Donovan, S. K.; Jackson, Trevor A.; Miller, David J.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Geography and Geology
Fieldwork: A key component in teaching geology and geomorphology at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica
Jackson, Trevor A.
Caribbean geology into the third millennium: Transactions of the fifteenth Caribbean Geological Conference
Place of Publication
The University of the West Indies Press
Date of Publication
Series Editor Role
Series Volume Identification
Series Issue Identification
Jamaica offers excellent scope for fieldwork in undergraduate geology and geomorphology programmes. A variety of rocks, ranging from Lower Cretaceous to Pleistocene, occur in surface out-crop. However, despite obvious geological advantages, exposure is commonly poor because of lush vegetation, access to sites can deteriorate rapidly, and chemical weathering of crystalline rocks is extensive. In the early 1990s, the University of the West Indies changed to a two semester academic year. The final year undergraduate field mapping course in geology was redesigned to emphasize detailed surveys over limited geographic areas. A new second year course aims to integrate fieldwork with laboratory-based exercises. However, budgetary constraints have sometimes prevented the fulfillment of fieldwork needs at the introductory level. The geomorphology programme emphasizes the acquisition of skills in field methods and techniques. Students familiarize themselves with basic concepts of field data collection and analysis in the second year, when they study coastal and hill-slope processes and landforms. This is extended in the third year to concepts and processes of geomorphological mapping. Fieldwork concentrates on the mapping of karst landforms. Final year geography students may also undertake original fieldwork in geomorphology.....