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Undergraduate Program Information

Earth Sciences 118
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada
T. 403.220.5184
geoscience@ucalgary.ca

GLGY 435 - Field Methods II

Course Desciption
Eligibility & Prerequisites
Registration & Fees
Pre-departure Meeting
Equipment & Supplies
Preparing for Field School


Course Description

GLGY 435 is a senior level field methods course (worth 1 HCE) that takes place off-campus for 12 – 14 days in August/September prior to the start of the fall semester or in April/May after the final exam period of the winter semester. There are usually 5-6 sections to choose from; each one has one professor, one graduate teaching assistant and spots for 16 undergraduate students. Additional faculty and staff may join your class on occasion. You will be working in groups of 2 – 3 students depending on the exercise of the day and for safety purposes. The Department provides transportation for all field school participants - you are not allowed to use personal transportation.

It is very important that you are on time each day, and that you are rested and prepared for a full day of fieldwork. If you sleep in, you will be left behind. You must bring food each day, as most localities are not near convenience stores or restaurants. It is recommended that you bring extra munchies in case the day’s activities run late. Bring appropriate clothing and lots to drink. Field localities and activities may be changed due to circumstances beyond the instructor’s control; dates will not change. All field activities and most assignments are usually completed within the published field school dates.

The learning objectives for GLGY 435 include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  1. Develop more expertise in recognizing, describing and interpreting sedimentary rocks in the field
  2. Gain familiarity with a variety of lithologies in the field and the corresponding evolution of depositional and tectonic settings within a given sedimentary basin
  3. Carry-out a mapping project in a complex geological terrain to gain familiarity with the effect of folding, faulting and fracturing on rock bodies
  4. Apply time management to complete a complex project within a finite, limited time
  5. Apply dynamic, ‘in-situ’ collaboration with peers required to solve geological problems in the field
  6. Synthesize field observations, interpretations, and geological illustrations in a concise written report

Each section of GLGY 435 has a separate itinerary, as they potentially go to different locations and do different exercises.

Click here to see the list of sections planned for GLGY 435 in the upcoming/current academic year. For international sections of GLGY 435 listed, you can click on the lab section to go to the Group Studies Program webpage for more detailed information. NOTE THAT SOME SECTIONS OF GLGY 435 MAY INVOLVE CAMPING – be aware of what your section is doing. If you’re not sure, ask the instructor.

IF YOU HAVE ALREADY REGISTERED IN GLGY 435 AND ARE UNSURE OF YOUR SECTION – FIND OUT! Check D2L or contact the Undergraduate Advisor in the Department of Geoscience.

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Eligibility & Prerequisites

Prerequisite(s)

  • Geology 323, 337 and 381; one of Geology 311 or 333; one of Geology 341 or 343 and admission to the Geology or Applied and Environmental Geology programs and consent of the Department.

Antirequisite(s)

  • Credit for both Geology 435 and either Geology 437 or 439 will not be allowed.

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Registration & Fees

When GLGY 435 takes place in August it may be considered a summer course or a fall course (if it overlaps into block week); when it is offered in May, it may be considered a winter or spring course but this may change in the near future. Therefore, if you are enrolled in a program for which GLGY 435 is required, and have completed all the prerequisites satisfactorily, check through your Student Centre which terms the courses are being offered. If the course fills before you have a chance to enroll, add yourself to the Peoplesoft waitlist. Do not add yourself to multiple sections of GLGY435 as you may be removed.  If you are not enrolled in a program that requires this course, or the course appears to be closed or restricted, contact Rudi Meyer at rmeyer@ucalgary.ca for assistance. Note that enrolment in GLGY 435 in Peoplesoft doesn’t necessarily mean your spot in field school is officially secured – there are additional procedures that must be followed through on.

NEW PROCEDURES: (effective February 2016)

Starting in 2016 all sections of GLGY 435 going to the USA only will be administered by the Group Studies Program for Study Abroad (GSP).  Sections travelling within Canada will be handled via the Department of Geoscience directly. 

This means that once you are registered in GLGY 435 and the Department has approved your registration, for Canadian sections you will be provided with instructions on D2L by the Instructor.  For sections travelling to the USA you will be contacted by GSP to register on the International Travel site.

Expect the communication from the GSP office via e-mail some time in May/June for summer/fall field schools and some time in late January/early February for winter field schools. Required tasks must be completed by the deadline that GSP staff will communicate to you – IF YOU DO NOT COMPLETE THESE TASK IN TIME, YOU WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY WITHDRAWN FROM THE COURSE. If this happens, you may either place yourself back on the Peoplesoft waitlist or sign up for a later section of field school.

