Field Studies and New Zealand Geology

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Field Studies and New Zealand Geology

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Field Component, Geology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    GEOL112 or GEOX112
    Pre or Co-requisites: EAOS111 or EAOX111

    For students from overseas (study abroad or exchange) or transferring: you must have passed approved classes/courses that cover appropriate introductory geology (see the GEOL 112 page for example), and we must be able to check the details of those courses from your official transcript. Normally we also check your class/course content from the relevant university or college website. If web details are not available, you may need to provide details in hard copy.

    Enrolments for this paper are limited, and it requires departmental permission. 

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Practical work in field observation, geological field mapping, field interpretation; basic geometry of structures; principles of lithostratigraphy and biostratigraphy; New Zealand geology and geological map interpretation.

    In "Field Studies and New Zealand Geology", students learn the basics of doing field geology. This includes:

    • How to plan and carry out fieldwork in a safe, environmentally friendly and efficient manner
    • How to make observations at rock outcrops and how to record those observations - most particularly, how to keep a good field notebook. This is the main focus of the Maerewhenua field school
    • How to make reasonable interpretations of geological observations and how to test these (hypothesis testing). This will start on the Maerewhenua field school and will be a major part of the Borland field school
    • How to relate the geology on the ground to a geological map. This starts in Maerewhenua and is taken further through laboratory classes and Borland. (You will learn how to make geological maps in the third year in GEOL 344.)
    • Learning the fundamentals of using geological maps to understand geometry and stratigraphy. This is the primary focus of the laboratory classes and will be put into practice on the Borland field school
    • Learning how to write up geological field observations in the form of a report. Initial training will follow the Maerewhenua field school so that you can write a complete report following the Borland field school
    • Using field examples to improve your knowledge and understanding of the basics of geology as taught in GEOL112
    • Learning something of the geology of the South Island, including the stratigraphy and the geometry (structure) of the Maerewhenua and Borland areas

    Learning Outcomes
    Students will be able to:
    -Plan and carry out fieldwork in a safe, environmentally friendly, and efficient manner
    -Describe outcrops, contact relationships, structures, and lithologies in the field
    -Produce a clear and well-organized field notebook that contains accurate field observations, measurements, and preliminary interpretations
    -Trace lithologic contacts, faults, and other features and place these on topographic base maps and imagery
    -Construct basic, but accurate, geologic maps, cross sections, and stratigraphic columns informed from field mapping and outcrop observations
    -Write clear and succinct geologic reports that accurately convey relevant field observations and basic interpretations

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.