Mountain Meteorology

Students collect meteorological information from a weather station on Mt. Washington (Photo by Shannon Fargey)

Digging snow pits to analyze the snowpack on Mt. Washington (Photo by Shannon Fargey)

A temperature sensor on this student's back collects data to calculate mountain slope lapse-rates (Photo by Shannon Fargey)

Characterizing snowpack properties (water equivalence, density, stability) in a snow pit (Photo by Shannon Fargey)

Please note, this field school will not be offered in 2024. The next potential offering will be Spring 2025.

When and Where

2023 Field School: February 17th - 24th, with a mandatory orientation lecture in January (date TBD)

Plces visited: Mount Cain, Namgis First Nation Territory on Northern Vancouver Island (Canada)

How to Apply

Apply in: Fall Term.

Applications closed for 2023. Stay tuned for future offerings!

Contact if you have any questions.

Program Overview

Are you interested in spending your reading break skiing and snowshoeing on Mount Cain for course credit? The Mountain Meteorology Field School is based on Mount Cain, Namgis First Nation Territory on Northern Vancouver Island. This field school is comprised of a 7-day course that runs during Spring reading break (February).

This field school has been designed to provide students with an immersive opportunity to understand the physical processes of meteorological phenomena in mountain environments. Measuring and monitoring of snowpack, extreme weather, and climate in coastal mountain ranges will be prominent course themes, along with challenges associated with alpine tourism operations due to weather and climate extremes and hazards. This field school is primarily outdoors and some excursions will be physically demanding. Students do not need previous ski or snowshoe experience, just positive attitudes and a willingness to get outside and try new things!


  • Students must have a mininum second year standing, preferencing third year standing or higher
  • Preference will be given to students who have completed or are enrolled in GEOG 272 (Introduction to Climatology and Hydrology).
  • 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.
  • Finally, we ask applicants to answer several questions, which allows us to assess the fit of each applicant and what they could contribute to the learning and community-engaged experience.
  • Applications will be evaluated in the order in which they are received. Apply early.

See Complete Information Sheet for more details.

If you have any further questions, please email Shannon Fargey at


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

  • GEOG 313 - Mountain Meteorology

Field School Fees

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

Field school 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 
  • $400 paid upon acceptance into the field school

*All field school fees are subject to change between offerings

Field school fees include:                      

  • Room & board from Feb 17th-24th, 2023
  • Ski lift tickets for 2 days
  • Transportation to and from Mount Cain

Field school fees do not include:

  • Tuition
  • Rental of outdoor equipment such as skis, snowboards, snowshoes. 
  • Other expenses such as any personal gear (e.g. winter parka, winter boots) required for the course (packing/equipment list will be provided upon acceptance).

Financial Support

The Faculty of Social Sciences has provided a grant to subsidize costs (approximately $15,000 to the program). Students are encouraged to explore other funding opportunities for example at the Undergraduate Scholarships & Funding page: