Spring 2023 - EASC 619 G100

Environmental Geoscience (3)

Class Number: 5621

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 4 – Apr 11, 2023: Mon, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 24, 2023
    Mon, 3:30–6:30 p.m.



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
  • Drift Prospecting

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

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).


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


Costs: $104 includes transportation, the majority of accommodation, course text material and airphotos.


You will need a backpack, field boots with ankle support, a camera, and standard items including a field notebook, pen, and pencils.

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



Required Equipment – fieldboots with ankle support; gators, pack; camera; first aid kit; basic survival gear; a field notebook, pen, and pencils.


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


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.

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 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