GLGY 441/639

GLGY 441, which is combined with GLGY 639, is an optional field course (worth 1 HCE) that takes place off-campus for approximately eight days in late August. It is followed by one to two weeks of data synthesis and modelling that takes place on-campus. There is usually only one section offered each year. The course is lead by one or two professors and one teaching assistant. There are usually enough spots for 12 undergraduate students and four graduate students. Additional faculty and staff may join your class on occasion. You will be working in groups of two to three students depending on the exercise of the day and for safety purposes. The department provides transportation for all field school participants - you are not allowed to use personal transportation.

The field site is located within the city limits. However, it is very important that you are on time each day, and that you are rested and prepared for a full day of fieldwork. If you sleep in, you will be left behind. Bring appropriate clothing and lots to drink. Field activities may be changed due to circumstances beyond the instructor’s control; dates will not change.

The learning objectives for GLGY 441/639 include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Understand the principles behind various hydrogeological and hydrochemical monitoring and sampling techniques
  • Learn the practice of monitoring and sampling methods
  • Analyze and interpret the collected data
  • Synthesize all the data to construct a conceptual model of the site hydrogeology
  • Prepare hydrogeological site investigation report

Click here to see the proposed schedule for GLGY 441/639 in the upcoming/current academic year.

Starting with students entering the geology program in Fall 2018, GLGY 441 is one of the two choices for an upper-level field school required in that program (the other choice is GLGY 435). GLGY 441/639 is recommended as a geology option for students in the applied and environmental geology program. Majors in other programs may be allowed to take GLGY 441/639 on a case-by-case basis as space permits.


  • GLGY 401
  • Consent of the department


  • Credit for GLGY 441 and 639 will not be allowed

GLGY 441/639 is normally taken by undergraduate students at the end of third or fourth year and by graduate students at the end of first year.

Although GLGY 441/639 runs in August through to September, it is considered a fall course.

Because field schools take place off-campus and provide students with real-world learning experiences, they are more expensive than standard courses (for both the department and students). It’s a good idea to start saving money for field school as soon as you decide to take one.

The student costs associated with taking GLGY 441/639 include:

  • Regular tuition and fees (approximately $600) associated with one half course (payable to the registrar)
  • A supplementary fee of about $130 to help cover transportation costs (payable to the registrar)
  • Food (variable; plan for $20–$40 per day)
  • Other equipment and supplies (highly variable depending on personal needs)
  • Other field-related costs (i.e. admission to parks or local attractions)

Your instructor should provide you with a specialized list of equipment and supplies that you will need for GLGY 441/639 field school. You should also refer to the generalized list provided for our junior geology field school (GLGY 337).

Every student enrolled in GLGY 441/639 must attend a pre-departure meeting (orientation and safety meeting). It is usually scheduled the evening before the first day of field school. If you do not attend this meeting, you will not be allowed to attend the rest of the field school.

The pre-departure meeting is designed to deliver critical information to you to ensure that you are well prepared for field school. At this meeting, you will:

  • Meet your instructor and teaching assistant
  • Learn about general safety issues and the hazards in each field locality
  • Review the emergency response plan
  • Sign an informed consent form and provide your emergency contact information
  • Learn about the general course structure and activities planned
  • Discuss driving etiquette and learn about the university's driver authorization procedure (for those students that have volunteered to be back-up drivers)

Click here to see the orientation and safety meeting schedule for the upcoming/current academic year.

Your instructor should provide guidance on what you need to do to prepare for GLGY 441/639. You should also check out the general information provided for our junior geology field school (GLGY 337).