All courses for every first-year Science student will be delivered online this fall. A limited number of students in their second, third and fourth years will return to campus for part of the semester.

Message to Students Regarding Winter 2021 In-person Courses

Dear Students,

Everyone in our Faculty of Science remains committed to keeping you safe and healthy while giving you the best possible academic experience during the pandemic.

During the fall term, we offered a small number of courses which required students to do lab work on campus. Stringent health and safety guidelines were in effect to prevent COVID-19 transmission among students, faculty and staff.Student wearing PPE in labWe will again be offering a limited number of courses during the 2021 winter term while following the same safety protocols. The following courses will be fully or partially delivered on campus:

  • BIOLOGY 2A03, 2D03, 2EE3, 3B03, 3U03
  • CHEM 2LB3, 2OB3, 2OD3, 3LA3
  • CHEMBIO 2L03, 2OD3, 3L03
  • EARTHSC 4P03
  • LIFESCI 3L03
  • MEDRADSC 2A03, 2H03, 2Q03, 2U03, 2ZZ0, 3H03, 3K03, 3O03, 4B15, 4D15
  • MOLBIOL 3M03, 3V03
  • PHYSICS 2P03 (Error: 2P03 offered virtually), 3H03B, 3HD2

As a student enrolled in one or more of these courses, we wanted to share important information as you prepare for your winter term:

  1. Anyone coming to campus must first complete McMaster’s COVID-19 Awareness training. You can register for this training in the Regulatory Training section of Mosaic.
  2. Every time you have in-person classes, you must complete the Province’s COVID-19 self-assessment using the provincial screening tool within 1-2 hours before arriving on campus.
  3. Masks or face coverings are required in all indoor public spaces on campus, which includes labs, classrooms and hallways.

In the coming days and weeks, you will receive more information from the Department or School offering the course. You can also expect further details from the course instructor in early January.

This has been an unusual and challenging year and we encourage you to reach out to our academic support staff to answer any questions you may have.

McMaster also offers supports for students’ mental health and wellbeing. These confidential services are offered through Student Wellness and are available to all students at any time.

Thank you for your patience and sharing our commitment to staying safe and focused on your studies.

Maureen MacDonald
Dean, Faculty of Science

Dean's Message for Graduating Students

Maureen More than 200 students will join the ranks of nearly 35,000 Faculty of Science alumni later this month.

The University is conferring 30 PhD, 74 Master's and 109 Bachelor's degrees on students graduating Nov. 19 from the Faculty of Science.

In a recorded message for the the virtual convocation ceremony, Dean Maureen MacDonald called on the graduating class to draw on their science education and to play a role in the great reset that will start once the pandemic ends.

Dean's Message to Graduating Students:

"On behalf of all of us in the Faculty in Science, congratulations on earning your degree. We couldn’t be more proud of all that you have accomplished. You’ve also completed a master class in resilience and adaptability thanks to the pandemic.

Now it’s been said that every ending is a new beginning. That’s true for you as a McMaster graduate. It’s also true for COVID-19.

The pandemic will end. And you will be there for the new beginning. In fact, we are counting on you to help reimagine and reinvent what’s next.

History’s shown that fundamental changes and reforms follow when pandemics end. There were sweeping social and economic transformations when the Spanish Flu ended in 1919. More countries around the world embraced the scientific method. National healthcare systems were introduced. Major advances were made in epidemiology. Significant investments were made in disease surveillance and public health.

Investments and advances are sure to follow when our current pandemic ends. And we will be counting on you to serve as a changemaker. To help build a better and brighter post-pandemic world. To address the systemic inequalities exposed by COVID-19. To be a champion and ally for greater equity, diversity and inclusion wherever you work and live. And to defend science and to promote scientific literacy.

You will help drive change and make history because of the knowledge, the skills and the competencies you acquired here at McMaster.

So here's to a successful ending and what is sure to be a brilliant new beginning. And thank you in advance for the part you will play in building a better and brighter world as a scientist, a changemaker and a proud graduate of McMaster University."

10 Simple Rules for Building an Antiracist Lab Event

Asmeret and Bala

Ways of moving beyond statements of solidarity to antiracist actions will be the focus on a free online event with the authors of Ten Simple Rules for Building an Antiracist Lab.

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe (left) and Bala Chaudhary will discuss their antiracist action plan on Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. in a talk presented by the McMaster Science Society (MSS), the McMaster Science Graduate Student Association (SciGSA) and the Faculty of Science. 

Ten simple rules

Joining the conversation will be MSS President Nicole Wong, SciGSA President Rhea Desai, Interim Associate Dean of Research & External Relations Juliet Daniel and Dean Maureen MacDonald. 

Register online at . An email will be sent on Nov. 23 with a link to the event.

Bala Chaudhary is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Studies at DePaul University in Chicago. She is a trained ecologist, conducting her undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago and her MS and PhD at Northern Arizona University. Research in her lab examines plant-soil-microbial ecology to address landscape-scale questions in natural and managed ecosystems from deserts to rain forests to cities. Bala has numerous publications in high profile scientific journals and, in 2019, she received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to study microbial biogeography as well as ways to promote racial and ethnic diversity in STEM.

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe is a Professor of Soil Biogeochemistry and Falasco Chair in Earth Sciences at the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences; and Interim Associate Dean for the Graduate Division at University of California, Merced. Her research interest lies at the intersection of soil science, global change science, and political ecology, and seeks to improve our understanding of how the soil system regulates the earth’s climate and the dynamic two-way relationship between soil and human communities. Among many awards and honors, Dr. Berhe received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award, is a member of the inaugural class of the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine's New Voices in Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and is a recipient of the Bromery Award and Fellow of the Geological Society of America. She is passionate about all things soil and is driven to ensure that scientific education and careers are equally accessible to people from all walks of life, and that academic workplaces are free from bias and harassment.

The Ten Simple Rules for Building an Antiracist Lab event is part of the Faculty of Science's ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism.

National Honours for Karen Kidd

Karen KiddKaren Kidd's outstanding achievements in aquatic science research and excellence in personnel training have been recognized with the Society of Canadian Limnologists' highest honour.

Karen is the 2021 recipient of the Society's Frank Rigler Award. Sponsored by NRC Research Press, the annual award recognizes major achievements in the field of limnology by Canadians or those working in Canada. Limnology is the study of inland waters as ecological systems interacting with their drainage basins and the atmosphere.

The Frank Rigler Award is presented to established aquatic scientists who have a  proven record of contributions to the field of aquatic sciences and whose work is widely recognized for its influence and importance. The award, first presented in 1984, is named in memory of Frank Rigler, a Professor of Biology and Chair of the Department of Biology at McGill University.

"I have had the pleasure of working with many fantastic researchers and students over my career", says Karen, who'll make the plenary presentation at the Society's annual conference in January. "It is a deep honour to be recognized with this award as I am following in the wake of many famous aquatic scientists.”

An internationally-renowned researcher in water pollution and its effects on fish and other aquatic life, Karen is the Jarislowsky Chair of Environment and Health at McMaster with joint appointments in the Department of Biology and the School of Earth, Environment and Society. As an ecotoxicologist, Karen studies how the health of aquatic organisms and food webs are affected by human activities and the fate of pollutants in freshwater ecosystems. Karen also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the United Nations University – Institute for Water, Environment and Health.

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