ERS425 - Geology of North America

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Field trip to the Rocky Mountains

Join us on a geologic journey through the Rocky Mountains. We start in the front ranges of Alberta, travel west through fold and thrust belts, and end in the high mountain passes of British Columbia. We visit glaciers and fossil beds, interpret stratigraphic sections, and map complex structures. Students will develop field skills, including structural data collection and analysis, mapping, and geologic interpretation. Each student will be assigned a topic for a field presentation to be given during the trip. In addition, students will complete assignments throughout the trip and write a detailed field report following the trip.

Prerequisites: Enrolment in ERS Major or ERS Specialist or Geology Specialist Program, with a minimum of 1.5 credits at ERS or ESS 300 level. This course will be accepted as a substitute for ESS420 Benny Belt.

Instructors: Prof. Lindsay Schoenbohm & Prof. Jochen Halfar

Staff:  Jess Slomka (ERS Lab & Field Coordinator)


When: October reading week. We will depart on Friday October 6 2023 and return on Saturday October 14 2023.

Where: We will fly into Calgary, then drive east to Strathmore where we will visit Dinosaur Provincial Park. We will then travel west into the mountains to examine beautiful thrust faults and the stratigraphy of the Rockies in the Canmore area, then travel south to Radium Hot Springs, and finally east to the Crowsnest Pass/Frank area where we will have the opportunity to visit the Frank Slide site. We will make our way back to Calgary and hopefully check out the Okotoks Erratic on the way!

Cost: The course has a field trip ancillary fee, which is in addition to your regular course fees. The ancillary fee for this course is $850, which covers your return flight and transportation (vehicle rental and gas). The department subsidizes the remaining costs of the field trip, other than food (note: most breakfasts are included with hotel, we will buy groceries for most lunches/perhaps dinner, and have dinner at local restaurants), personal field clothes/gear, travel insurance, and any other optional costs. There is an experiential learning bursary available to those students receiving OSAP (see here).


How do I sign up?

In order to sign up for the course and secure your spot, please do the following (note the due dates):

  1. E-mail Jess Slomka, ERS Lab and Field Coordinator (, to state that you would like to sign-up for ERS425 and include your full name (AS IT APPEARS ON YOUR GOVERNMENT-ISSUED IDENTIFICATION). Please clearly indicate your FIRST, MIDDLE, and LAST name. This is for your Air Canada ticket; therefore, it must match your official ID (e.g., passport or Ontario or other Canadian driver's license). The sign-up is done on a first-come, first-served basis, so do this ASAP (by 4 July).
  2. Pay the first deposit of $400 (or full ancillary fee) by Tuesday 4 July. Payments can be made by personal cheque or cash, and submitted to Jess Slomka (DV1162A) or Dani Carranza (DV4059C). Please email beforehand to set up a time to deliver the payment. If you cannot pay by personal cheque/cash, or cannot pay the deposit amount by this date, please e-mail Jess Slomka and we'll figure out a solution together.
  3. Register for ERS425 on ACORN when it becomes available.
    • NOTE: If you require Accessibility accommodations, you must meet with your advisor and arrange accommodations before registering for the course on ACORN. All accommodations must be arranged before 1 September 2023.
  4. Complete the UTM Field Participant Health & Consent form by Friday 4 August (1PM).
  5. Pay the second deposit of $450 by Friday 25 August (see payment note above).


Accessibility: If you are registered with Accessibility, please meet with your Accessibility advisor well before the trip to discuss necessary accommodations and communicate your needs to the course instructors. If you are not registered with Accessibility but require accommodations, please be sure to register with Accessibility now so that the required accommodations can be put in place for the trip. This must be done before registering on ACORN.

Information session: We will have an information session in September to go over logistics, packing, and expectations in the field, and cover any remaining questions. Please email me or the course instructors with any questions you have or set up a time to meet to discuss any concerns prior to this session.