PLEASE NOTE - This field class takes place in NSW and will only take place if travel across the state border will be permitted.

Structural geology is a vital aspect of geology because it helps our understanding of the 3D architecture of rock packages and how the rocks happened to be that way; in other words it gives insight into the deformation history.

Dates Monday, 15th March, to Sunday, 21st of March 2021

The main aims of the course are (learning objectives):

  1. to develop a sound understanding of structural elements such as cleavages and fold axes, and learn how to use them to describe structures,
  2. to understand and apply a method to correlate between key localities to make a structural map,
  3. to develop and improve on reporting these observations in your notebook and ultimately make an interpreted map, and
  4. to develop 3D geological skills and understanding.

These aims will be achieved by mapping the poly-deformed headlands at Bermagui, on the beautiful south coast of New South Wales. This is quite a difficult exercise that will develop 3D understanding and visualisation in the field.


  • Monday Travel from Melbourne to Bermagui (arrive between 5 and 6pm)
  • Tuesday Lectures and fieldwork, Bermagui heads
  • Wednesday Lectures and fieldwork, Pt. Dickinson
  • Thursday Fieldwork, Pt. Dickinson
  • Friday Fieldwork, Pt. Dickinson
  • Saturday Review and assessment, Pt. Dickinson
  • Sunday Travel from Bermagui to Melbourne

From Tuesday to Friday there will be practicals for one hour after the fieldwork and case study presentations from the staff members after dinner.

COST OF THE COURSE: VIEPS students:  $450 to cover for transportation (from/to Monash University, Clayton campus) and accommodation


  • Produce a structural map of Pt. Dickinson
  • Produce a high quality notebook and improve quality over the course (feedback is given continuously during fieldwork)
  • Produce a E-W cross-section of Pt Dickinson (one of the practicals)
  • Assess and present one key locality in the field (Saturday assessment)

LOGISTICSAccommodation is at a campsite so please bring your tent, sleeping bag and other camping equipment

Field Equipment to bring:

  • sturdy field boots absolutely essential (NO fieldwork without them)
  • wet weather gear, some cold weather clothes, swimming togs
  • day pack
  • hats - ESSENTIAL
  • hand lens
  • sunglasses
  • pencils, rubbers, waterproof writing materials, etc
  • water resistant, cloth bound notebook
  • camera
  • geo-picks are not necessary and cannot be used
This course has proven to be a great success and very enjoyable in the past, and we are sure this year will be no exception. We look forward to meeting and working with you.

Teachers: Laurent Ailleres & Robin Armit 

################# This unit has been cancelled in 2021 #################

Due to the uncertainty around COVID travel restrictions, the speed at which things can change and the cautious approach of both the Tasmanian Government and UTAS we cannot confidently run the VIEPS Environmental Geology Field Techniques course in Tasmania this year. Hopefully we can offer it again, with a little more certainty, in 2022.


Location: University of Tasmania and Strahan, Western Tasmania

Dates: 30th August - 3rd September 2021

First meeting details: Meet Dr Clare Miller at 9am at the CODES conference room, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay campus

Course contactsDr Clare Miller (

Please note that there is a minimum enrolment of 5 and maximum number of 20 for this course.


Course description: 

We begin with two days of introductory lectures (environmental geochemistry, geophysics, and hydrogeology) at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, before driving to Tasmania’s West Coast on Wednesday morning. We will spend Wednesday and Thursday undertaking detailed field surveys of the downstream effects of acid drainage and mine tailings discharged from the Mt Lyell site on the Queen and King River system and Macquarie Harbour. On Friday morning, we visit to the Mt Lyell mine site and discuss its legacy of environmental problems, before returning to Hobart on Friday afternoon.

Skills to be taught include field analysis of acid drainage chemistry and mine tailings, piezometer measurement and analysis in porous aquifers, and a range of geophysical techniques, including resistivity and electromagnetics. The course will emphasise integration of these diverse techniques to solve environmental problems.

Participants must be prepared for very cold and wet weather, and are required to bring steel-capped boots for the mine visits, and wet weather gear. 


Field assessments of environmentally damaged sites to be submitted during the trip (25%), plus a report to be submitted in the following week that processes and analyses the data collected on the trip (75%).

