


Broad-based knowledge and understanding in a number of scientific disciplines. In-depth knowledge and understanding in a particular scientific area. An understanding of various disciplines and their effect on environmental issues. 


Management and decision-making skills for the application of scientific knowledge to environmental problems, and the evaluation of appropriate environmental policies. 


Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Sample Jobs

There is a diverse selection of jobs made available to Environmental Sciences co-op students, in government, academia, and the private sector within various industries. You may conduct research, perform environmental assessments, or may assist in data collection and analysis. Students may work in a laboratory, in the field, and/or in an office setting. Below are some examples of past positions held by Environmental Sciences co-op students:

Student Environmental Technician

In this role, students assist with environmental monitoring and urban watershed management, which includes collecting water samples from various locations, assisting in field investigations, and analyzing, evaluating, and interpreting environmental field data. Students will also be involved in environmental education and outreach programs.

Assistant Evaluator

Duties include assisting evaluators in preparing ecological risk assessments for some substances. This work may include literature searches, maintenance of reference libraries, data tabulation, utilizing modelling programs to generate data, evaluating the quality of studies, data analysis, and drafting written summaries of this information.

Soil Physical Quality Assistant

You will be involved in field and laboratory work associated with several research studies focused on evaluating the impacts of soil, crop and land management practices on soil and environmental quality. In-situ soil measurements and soil samples will be collected from various field sites, and these measurements and samples will be compiled, prepared, processed and analyzed in the laboratory.

Sample Employers*

  • Conservation Authorities, Municipalities
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)
  • Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
  • University of Guelph

*This shows a sample of recent co-op employers and will vary depending on employer recruitment needs. During a job search, students are encouraged to be actively engaged and are supported in establishing and maintaining their own personal contacts.

Salary Information

Students receive compensation from their employer for co-op work terms. The rate of pay will vary depending on a number of factors including the industry, the student’s program of study, and work term level. For your reference, a Co-operative Education Salary Guide is available on our website, which provides hourly rates (averages and ranges) for each degree program.