Spring 2021 - GEOG 213 D100

Introduction to Geomorphology (3)

Class Number: 2768

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 27, 2021
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM

  • Prerequisites:

    GEOG 111 or EASC 101.



An exploration of the processes that shape Earth's surface and the landforms that result. Quantitative/Breadth-Science.


An introduction to a wide range of earth surface processes, exploring how the landscape around us was constructed, and how weather, water, ice and gravity play a role in reshaping the landscape. Quantitative/Breadth Science.


The landscape around us is a product of many processes; it was uplifted by tectonics, then worn down by the weather, by water, by ice and by gravity. Understanding these processes allows us to better place our societies within our physical environment. We can determine how valuable soils and sediments are created and moved around the landscape. We can better predict hazards such as landslides, floods, and coastal erosion. We can learn how past climate is recorded in the landscape, and how future climate will leave its mark.

In this course, we will explore a range of geomorphic processes, focussing primarily on the landscapes of BC and western North America. You will explore some of these landscapes on the Virtual Field Trip, which you will summarise as a written report. Lab exercises will focus on identifying and analysing landforms using cartography, aerial photographs and numerical data.

NOTE:   This is a quantitative course; a small number of assignments require grade 10 level mathematics (unit conversion, simple algebra and trigonometry).

Course structure

Weekly lecture material released online, with online discussion sessions in scheduled lecture slot (recommended attendance); optional review quizzes and required image annotation exercises for each module. Weekly (x 8) lab exercises with recommended online introductions in lab slots.

Science journal reading exercise (read two journals and answer set questions) and Virtual Fieldtrip assignment (1,500-word summary of sites in southern BC discussed in Virtual Fieldtrip).

Online midterm during scheduled discussion session on February 25. Comprehensive final exam (date TBD).

Course structure

Asynchronous components

  • Weekly online lecture modules
  • Weekly (x 8) online lab assignments
  • Image annotation exercise
  • Academic journal reading exercise
  • Virtual Fieldtrip (released mid-March)

Synchronous components

  • Recommended weekly Q&A/Discussion session during scheduled lecture slot
    • Will be recorded and posted online, depending on attendance.
  • Recommended weekly lab Q&A sessions with TA for Lab assignments
    • Will not be recorded
  • Midterm exam – (during scheduled lecture slot Feb 25). Posted online and must be completed within scheduled timeframe (2 hours)
  • Final exam – posted online and must be completed within scheduled timeframe (3 hours)


  • Lab Assignments: 25%
  • Image Annotation exercise: 5%
  • Journal reading exercise: 5%
  • Virtual Fieldtrip Report: 20%
  • Mid-term exam (Synchronous): 15%
  • Final exam (Synchronous): 30%


Completion of all course components is required for a passing grade.

Grade boundaries

A+: >90%            A: 85-89%          A-: 80-84%

B+: 77-79%        B: 73-76%          B-: 70-72%

C+: 67-69%        C: 63-66%          C-: 60-62%

D: 50-59%

Fail: < 50%

Course Schedule:

Note: this schedule may be subject to change depending on lecture progress and unforeseen circumstances



Technological Requirements

  • Internet-connected device (computer recommended) to allow:
    • Viewing and downloading of material from Canvas (SFU’s online learning management system
    • Viewing online videos (1 to 2 hours per lecture and 1 to 2 hours per discussion session per week, plus 2 to 3 hours for Virtual Fieldtrip)
    • Access to Zoom for TA/Instructor interaction
    • Reading PDFs of academic papers (large screen for digital viewing or printer for hard copies)
  • Camera or scanner to upload some exercises to Canvas.
  • Word processing software (able to save as .docx; e.g. MS Word, Google Docs)
  • Spreadsheet software (able to save as .xlsx; e.g. MS Excel, Google Sheets)
  • Google Earth Pro desktop (free download; browser version sufficient for some exercises, but desktop version required for others)


Trenhaile, Alan S. 2016. Geomorphology: A Canadian Perspective (Sixth Edition). Oxford University Press, Oxford UK.

Available online. Earlier editions are sufficient.

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).