Fall 2021 - GEOG 412W D100

Glacial Processes and Environments (4)

Class Number: 4311

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    SWH 10075, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 19, 2021
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    WMC 3253, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Andrew Perkins
    Office: RCB 6231
  • Prerequisites:

    60 units, including GEOG 213; GEOG 313 and EASC 201 recommended



An examination of glacial processes and environments emphasizing landscapes and sediments resulting from the movement of ice, water, and sediment; application of field techniques. Writing.


Course Details:

The impacts of a changing climate have their highest visibility at the margins of ice-covered landscapes. In this course an overview of glacier-climate interactions and glacier physics will set the groundwork for investigating modern change in glaciated landscapes. Investigations into the inner workings of glacier mass balance, hydrology, and motion, will be facilitated by unravelling the record of past glacial landforms and sediments and their importance for understanding the landscapes we see today. Assignments and fieldtrips will focus on techniques used for interpreting glacial landforms and sediments in a variety of glaciated landscapes.

Field trip details: There are two field trips in this course, a three day trip (October 1-3) and a one day trip (October 29). Your mandatory supplementary fee ($114.87) and U-Pass fee cover transportation costs. Students should expect to pay up to an additional $95 to the Department (Payment due by September 24) to cover accommodation, and will be responsible for their own food costs. Be aware that during the field trips there may be periods of strenuous hiking, hiking close to cliffs and crossing roads with busy traffic. Appropriate clothing and foot wear must be worn. Further details regarding safety, meals, accommodation and field supplies will be discussed prior to the field trip. Students must at all times remain compliant with all student responsibilities, regulations, and policies as outlined in the current Academic Calendar, as well as relevant regulations and policies as outlined in the SFU Policy Gazette. This includes, but is not limited to, expected student conduct and the maintenance of appropriate medical insurance coverage.

This course is a required or elective course in several syllabi for Professional Geoscience (P. Geo.) accreditation by the Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (EGBC) and the Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists (CCPG).

This is a writing designated course.

* Students can expect lab time may be used for module instruction in the first weeks of the course in order to adequately prepare students for the first course assignments.


  • • Participation in module-based exercises: 10%
  • • Assignment 1 – Research project grant proposal: 15%
  • • Assignment 2 – Till fabric project writeup: 20%
  • • Assignment 3 – Research project writeup: 25%
  • • Final exam: 30%


Course Grade: All assignments and the final exam must be completed to obtain a passing grade in this course.



Lab Resources:

  • Lab resources will be provided through CANVAS (SFU’s online learning management system).


All required readings will be accessible online through the SFU library.


Recommended Textbook: Bennett, M.W., and Glasser, N.F. 2009. Glacial geology: ice sheets and landforms. 2nd Edition. ISBN: 978-0470516904. – Available as an ebook through the SFU libary

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.