Spring 2021 - EASC 619 G100

Environmental Geoscience (3)

Class Number: 8035

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 8:30 AM – 10:20 AM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 27, 2021
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

  • Instructor:

    Brent Ward
    1 778 782-4229
    Office: TASC 1 Room 7225



An examination of the concepts, methods and techniques used in advanced case studies of environmental geology, in fields including forestry, environmental geochemistry, earthquake and volcanic hazard, and urban planning.


This course will review the application and role of Quaternary Geology in terrain mapping and terrain analysis and will emphasize the British Columbia Terrain Classification System. The early lab sessions will emphasize morphological mapping, surficial material genesis, geomorphic processes. The later lab sessions will be used to introduce students to digital terrain analysis and to produce a terrain and terrain stability map based on air photo interpretation. This will be followed by a weekend field trip to ground-truth the maps and collect criteria for slope stability classes.

Course Topics:

  • B.C. Terrain Classification System and procedures for terrain mapping
  • Applications of terrain mapping:
    - Types of terrain stability mapping, including terrain attribute studies
    - Earthquake hazard mapping.
  • Terrain assessments
  • Debris Flows: initiation and run-out
  • Gullies including the Gully Assessment Procedure
  • Urban Geology
  • Drift Prospecting

Course Structure:
There will be one two-hour lectures each week and one three-hour lab. Lectures will start the first week of classes and Labs will be scheduled.

The objective of this portion of the course is to gain practical experience in the construction of an applied terrain map. In this regard, you will produce a terrain and terrain stability map and an accompanying report for a portion of the Chehalis drainage (west of Harrison Lake).

Prerequisites: EASC 206 and 209W or GEOG 213.
Recommended: GEOG 252 and 313.


  • Final Exam 30%
  • Labs 20%
  • Seminar 10%
  • Mapping Exercise 35%
  • In-Class Activities 5%


Costs: $104.04 includes transportation, the majority of accommodation, course text material and airphotos.

Be aware that during the field trip there will be periods of strenuous hiking, hiking close to cliffs, and crossing roads with traffic. Appropriate clothing and footwear should be worn. Further details regarding safety, food, and field supplies will be discussed prior to the field trip.



Required Equipment – non-medical mask, fieldboots; pack; camera; first aid kit; basic survival gear; staedtler pigment liners, 01, waterproof, black and red (available at Quad books).


All Provided
Terrain Classification System for B.C.
Guidelines and Standards to Terrain Mapping in B.C.
Field Manual for Describing Terrestrial Ecosystems
Selected readings



Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

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 spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).