This web site documents the 1997 senior undergraduate field camp of the Department of Earth Sciences Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario and was carried out between February 22 and March 8, 1997. In addition, participants from the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Ottawa took the trip as part of a course on Reefs and Volcanoes. The two departments comprise the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre, an arrangement beneficial to both departments, as researchers and students at both institutions share resources. We plan to run this trip at approximately the same time next year, and will welcome participants from outside the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre. If you are interested in joining us please contact either Dr. Tony Fowler (University of Ottawa), Dr. Andre Desrocher (University of Ottawa, or Dr. Tim Patterson (Carleton University) for information on pricing and availability.

The reason for taking the field trip stems from one of the underpinnings of geology, the principle of uniformitarianism enaunciated by James Hutton. A pioneers of geology, Hutton, Scotsman and surveyor, was a keen natural scientist whose work required he travel over Great Britain. He made numerous observations regarding the layers or beds of sedimentary rocks and deduced that the rocks were very old and deposited slowly layer by layer. Moreover, he showed that the observation of present processes e.g., the accumulation of sediments at a river mouth, yields understanding of the processes that gave rise to rocks. Thus his formulation of the principle of uniformitarianism: THE PRESENT IS THE KEY TO THE PAST. The principle of uniformitarianism is an essential concept for teaching. Geology students must go into the field and sometimes to remote locations to examine modern environments in order to understand those of the past. Two environments that are important to geologists both intrinsically and economically are volcanoes and coral reefs. Hence our trip to the Caribbean to see these rocks under formation.