Karst Geomorphology Field School

Karst landscape on Vancouver Island (Photo by Noah Guengerich)

A discussion about glacial till and its importance in karst formation on Vancouver Island - Horne Lake, BC (Photo by Shannon Fargey)

Horne Lake Caves are thought to be over 100,000 years old based on phreatic and vadose passage development (Photo by Shannon Fargey)

An outdoor classroom debriefing about Gordon River Caves (Photo by Shannon Fargey)

Karst Geomorphology students and UVCC guides at the entrance to Wolf Creek Cave, Gordon River Caves (Photo by Jill Krezoski)

When and Where

2024 Field School: April 29th - May 5th (in-person) 

You must be available to travel and be on campus for the start of the required field component on April 29th, 2024, at 8:30 am.  The field component will end on May 5th, 2024. There will be check-in meetings and seminars throughout May and June via Zoom, with a final deliverable and presentation due late June. You must have time to be available to work with group members during this time period on your deliverables.

Places visited: Horne Lake Caves, Gordon River Caves, Looper Canyon (Vancouver Island, BC, Canada)

How to Apply

Apply in: Spring term

Applications for 2024 are closed.

Contact geography@uvic.ca if you have any questions.

Program Overview

For a full program description, see the Information Sheet.

Karst refers to the landscapes and underground systems that form due to dissolution of soluble rocks via chemical weathering. This course has been designed to introduce students to the abundant karst landscapes on Vancouver Island. We will examine how karst forms, and the geomorphology, hydrology, geology, and biogeography of two specific karst landscapes in differing geologic units to compare formation processes.  We will also examine karst conservation topics.

This class will involve exploration of cave systems, and therefore students must be comfortable in tight (underground) spaces.

This class will be supported by members of the UVic Caving Club.


  • Students must have second-year standing.
  • Preference will be given to students who have completed GEOG 276 (Introduction to Geomorphology).
  • This field school is primarily outdoors, and will be physically demanding. Applicants must mention if they have any accessibility needs that may affect their ability to participate in these activities.
  • Must be a UVic student. Non-Geography students are invited to apply.
  • Applications will be evaluated and accepted in the order in which they are received. Apply early.

If you have any further questions, please email Jill Krezoski at .


This field school is comprised of one course worth 1.5 credits.  Successful applicants will be registered in the course through special registration by the Department of Geography (students will not register themselves).

1. Geog 391 – Topics in Geography: Karst Geomorphology

Field School Fees

For field schools, students pay regular UVic tuition plus field school fees.

Fees can be paid by cheque, money order, counter cheque, or cash ONLY. Cheques should be made payable to the University of Victoria. Payment can be dropped off at the Geography main office (David Turpin Building, room B203) or mailed (cheques only).

Field school fees*:

  • $100 deposit paid at time of application, plus:
  • $400 paid upon acceptance

*All field school fees are subject to change between program offerings. 

Field school fees include:                   

  • Accommodation (booked campsites) from April 29th – May 5th, 2024
  • Group meals 
  • Guided Horne Lake Cave Tour
  • UVic Caving Club equipment rental and guides
  • Transport to/from field site

 Field school fees do not include:

  • Tuition
  • Some excluded dinner/lunch meals while in transit (~2 meals; mostly A&W stops since they offer vegetarian options)
  • Other expenses such as any personal gear (e.g., tents, sleeping bags and mattress pads, day packs, light wet suits, etc.) required/recommended for the course (equipment list provided upon acceptance into field school)

Financial Support

This field school has been directly subsidized by the Faculty of Social Sciences Field School Support Fund. No application is necessary to receive this support, as it has already been built into the field school fees.