Spring 2023 - GEOG 213 D100

Introduction to Geomorphology (3)

Class Number: 2504

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 4 – Apr 11, 2023: Fri, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 24, 2023
    Mon, 8:30–11:30 a.m.

  • Instructor:

    Jonathan Cripps
    Office: TBA
    Office Hours: TBD
  • Prerequisites:

    GEOG 111 or EASC 101.



An exploration of the processes that shape Earth's surface and the landforms that result. 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 Field Trip, for which you will produce a poster, outlining the key concepts at one of the stops. 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
• 2-day field trip leading to submission of a poster assignment
• Group field trip pre-reading exercise introducing a key site on the trip.

Field trip details:
There is a mandatory 2-day field trip for this course over the weekend of March 11-12. 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. Additionally, students should expect to pay up to $100 to the Geography Department to cover transportation (partial) and accommodation costs; this additional 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 hiking and walking alongside highways; 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. Field trip will follow SFU Covid requirements as necessary.



  • Lab Assignments: Range of skill- and knowledge-based exercises, and short-essay style questions for exam practice. Minimum of 4 of 5 labs must be completed; missing labs count as zero. 25%
  • Group Journal Reading Exercise: In small groups, read an academic journal article relevant to the fieldtrip, and answer set questions. Complete a short quiz reflecting on your performance within your group. 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%
  • Midterm exam: 20 Multi-choice photo interpretation questions; Choice of 5 from 10 short answer questions 15%
  • Final exam: 20 Multi-choice photo interpretation questions; Choice of 5 from 10 short answer questions, long essay question. If your final exam grade is higher than your midterm grade, it will replace the midterm for a total of 50% of your course grade. 35%


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%




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. Ziploc) notebook
  • Camera or smartphone

Poster Assignment:

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

Under SFU's Education Site License, SFU students, staff, and researchers may download the following software to home computers for academic use ONLY. This includes teaching and classroom use and research purposes. 

Software available to download/install on home computers

  • Microsoft 365
  • ESRI Applications such as ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, ESRI CityEngine, etc.
  • Matlab with Named User License
  • Adobe CC with Named User License*

* ONLY those who are in SFU payroll are eligible for Adobe CC with Named User License


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.


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