The expected student costs associated with taking GLGY 435 travelling within Canada include:

  • regular tuition and fees (~$600) associated with one half course (payable to the Registrar)
  • supplemental fees payable to the registrar which covers hotel or camping accommodations (ranging from $300 - $800 depending on which section you’re in), transportation cost and a contingency fee.  Please see Course Listings for details: http://geoscience.ucalgary.ca/geoscience_info/courses.
  • food (highly variable depending on your section; group meals or individual; plan for  ~$40 per day paid by the student on site)
  • textbook (variable depending on instructor’s preference)
  • other equipment and supplies (highly variable depending on which section you’re in and personal needs)
  • other field-related costs (including admission to parks and local attractions)

Expect to pay the fees associated with GLGY 435 such as tuition and related supplemental fees by the deadline advertised for the semester in which the field course takes place

The expected student costs associated with taking GLGY 435 travelling to the USA include:

  • regular tuition and fees (~$600) associated with one half course (payable to the Registrar)
  • an administration fee of $100 by GSP
  • a contingency fee of ~$100 (in case of emergencies)
  • hotel or camping accommodations (ranging from $300 - $800 depending on which section you’re in payable to Group Studies)
  • food (highly variable depending on your section; group meals or individual; plan for ~$20 - $40 per day paid by the student on site)
  • textbook (variable depending on instructor’s preference)
  • other equipment and supplies (highly variable depending on which section you’re in and personal needs)
  • other field-related costs (including admission to parks and local attractions)
  • additional medical insurance is strongly recommended for field activities in Alberta and required if leaving Canada (try Alberta Blue Cross “Outside Canada Emergency Health Plan” available from Treasury Branch or chartered banks, or there are many other providers)
  • passport application or renewal fees (as required for sections traveling outside of Canada) If you need to renew a passport, which can take several weeks to obtain. If you already have one, make sure it hasn’t expired (or isn’t about to). If you are a visiting or exchange student, ensure that your VISA allows you to travel to the field school destination and that your landed immigrant and student visa status is valid.  You must have a proper re-entry paperwork with you on the day of departure or you will not be allowed to travel with the group.

Expect to pay the fees associated with GLGY 435 going through GSP to be in stages:

  1. All or most of the GSP programs fees (which include the transportation, contingency, accommodation and/or group meal fees) will be paid to GSP within a few weeks of registration.
  2. Equipment, supplies, insurance, passport fees at your leisure in the few months prior to field school
  3. Tuition and related fees by the deadline advertised for the semester in which the field course takes place
  4. The Group Studies Program does have payment plans available – contact them for more information (group.study@ucalgary.ca).

    Also note that the Group Studies Program office may be in touch with you via e-mail quite regularly prior to the start of field school. These communications may contain updated information, fee payment deadlines, fee payment options, passport or travel advisories, and other critical tidbits of information. DO NOT IGNORE THESE MESSAGES AND ENSURE THAT YOU DEAL WITH THEM APPROPRIATELY AND IN A TIMELY MANNER.

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Pre-departure Meeting

Every student enrolled in GLGY 435 must attend a pre-departure meeting (a.k.a. Orientation and Safety Meeting), which is usually scheduled within the two weeks prior to the start of field school. IF YOU DO NOT ATTEND THIS MEETING, YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO ATTEND THE REST OF THE FIELD SCHOOL.

There will be a mandatory Safety Briefing on the first day of field school. Click here to see the Orientation and Safety Meeting schedule for the upcoming/current academic year.

The Orientation and Safety Meeting is designed to deliver critical information to you to ensure that you are well prepared for field school. At this meeting, you will:

  • meet your instructor and TA
  • for travel to the USA meet the GSP office staff assisting with your section of field school and learn more about the GSP and the services they provide
  • review general safety issues and the hazards in each field locality
  • review the emergency response plan
  • learn about the general course structure and activities planned

After the Orientation and Safety Meeting, each section of field school then splits off into separate rooms to continue the orientation with each specific instructor and TA. At this time, you will review the itinerary for your section of field school and receive any additional instructions. If you are asked to act as a back-up driver, there will be further instructions on driving etiquette and the U of C’s driver authorization procedure.

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Equipment & Supplies

Your instructor should provide you with a specialized list of equipment and supplies that you will need for your section of GLGY 435 field school. You should also refer to the generalized list provided for our junior geology field school (GLGY 337).

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Preparing for Field School

Your instructor should provide you with guidance on what you need to do to ensure you are well prepared for field school.  Check on D2L often!

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