A number of in-person field schools have been migrated to an on-line platform to accommodate current travel limitations and restrictions but also to make the experiences available to international participants and persons with disabilities.
“Like our ‘Live from the Seafloor’ projects, a unique feature of iMAGE-CREATE on-line field schools is the availability of mapping experts ‘Live on the Outcrops’ in interactive sessions with the participants.”
All of the virtual field schools are designed as mapping courses, exactly like the in-person courses. The on-line instruction focuses on classical approaches to outcrop mapping for the creation of geological maps. Each course consists of 10-12 interactive sessions, once per week. Each session focuses on outcrop examination and description, detailed measurements, preparation of sections, and interpretation of structural and stratigraphic relationships. As in the field, every day begins with a brief lecture and then an interactive session during which participants are guided through each outcrop, discussing the key observations for the creation of a geological map. While the focus is on developing mapping skills, every exercise also provides the context for learning about the regional geology.
A typical on-line module includes a guided study of up to 70 field stops, aimed at piecing together the geological history and metallogeny of individual mining districts to regional (200 km x 200 km) areas. Instructors work with students to understand the field observations in panoramic mosaics, videos, and aerial images, “walking” with them between the outcrops. All aspects of the mapping exercises that would otherwise be experienced in the field are presented virtually. This format offers opportunities that are not always available in the field, such as the ability to have “instructors at your side” continuously and to consult relevant maps/resources in real time. Experienced mappers can also complete the courses independently, without instruction and at their own pace. Conditions permitting, the on-line sessions may be complemented by day trips to the mapping areas during study breaks in the Spring and Fall sessions.
Once registered for a course, participants receive an email with instructions on how to connect. Delivery is via a dedicated web site (solidearthgeoscience.ca) designed specifically for the iMAGE-CREATE platform.
Current Field Schools:
Our first module on the physical volcanology and sedimentology of Archean and Proterozoic rocks of the Canadian Shield (Temagami-Cobalt-Kirkland Lake) was test-launched on September 10, 2020 and successfully run through October-November. A second module (Blake River-Southern Abitibi) is being developed for on-line delivery in early 2021. The localities chosen include some of the best-preserved exposures of Archean and Proterozoic volcanic and sedimentary rocks in the world, as well as some of Canada’s most important mineral deposits.
Temagami-Cobalt [7 weeks, one 3-hour session per week beginning TBD
Timmins-Kirkland Lake-Noranda [7 weeks, one 3-hour session per week beginning TBD
– Cobalt Embayment and Southern Abitibi (Hannington)
– Ottawa-Bonnechere Graben (Schneider, Gall)
– Grenville Metallogeny