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Registration for the Winter 2020 semester begins soon.  Watch your email for more details.
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Field Methods 1

Course Code: EAES 1500
Faculty: Science & Technology
Credits: 4.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab, Field Experience
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course introduces students to field methods used by Earth Scientists. Topics include identification and interpretation of minerals, rocks and geological features in the field, recording of information, field safety and use of field equipment. Most of the course will take place in a field setting, where activities will involve hiking and working on steep rock slopes.

Course Content

  • Living skills including camping (camp setup, proper food storage, waste disposal), hiking (clothing, footwear, equipment), safety (first aid, avoiding hazards, wildlife), and etiquette (working and living in groups, field access to public and private land, "footprint" and waste management).
  • Observing in the field and use of field notebooks:  field notes, diagrams, photographs.
  • Common minerals, mineral physical properties, classification systems.
  • Common igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, classification systems, relevant textures, processes of formation, depositional environments, tectonic settings, metamorphic grade.
  • Instruments and media:  compass, clinometer, topographic map, stereoscope, air photographs, GPS devices.
  • Structural features:  foliation, lineation, folds, faults, joints/fractures, strike and dip.
  • Geological maps, base maps, symbology, scales, field information.
  • Cross-sections, scales, field information, linkage to maps.
  • Stratigraphic sections, symbols, field information.
  • Surface materials including glacial deposits, fluvial deposits, soils and associated groundwater flow.
  • Assignments and labs may include the following:
    • Navigation.
    • Stratigraphic section.
    • Description and identification of minerals and igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.
    • Simple geologic maps.
    • Geologic cross-sections.
    • Surficial geology and hydrogeology.
    • Relative dating.
    • Depositional environments and fossils.
    • Placer mineral deposits.

Methods of Instruction

Lecture, lab, field exercises.

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester.  Evaluation will be based on the following:

Labs and assignments             30-40%

Field Notes/Reports                 10-20%

Exams                                    50%

Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing EAES 1500, a student will be able to:

  • Work effectively in a field environment (camping and hiking) using appropriate safety procedures and etiquette.
  • Observe the geologic environment, and accurately record field information.
  • Describe and identify common minerals and common igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks in a field setting using simple classification systems.
  • Determine accurate locations and navigate using compass, GPS, and topographic maps.
  • Identify, describe and measure geologic structures.
  • Develop simple geologic maps and cross-sections utilizing field information and prepared base maps.
  • Apply the principles of relative dating, and describe the characteristics of common depositional environments.
  • Construct a simple geologic history of a field area.
  • Describe surficial materials and related ground water movement.

course prerequisites

One of GEOL 1120, EAES 1120 or GEOG 1120 and one other EAES course (recommend EAES 1121 or GEOL 1121) or instructor permission.



curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.