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Atlantic Field Courses

Updated February 2020

Students registered at institutions in Atlantic Canada may be eligible to take courses at other Atlantic institutions under the auspices of their home institution. To confirm your eligibility, please discuss with your Department head or Dean and/or contact the individuals listed below.

Acadia University

GEOL4303 – Bermuda Field School
This course focuses on the sedimentology, oceanography, and diagenesis of carbonate sediments and rocks of Bermuda. Investigation of Nova Scotia limestones introduces key concepts. Lectures and field exercises focus on carbonate depositional environments and the development of groundwater and hydrocarbon reservoirs in limestone. Assignments use sedimentologic, ecologic, and chemical techniques to understand the deposition of carbonate facies.
Contact: Dr. Peir Pufahl

BIO3013 – Bon Portage Field Course
This Acadia University course is taught entirely on Bon Portage Island (BP), off the southern tip of Nova Scotia. A number of different instructors lead the course through discussion relating to specific topics and organisms of interest. This course gives hands-on, outdoor experience with plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates in marine pelagic, intertidal, brackish, and terrestrial habitats.
Contact: Lisa Taul

Dalhousie University

The SEASIDE Program provides undergraduates with hands-on training in species identification, sampling, and other practical skills, while studying certain ecosystems or focusing on the biology of algae, plants, insects, sharks, birds, or marine mammals. Twenty Biology courses are offered (many cross-listed with Environmental Science, Marine Studies, Geography, and Oceanography) with activities ranging from daily field trips to multi-night outings.
List of courses
How to register

Memorial University

The Bonne Bay Marine Station is equipped with teaching and research laboratories, library/resource centre, multimedia theatre, aquarium, residence accommodations, and small boats. The station offers students a premiere learning environment. A number of undergraduate courses are offered (click here for descriptions and dates).

  • Marine Principles and Techniques
  • Experimental Marine Ecology of Newfoundland Waters
  • Estuarine Fish Ecology
  • Biology and Ecology of Boreal and Arctic Seaweeds
  • Marine Research Field Course
  • Biology of Marine Mammals
  • Field Sampling Approaches and Applied Statistical Philosophy (graduate course)

Huntsman Marine Science Centre

The Huntsman Marine Science Centre in St. Andrews, NB, offers many activities, including the following undergraduate field courses (course descriptions and details):

  • Marine Biology and Oceanography
  • Marine Mammals
  • Marine Biology
  • Marine Semester (offered at UNB-Saint John)

St. Francis Xavier University

Biology307 – Field Biology
This course is an intense 13-day program including at least three field trips each week. Participants will collect, measure and count organisms using a variety of methods. Assignments will be based on these outings and will form some of the method by which participants will be graded. Accommodations and meals are the responsibility of the participant.
Contact: Randy Lauff

ESCI375 – Geological Field Methods
An introduction to field techniques; geological mapping on small and large scales; stratigraphic and structural interpretations. Topics include aerial photographs, topographic, and geophysical maps; elementary surveying techniques; systematics of rock and mineral identification. Includes a 10-day introductory field camp, normally at the end of the second year.
Contact: Jamie Braid

ESCI 376 – Environmental Earth Science Field Course
A field and lab course which introduces field techniques in environmental Earth sciences, including sampling, collection, analysis, and interpretation of climatological, geo-chemical, biogeo-chemical, hydrological, geo-physical, and surficial geological data. Topics include spatial variability in natural physical and chemical processes; field sampling techniques and tools; lab and computer-aided analysis of data. A 10-day course held in May. Prerequisites: ESCI 172 or CLEN 102; ESCI 272/CLEN 202. Three credits.
Contact: Dave Risk

ESCI476 – Advanced Geological Field Methods
A seven-day field camp in an important international geological area (e.g. Southern Spain) held during winter reading week, followed by structural and petrographic and tectonic analysis, seminars and report writing during the remainder of the term. Prerequisites: ESCI 245, 375. Three credits and lab. Offered in alternate years.
Contact: Jamie Braid

