Fall 2024 - GEOG 412W D100

Glacial Processes and Environments (4)

Class Number: 3902

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 4 – Dec 3, 2024: Fri, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    60 units, including GEOG 213; GEOG 313 and EASC 201 recommended



An examination of glacial processes and environments emphasizing landscapes and sediments resulting from the movement of ice, water, and sediment; application of field techniques. Writing.


The impacts of a changing climate have their highest visibility at the margins of ice-covered landscapes. In this course an overview of glacier-climate interactions and glacier physics will set the groundwork for investigating modern change in glaciated landscapes. Investigations into the inner workings of glacier mass balance, hydrology, and motion, will be facilitated by unravelling the record of past glacial landforms and sediments and their importance for understanding the landscapes we see today. Assignments and fieldtrips will focus on techniques used for interpreting glacial landforms and sediments in a variety of glaciated landscapes.

Field trip details: There are two field trips in this course, a three-day trip (September 20-22) and a one-day trip (November 1). Your mandatory supplementary fee ($114.87) and U-Pass fee cover transportation costs. Students should expect to pay up to an additional $100 to the Department (Payment due by September 19) to cover accommodation, and will be responsible for their own food costs. Be aware that during the field trips there may be periods of strenuous hiking, hiking close to cliffs and crossing roads with busy traffic. Appropriate clothing and foot wear must be worn. Further details regarding safety, meals, accommodation and field supplies will be discussed prior to the field trip. Students must at all times remain compliant 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, accommodations and the maintenance of appropriate medical insurance coverage.

This course is a required or elective course in several syllabi for Professional Geoscience (P. Geo.) accreditation by the Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (EGBC) and the Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists (CCPG).

Lab Resources:

  • Lab resources will be provided through CANVAS (SFU’s online learning management system).

This is a writing designated course.

* Students can expect lab time may be used for module instruction in the first weeks of the course in order to adequately prepare students for the first course assignments. Attendance is expected during lab time in the first week.


  • • Participation in module-based exercises: 10%
  • • Assignment 1 – Research project grant proposal: 15%
  • • Assignment 2 – Till fabric project writeup: 20%
  • • Assignment 3 – Research project writeup: 25%
  • • Final exam: 30%


Course Grade: All assignments and the final exam must be completed to obtain a passing grade in this course.



All required readings will be accessible online through the SFU library.


Bennett, M.W., and Glasser, N.F. 2009. Glacial geology: ice sheets and landforms. 2nd Edition. ISBN: 978-0470516904. – Available as an ebook through the SFU libary


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 term 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.