Payment Information:

Approximate Field Trip Cost:

$250.00 (this covers 2 nights’ accommodation in Strahan plus ground transportation – it does not include airfares, meals or accommodation in Hobart)

Fee Student (non-VIEPS institution): $300.00
Fee Industry: $700.00 (includes private accommodation in Strahan)

Further information:

Weather conditions are variable on the West Coast of Tasmania. Be prepared for cold, wet weather - bring appropriate wet weather gear, warm hat, gloves, thermals, scarf, change of clothes, etc. Snow is also a possibility. Gumboots are advisable - failing that, sturdy field boots (steel capped gumboots are ideal). Warm changes of clothing, etc. 

Important note: our return to Hobart may be delayed significantly by bad weather (western Tasmanian roads can be affected badly by snow and ice), so do not plan to fly home from Hobart on Friday evening.

The accommodation in Strahan will be in cabins. Most cabins contain a room with a double bed, another room with two bunks, and a self-contained kitchen, bathroom and shower (and heater and television). Three students per cabin. Some cabins are bigger, and accommodate 5 or 8 students. Bedding, linen and towels are provided in the cabins in Strahan. There is no need to bring any bedding for the west coast excursion. 

Students are responsible for their own meals, so bring money to purchase all meals, or bring your own food. No food will be provided, although opportunities to buy food at a supermarket will be provided as we drive to Strahan. Strahan has a great pub which does good counter meals, a bakery, and a supermarket, plus several restaurants.

Required equipment: Writing implements (you will have assignments to complete). Waterproof paper. Hand lens, large water bottle and good backpack to carry all the things you need. 

Try to minimise luggage as we will have quite a few people to fit into the minivans. 

Please note that accommodation in Hobart will need to be organised by students. The university is located in Sandy Bay, on the southwestern side of town. It's about a 20-30 minute walk from downtown Hobart to the Uni, so any of the backpackers in town are suitable accommodation venues. Don't stay in North Hobart, which is the wrong side of town (at least in terms of bus travel - you have to catch two buses!).

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Important COVID-19 information

UTAS is committed to ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of students, workers and other people. This includes having measures in place to eliminate or manage the risks arising from COVID-19. For more information on the Universities COVID-19 policies and protocols please visit The COVID-safe website.

While all possible effort will be made to minimise disruptions due to rapid COVID-19 border closures and changes to quarantine requirements we cannot guarantee that students will be able to enter Tasmania. 


Further course and assessment information can be found at:

  • Teacher: Clare Miller (

Dates: 07 - 14 February 2021, check for travel restrictions and procedures, below details will be modified for 2021

Time, Date, Location of first Meeting: Tasmanian students (or interstate students already in Hobart) are to meet at 9:00 am on Sunday 16th of February in the MRT Core Storage carpark (in Mornington). Students flying in from Victoria on the morning of Sunday 16 February should be on Flight No. JQ701 which arrives in Hobart at 07:15 am (see recommended flight information below). Upon arriving, interstate students are to gather at the SE-end (i.e. the far end) of the public drop-off/pick up area, from where they will be collected by the course leader/s around 8:30 am. Enrolled students will be emailed contact information so that instructors can be notified of delayed flights etc. 

Costs and How to Pay: Students need to book and pay for their own accommodation in Hobart for Sunday (16 February) night, and for any previous nights if arriving earlier. From Monday 17 to Sunday morning (23 February) students will be based in Queenstown. Accommodation will be at the Mountain View Motel. Students have two room options. You can stay in basic twin-share back-packer accommodation for $290 or shared motel room with en suite for $400. You will be advised on how to make these payments at a later date.  

Course Description: The Exploration Field Skills (EFS) mapping camp provides participants with the opportunity to develop skills (or enhance existing skills) in geological mapping, core logging and structural analysis, within a mineral exploration context. 

During the week-long camp in western Tasmania, participants map, interpret and ultimately assess the exploration potential of a 4−5 km2 area of Cambrian Mount Read Volcanics. The rock sequence exposed in the mapping area is similar to that hosting the nearby Rosebery and Hercules volcanic-hosted massive sulfide (VHMS) deposits, located 5−10 km further north. The area may also be prospective for Devonian base metal deposits. These are typically much smaller than the Cambrian VHMS deposits and structurally- rather than stratigraphically-controlled.To date, eight diamond drill holes have been drilled in the mapping area. Three of these will be inspected (and two re-logged) by participants during the mapping camp. One of these holes intersected a narrow interval of low grade base metal mineralisation. 

