Educational Programs

The Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation offers a variety of educational programs for individuals and groups including,

2014 World Heritage Tour

Travel through over a half billion years in the story of our planet while experiencing the rugged landscape of the UNESCO Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site in Western Canada. This joint program of the College of the Rockies and the Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation is a 5-day tour that takes place from Tuesday August 5 through Saturday August 9, 2014.

Remains of ancient tropical equatorial seas, petrified tree trunks that grew at the time of the dinosaurs, remnants of a melting ice sheet which once buried much of North America, continental collisions, the rising of mountain ranges are just few of the features revealed during hikes and road trips and highlighted for you by your guides, all of whom are qualified geologists with the Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation. Join us and come to know the Earth beneath your feet in a new and exciting way.

Study Tour cost: $2,145.00 CAD includes: all meals and accommodations, transportation to and from field sites and lecture materials. The excursion includes escorted field tours by geologist and paleontologists.

Registration for this program through the College of the Rockies Golden Campus. For complete itinerary and tour details please download the brochure or visit the program page on the College of the Rockies website.

Our Popular Guided Hikes

The Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation is licensed by Parks Canada to conduct Earth Science educational hikes to the Burgess Shale Mount Stephen Fossil Beds and the Walcott Quarry, as well as a Climate Change and Landscape guided hike on the Iceline Trail in the Yoho Valley. All of our guides are qualified hiking guides, have current First Aid certification and possess post-secondary education in the Earth Sciences. Content covered on the guided hikes falls under the three themes:

  1. History of life on earth
  2. Rocks and mountain building
  3. Climate science and landforms

Download the guided hikes brochure.

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Would you like to experience the Burgess Shale, but are unable to join one of our guided hikes? Join us for the Geo-Walk, an easy stroll through geologic time that's followed by a hands-on activity.

During this 90-minute program participants will walk from the present, back through geologic time to the Middle Cambrian as you and your guide walk from the Visitor Centre in Field to the Field School. The distance is approximately 600 meters. The route and destination are accessible to parents with strollers and to participants who require wheeled aids to mobility. Bring your water bottle if the weather is warm.

See and touch real Burgess Shale fossils. Learn about the long history of life on earth, movement of the continents, major extinctions and about the ecological community in which the Burgess Shale creatures lived and perished.

Geo-Walk participants are invited to try opening a 500 million year-old rock to reveal a Cambrian trilobite that can be taken home. The rock samples used in this activity originate from southeast BC and are not Burgess Shale rocks. The rock-splitting exercise gives everyone a chance to be the first to see a fossilized creature that has been hidden for half a billion years.

When: Geo walks are conducted Tuesday & Thursday at 10:00 AM and 2:30 PM (MDT) from July 3 to August 28, rain or shine.

Where: Meet at the Parks Canada Visitor Reception Centre in Field, BC. The geo-walk is a gentle 600 meter stroll to the Field School. After the hands-on activity, Geo-Walkers return to the Visitor Centre.

Fee: $20 single, $30 couple, $35 family (up to 5 members; $7 per additional family member)

Special tours arranged for groups.

(Drop-in participants may register and pay on the day of the walk.)