Fall 2023 - EASC 206 D100

Field Geology I (3)

Class Number: 1827

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Fri, 8:30–10:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 13, 2023
    Wed, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    EASC 101 with a grade of C- or better. Corequisite: EASC 210.



An introduction to field methods and technological applications used to navigate, systematically observe, characterize, record, and interpret geologic features and events. Includes one or two mandatory weekend field trips as well as several local field trips.


Students will learn basic field methods such as taking notes, reading maps, characterizing exposures of rocks and sediments, interpreting textures and structures, and field safety.

Course Organization:
One 2-hour lecture and one 3-hour laboratory per week.
There will be one or two weekend field trips involving camping in Merritt, as well as several local field trips on the same day as lecture or lab. Attendance at all field exercises is mandatory.



Students successfully completing this course will be able to:

  • Navigate in the field using a topographic map, compass, pacing, and GPS
  • Identify, classify, and describe the composition, texture, and primary structures of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks, and sediments
  • Understand the significance of composition, texture and primary structures as indicators of the conditions and environment of rock formation or environment of deposition
  • Identify and record the attitude of secondary (tectonic) structures such as faults, joints, folds, cleavages, foliations, lineations, and shear zones
  • Use a Brunton compass to measure planar and linear geologic features (e.g., strike/dip, dip/dip direction, and plunge and trend)
  • Identify and describe geologic contacts such as depositional (conformable) contacts, unconformities, faults, intrusive contacts, and shear zones
  • Identify geological units in the field and in stratigraphic logs that are potential aquifers, and where these aquifers may be in contact with streams.
  • Distinguish between observations and interpretations
  • Record field observations and interpretations in a concise and systematic format in your notebook
  • Sketch important field relationships in a neat, oriented, and annotated drawing in your notebook
  • Measure, systemically describe, and construct a graphic log (stratigraphic column) of a section of sedimentary strata
  • Identify geomorphological and hydrological features in the field and from air photographs, satellite imagery, and remote sensing
  • Locate and plot features on a topographic map and identify structural, geomorphological, and hydrologic features from stream and contour line patterns
  • Read and plot basic elements on a geological map, such as rock units, lithologic and structural symbols, and legend
  • Interpret geologic maps, including the orientation of rock units and relative ages of different rock units and deformation events/structures
  • Interpret field data to reconstruct the geological history of a field site
  • Describe the flood history and mitigation strategies, and water supply and contamination issues for a region and municipality
  • Utilize proper field equipment and etiquette to work safely, responsibly, and professionally in the field
  • Understand land access and use, and community engagement, necessary to conduct fieldwork in BC
  • Use computer spreadsheets, such as Excel, to organize and analyze a large amount of field data
  • Display and interpret field data using a GIS application


  • Lecture/Lab Theory Quizzes 15%
  • Lab Assignments 20%
  • Field Notes 10%
  • Field Assignments 15%
  • Lab/Field Method Practical Quizzes 20%
  • Final Exam 20%


Costs: A course specific supplementary fee of $150.00 will be assessed.  Students should also budget for food expenses on the Merritt field exercises.

Be aware that during the field trip there will be periods of strenuous hiking, walking close to cliffs, and crossing roads with busy traffic.  Appropriate clothing and footwear should be worn.  Further details regarding safety, food, camping and field supplies will be discussed prior to the field trip.  An Acknowledgement of Risk form will need to be signed at the first lecture.



Field Equipment: 

Students must be prepared to camp.  Required gear: tent, sleeping bag, sleeping-pad, cooking gear, warm clothing, rain gear.  A hand lens is strongly recommended.  Further details will be provided upon course registration.


Geological Field Techniques; Angela L. Coe, first edition 2010; Wiley Blackwell 

NOTE: For students intending to take EASC 306, the same textbook is “recommended reading.”
ISBN: 978-1-4443-3062-5


None, but students may need to refer to their first-year EASC course notes and books.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.