Field Courses

Field education is the foundation of all geosciences. We strive to offer as much field education as possible, but it is recommended that you are proactive and find field work related summer work in industry or with the Geological Survey.

As far as the departmental offerings go, we strongly recommend that you take the 300-level field courses immediately after finishing your 2nd year, and the 400-level field courses at the end of your 3rd year. The only exception to this scheme is the Capstone field course which is meant to be taken in the 4th year.

Note that field courses have registration deadlines which are often well ahead of the course dates, and that you need to register with the department, and not on ROSI. Please consult the departmental notices for further information.

If you are a full-time Arts & Science student registered in the previous fall and winter terms, have paid full program fees (as opposed to per-course fees) and are not taking other summer courses, then you do not have to pay summer tuition fees; however, you will need to pay the incidental fees at the start of the summer term, but these will be reimbursed at the end of summer as long as you do not enroll in any other courses. In addition there is a departmental course fee to help cover the cost of transportation and accommodation (anywhere from $500 to $1,000). This fee will be reimbursed to earth science students who succesfullly complete one of the regular summer fied courses (ESS234H, ESS324H, ESS410H or ES450H). In addition to these fees, you are expected to cover the cost of your own food.

Regular Field Courses

  • ESS234H — Introduction to Geological Field Methods (Whitefish Falls): A two-week field course in early May or late August. Students are introduced to field geology and to basic field measurement, mapping and documentation techniques (for example in the Espanola - Manitoulin Island area, west of Sudbury). This course will take place early summer.
  • ESS324H — Advanced Geological Field Methods (Benny Belt): A two-week advanced geological mapping project in a challenging field environment. Students learn to compile existing geoscience data, create a geological map and prepare a professional final report on their activities and findings. This course will take place early summer.
  • ESS410H — Field Techniques in Hydrogeochemistry (Deep River): A 10-day field course in late summer at the Deep River field site designed to familiarize students in a variety of hydrogeological and biogeochemical field techniques; includes a mixture of lecture, laboratory and field exercises. This course will take place in late summer.
  • ESS450H — Geophysical Field Techniques (Deep River): This course will take place in late summer at the same time and place as ESS410H.

Special Field Courses

The following courses may or may not be offered in any given year. Furthermore, they are often only available to a small subset of students, so do not count on them to fulfill your graduation requirements.

  • ESS490H — Geological Capstone Field Trip: Variable destinations. A two-week excursion to a challenging field setting. Students will integrate field observations with their accumulated knowledge of geodynamics, structural geology, and landscape evolution to understand large-scale geological events. Please see the departmental announcements. Note that the application deadline is often 6 to 8 months before the course date.
  • Various Courses: Various destinations via the International & Indigenous Course Module Program. Typically they are announced in class. 

International & Indigenous Course Modules (IICM)

IICMs are offered as components of regular courses. Recent trips have gone to Turkey, Chile, South Africa and New Zealand. See an overview of trips and the earth science component.