University of New Brunswick, Fredericton

        Courses offered by the Biology Department:

Marine Block and Research Experience Semester
This special semester is intended for undergraduate students in their 3rd or 4th year of a Biology program. The semester will introduce students to many facets of Marine Biology through a rich blend of lecture, laboratory and field instruction. The course will operate from the UNBF campus with trips to many ecologically diverse sites throughout the Bay of Fundy including visits to the Huntsman Marine Science Centre.
Contact: Dr. Gary Saunders

BIOL 4443: International Ecology Field Course
This 10-day course typically is held every 2 years in Belize during the mid-winter Reading Week. Approximately 5 days are spent at a field station in the central foothills of the Maya mountains, and 4 days at a station on the Belizean coral reef. The course emphasizes wildlife and ecology of the tropical region, and involves student-led projects.
Contact: Dr. Graham Forbes (forbes@unb.ca)

Marine Block and Research Experience Semester
This special semester is intended for undergraduate students in their 3rd or 4th year of a Biology program. The semester will introduce students to many facets of Marine Biology through a rich blend of lecture, laboratory and field instruction. The course will operate from the UNBF campus with trips to many ecologically diverse sites throughout the Bay of Fundy including visits to the Huntsman Marine Science Centre.
Contact: Dr. Mike Duffy (mduffy@unb.ca)

Courses offered by the Department of Earth Sciences. For more information see https://www.unb.ca/fredericton/science/depts/earth-sciences/fieldstudies1.html
Contact: Dr. Karl Butler 

ESCI 1703:  First Year Geological Field School (1 week)
Introduction to field observations, traversing, sampling and mapping at sites accessed by day trips from Fredericton. Typically held during the last week of April or first week of May immediately following exams in the spring. Accommodation expenses (Fredericton) paid by the student.

ESCI 2703:  Geological Field School: Bay of Fundy (2 weeks)
Principles of stratigraphy and geological mapping, typically involving studies of igneous and sedimentary rock exposures along the Bay of Fundy coastline, from bases at St. Andrew’s, NB and Joggins, NS. Provides two weeks supervised training in field work and preparation of stratigraphic sections, geological maps, and cross sections. At least the cost of accommodation expenses is paid by the student.

ESCI 3703:  Advanced Geological Field School (2 weeks)
Principles of structural geology and geological mapping. Provides two weeks supervised training in field work and preparation of an independent structural map and report of a selected area. Typically held in late August/early September in a region including the Bay de Chaleur coast, northern New Brunswick. At least the costs of accommodation expenses are paid by the student. To be taken as part of the final year.

ESCI 3713:  Geoenvironmental Field School (2 weeks)
Applications of hydrogeological, hydrogeochemical, and hydrogeophysical methods to an environmental site investigation at a closed coal mine in central New Brunswick. Typically held in late April/early May. Includes one week of field work followed by one week for the analysis of data and preparation of a comprehensive written report summarizing the field investigation, synthesizing results, drawing conclusions, and making recommendations. A cost will be associated with this course.

University of New Brunswick, Saint John

Marine Semester Program (Fall)
The UNB Saint John Marine Semester is an intensive, 12-week, five-course immersion program. Three courses run for 2-4 weeks each, and two run throughout the semester. The program provides a hands-on study experience of diverse marine organisms, including mammals (whales and seals), algae, fish, and invertebrates. Students will live in residence at the Huntsman Marine Science Centre for the semester.
Contact: Dr. Heather Hunt

University of Prince Edward Island

Field Course in Ecological Forestry
This course introduces students to the principles and practices of ecological forestry management. By combining theory-based lectures and an experiential learning approach at the MacPhail Woods Ecological Forestry site, students will gain a deep understanding of the forest and forest restoration efforts.
Contact: Dr. Carolyn Peach Brown