This course introduces students to work in the field, where data are collected and observations made. The course allows students to learn a number of environmental field skills, including: soil, mineral and rock description and classification; sampling and testing methods for water quality and invertebrate assemblage; mapping methods and air photo interpretation. Most work will take place in fieldtrip situations, with the students organized as teams.
- Lecture topics may include:
Field trip / Lab topics may include:
- Introduction: Gathering data for scientific analysis, safety.
- Recording techniques for scientific field data.
- Geological diagrams (columns, cross-sections, maps).
- Overview of soils, rocks, minerals.
- Water quality sampling techniques.
- Sampling for invertebrates.
- Groundwater observations.
- Air photo interpretation.
Air photo interpretation of soil, lithology, water bodies and vegetation, using pocket and desktop stereoscopes and topographic maps.
Geologic mapping of rocks and soils.
Groundwater sampling and interpretation, using piezometers.
Sweep-net sampling of vegetated areas.
Sampling and testing of water bodies, including turbidity, pH, invertebrates, TOC, and others.
Mapping of natural hazards and vegetal cover.
Use of GPS and compass.
Identification of organisms.
Sampling of soils, sediments, and rock. Includes use of hand-corer.
- Logging of a vertical section of rock and soil.
- Field relationships and structure.
Methods Of Instruction
Instruction will primarily utilize field trips with preparatory lectures, and occasional labs. Text and other readings will be assigned.
Means of Assessment
|Field/lab reports (8)
This course is designed to supplement and extend previous education in Biology, Environmental Science, and Geology.
The student will be able to:
- Identify environmental features in the field.
- Carry out simple environmental measurements, and record them on graphs and tables.
- Observe and collect simple field information, and record the information on maps, cross-sections and columns.
- Plan, organize and lead simple one-day field parties.
- Read, interpret, take bearings from, and locate features on a topographic map.
- Develop teamwork skills through working in groups.
Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:
- Compton, R.R., Geology in the Field, John Wiley & Sons; latest ed.
- Handout package
- Water-repellant notebook
- Students must be equipped with clothing for cold and wet weather. Hiking and rubber boots will be necessary on field trips.