Participants evaluate textural, structural, mineralogical and geochemical features of the mineralized interval, and together with an assessment of its stratigraphic position, decide whether mineralization is more likely to be Cambrian (i.e. early, stratigraphically-controlled) or Devonian (i.e. late, structurally-controlled).

Data collected during field mapping and core logging are used to unravel the stratigraphy and structure of the area, as well as the nature and extent of any hydrothermal alteration. This information provides the basis for an assessment of the exploration potential of the area, with participants asked to identify any previously untested areas in which base metal deposits could potentially occur within 500 m of the surface

Further course and assessment information can be found at:

Arrangements for the exploration field skills mapping camp (Feb 16 – 23, 2020):

Recommended Incoming Flight

Flight No: JQ701

Departs: Sunday 16 February 2019, 6:00 am, Melbourne (Tullamarine) - Domestic Terminal T4

Arrives:  Sunday 16 February 2019, 7:15 am, Hobart

Cabin: Economy 

Duration: 1hr 15mins 

Aircraft: Airbus A321

Operated by: Jetstar Airways


Recommended Outgoing Flight

Flight No: JQ710

Departs: Sunday 23 February 2020, 4:25 pm, Hobart

Arrives: Sunday 10 February 2019, 5:45 pm, Melbourne (Tullamarine) - Domestic Terminal T4

Cabin: Economy 

Duration: 1hr 20mins 

Aircraft: Airbus A321 

Operated by: Jetstar Airways

The 07:15 arrival flight on Sunday 16 Feb is the latest we’d like people to arrive. If you arrive on JQ701, we will pick you up from the airport. If you arrive the day before (or earlier) please contact to discuss arrangements for getting out to MRT. Sunday 16 is spent logging drill core from the field area, which is housed at Mineral Resources Tasmania, about half-way between UTAS and the airport (15 mins either way). You will be required to find your own accommodation in Hobart on Sunday night (16th) and Saturday night (15th) if you arrive earlier.

We leave from UTAS for Queenstown a little after 8.30 am on Monday 17th.

On the final day of the short course, we leave Queenstown at 9 am and should be back to Hobart airport (or UTAS) by ~2.00 pm. However to give us a bit of slop with travel time, we recommend that you don’t book a return flight that leaves any earlier than 4:25 pm.

NOTE: This course is cancelled for 2021 because of travel restrictions between Australia and New Zealand

Costs and How to Pay: The cost per student is $1100 and payment will be made by Monash e-cart. Enrolled students will receive detailed instructions via email. 

Subject Overview:

This is an intensive 12-day field trip to New Zealand, one of the best natural laboratories in which to learn about geology. Apart from being dramatically different to Australia in terms of modern day geological activity, it is a ribbon continent with a complex assembly of allochthonous terranes, part of which was formerly part of Australia. It has hyperactive back arc volcanism, spectacular geothermal activity, very active seismicity and is one of the few countries in the world with glaciers at sea level. Some of the main concepts to be covered will be:

·       Arcs and back-arc architecture, seismicity and volcanism

·       Transpressional fault systems

·       Geothermal springs and geothermal power

·       The relationship of these to ore deposits

·       Glaciers as a record of Holocene climate change

·       Seismic hazards and engineering responses


Learning Outcomes:

·       Interpreting evidence of deformation and origin of a fault structure

·       Understanding and interpreting field evidence of the different mechamisms driving different types of metamorphism

·       Development of skills in the preparation of a stratigraphic log

·       Understanding and interpreting field characteristics of geochemical processes


Generic Skills:

·       Exercise critical judgement;

·       undertake rigorous and independent thinking;

·       adopt a problem-solving approach to new and unfamiliar tasks;

·       develop high-level written report and/or oral presentation skills;

·       work as part of a team.

For more information see the University of Melbourne handbook entry (


Recommended background knowledge

A knowledge of third-year geology is strongly recommended

Contact hours

Twelve days (96 hours) in the field including travel time. 


Pre-reading and poster preparation will be required in the lead-up to the field trip. Students will be required to research their own reading material, in line with their individually assigned research topics; this is part of the assessment. 


 Four fieldwork assignments, each worth 12.5% (each equivalent to about 1000 words), due at intervals throughout the subject. A 15-minute poster-based presentation (50%), to be presented in the field at a site directly related to the poster topic (notice will be given on an individual basis of the timing of presentations). 

Additional requirements:

Enrolment deadline:  13th December, 2019.

NOTE: Cost per student is $1100 to cover accommodation and travel expenses.

There is a enrollment cap of 20 for this subject.