Spring 2022 - GEOG 213 D100

Introduction to Geomorphology (3)

Class Number: 4742

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 10 – Apr 11, 2022: Thu, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 19, 2022
    Tue, 8:30–11:30 a.m.

  • Instructor:

    Jonathan Cripps
    Office Hours: Tuesdays, 1-3 pm. Location TBC.
  • 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.

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 2-hour lecture
  • Bi-weekly (x5) lab exercises
  • Academic reading exercise
  • 2-day field trip leading to submission of a poster assignment

Lectures:             Thursdays            12:30 to 14:20, WMC2202

Labs:                   Thursdays            14:30 to 16:20, RCB7108 (D101)

                                                      16:30 to 18:20, RCB7108 (D102)

                           Fridays                 12:30 to 14:20, RCB7110 (D103)

Field trip details:
There is a mandatory 2-day field trip for this course over the weekend of March 12-13. Attendance of this trip is required, and leads to completion of the poster assignment. If you are unable to attend this trip, you may have to consider delaying taking this course. Your mandatory supplementary course fee covers part of the transportation costs for this trip. Students should expect to pay up to $100 to the Geography Department to cover transportation (partial) and accommodation costs; supplementary fee will be confirmed in the first 3 weeks of classes. Students will be responsible for their own food costs throughout the trip. Expectations and considerations regarding safety, student conduct, required equipment, meals and accommodation will be discussed in class prior to trip. Be aware that during the field trip there will be periods of moderately-intense hiking and crossing roads and railroads; students must follow all instructions from teaching and support staff. Weather conditions will be highly variable; appropriate footwear and clothing must be worn. Students must at all times remain complaint 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. Students will sign a field activity plan to acknowledge the trip activities and risk, and an Assumption of Risk (waiver) form.

Spring 2022 courses will be delivered in person based on information available at the time of publishing the outline; please note the delivery mode is subject to change following Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and/or SFU recommendations and orders.

Student conduct and support

Academic honesty and plagiarism

Students should be familiar with all SFU policy on Academic Honesty – all work you submit must be your own; this includes proper citation of previously published work where appropriate. Plagiarism, collusion and other failures to uphold academic standards, even if unintentional, will result in penalties to the offending work.  For information, visit: https://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html.

Bullying and harassment

Bullying, harassment and threats or acts of aggression of any kind to any faculty, staff, instructors, TAs or other students will not be tolerated. Be respectful of other people’s opinions and beliefs; disagreements should be resolved in the spirit of fair and respectful debate, and should be limited to course material in classrooms and labs. If you do not feel comfortable approaching the alleged bully/harasser, report bullying or harassment to the TA, instructor, Geography department chair or appropriate University body (e.g. Human Rights and Equity Office). For full information on SFU policy on bullying and harassment, visit https://www.sfu.ca/srs/ehs/bh.html

Health, medical or related support

If any health and medical illness or incidents of any sort may disrupt your attendance or completion of any aspect of the course, or will significantly impact the quality of your work, please communicate promptly with the course instructor, to discuss course expectations or access further assistance from the university community.

For minor or short-term illnesses or incidents (e.g. resulting in missing one lab), please communicate directly with either the TA or instructor to discuss how to catch-up with the work. A doctors note or similar evidence may be requested only for missing a major course components (mid-term/final exam or field trip), or in the case of prolonged absence. (Do not trouble your doctor for a note unless evidence is requested).

Students who require extra support for completion of any course components (e.g. consideration for exams) are encouraged to contact the Centre for Accessible Learning.



  • Lab Assignments: Range of skill- and knowledge-based exercises. Minimum of 4 of 5 labs must be completed; missing labs count as zero. 25%
  • Journal reading exercise: Read two academic articles and complete a short comprehension exercise for each. 5%
  • Fieldtrip Poster: Produce a professional-looking poster discussing one site and the wider themes from the field trip. Assignment will be graded mostly (75%) on knowledge and understanding, with the remaining marks (25%) for quality of writing and the poster design. 20%
  • Mid-term exam: Multi-choice photo interpretation; short answer questions 15%
  • Final exam: Multi-choice questions; lab-style questions; short answer questions, long essay question 35%


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

Due Dates

Labs: Due at start of next lab.

Fieldtrip pre-reading written exercise: due March 11.

Fieldtrip poster: due April 6

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%




Required Materials

  • Access to CANVAS (SFU’s online learning management system) required for access to course material and submission of assignments.
  • PDF viewing software.


  • Some additional/supplementary lecture videos will be posted, requiring an internet-enabled device capable of viewing YouTube videos.


  • Google Earth (Pro download or access to earth.google.com) required on an internet-enabled device for some lab exercises
  • Spreadsheet software (e.g. Excel) or scientific calculator required for some exercises


  • Warm, windproof, waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear
  • Waterproof or appropriately protected (e.g. ziplock) notebook
  • Camera or smartphone

Poster Assignment:

  • Software capable of basic image editing and poster creation. MS PowerPoint or similar is sufficient.


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

Note: Available online via SFU e-book store. Several copies in SFU Bennett Library. 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 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this 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 spring 2022 term.