Full Access to the Geology of the Sea-to-Sky Highway, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Travel grants will be provided to all accepted participants!  

Please apply via the link below.

A fully inclusive and accessible field trip will be offered at the 2014 Geological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia. The sea-to-sky highway (HWY 99) winds along the picturesque Howe Sound fjord between Metro Vancouver and Whistler. The steep, glacially carved slopes increase the risk of a variety of natural hazards, especially from landslides and related events. This field trip has two primary objectives: 1. to be a completely inclusive field-based learning experience for students with disabilities, and 2. to provide a unique opportunity for current geoscience faculty learning how to develop field courses that accommodate students with diverse abilities. Students and faculty will be paired during this field course, actively learning from each other’s perspectives. At each stop students and faculty should expect to share the perspectives and observations of their surroundings as they make inferences about the processes which shaped, and continue to shape the geology of Vancouver.

Led by a collaboration of geoscience researchers from the US, UK, and Canada with relevant knowledge and expertise in developing accessible geoscience courses and accommodating individuals with diverse abilities, this course will provide an innovative look into accessible field learning.

Content Locations:

Stop 1: Third Beach Stanley Park – Wave and storm hazards; beach environment and coastal processes
Stop 2: Cypress Bowl Road Viewpoint – Vancouver’s regional natural history and geomorphology
Stop 3: Stawamus Chief – Glacial processes and granite intrusions
Stop 4: Garibaldi Region – Volcanic processes, columnar jointing, and landslides
Stop 5: Tantalas Range Lookout – Glacial impact
Stop 6: Porteau Cove – Landslides, glaciers and tsunami impacts

This accessible trip will occur on Saturday, October 18, allowing for all participants to stay and attend the GSA meeting afterwards to participate in the GSA Diversity Committee’s On To the Future program events at the meeting. The trip will be offered to 15 geoscience faculty members, and 15 students, with preference given to high school and non-declared undergraduates with disabilities. This fully-inclusive field course will build on the participants’ interest in the earth and environment, to promote the geosciences as a viable degree and career option.

Applications for both students and faculty are no longer being accepted. 

All participants will be provided with travel support, and will be required to complete pre-trip and post-trip research activities.  If accepted, all participants will need to register for the field course through GSA. Through the support of GSA’s On To the Future, all student participants who are first-time attendees to a GSA meeting will be provided with paid registration to the 2014 GSA Annual Meeting and a one-year membership to the Geological Society of America!

For more information, please contact Dr. Chris Atchison at:info@theiagd.org.

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, with additional support from the Geological Society of America.

Accessible Geology Field Course In Vancouver, British Columbia


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Disclaimer: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0939645. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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