Field Trips

Program Overview

The CSPG is committed to offering its membership the opportunity to learn and explore through various methods of education; one of them is via Field Courses.

Under the current constraints of a COVID-19 world, the Field Course volunteer committee has been looking at the re-invention of CSPG field courses to best serve the membership now, and in the future.

We have embarked on the development and execution of various types of field courses (listed below).

  • GeoTours – imagine a field trip that is more like a geologic vacation. Locations that might be on your geologic “bucket list”? We are interested in designing geologic field trips with that kind of flavour and luxury. Our first GeoTour is an 8 day rafting trip through the Grand Canyon for May 2022, and is already sold out! We have a waiting list for the next trip in 2023.
  • GeoWalks - “Go Take a Walk” and “Go Take a Drive”…..trips in and around Calgary and Alberta leveraging off of the theme first started by “Go Take a Hike”. Some trips may be designed to be self-guided and interactive on social media.
  • GeoHikes - Traditional one-day or multi-day field courses– like we’ve done in the past, but also expanding to new themes such as Geothermal. We have a geothermal trip planned later this year in September 2021.
  • Conventions and Conferences - We support and contribute via Field Trips to geologic conventions and meetings all year long (e.g. Gussow, GeoConvention, GAC-MAC))
  • Virtual Field Trips – the first of which were presented at Gussow. This is a specific and brand new ‘niche’ of field course, that may be 1 to 2 hours in length offered at an economic cost.

Look for articles in each edition of the Reservoir written by our committee members about upcoming field courses and trips, and please give us your feedback and ideas!

Upcoming Field Trips

Discovering Ordovician fossils in the Tyndall limestone in downtown and inner-city Calgary

Leader: Tako Koning, P. Geol.  Senior Geologist – Consultant  
Date: August 28, 2022 


About the Field Trip
This field trip provides the participants with an opportunity to gain an insight into biological life which existed 450 million years ago in Ordovician time in a shallow tropical sea.  The field trip will begin on Sunday, August 28, 2022 at 1:00 PM downtown Calgary.  The meeting place is 119 - 6 Ave SW.  We will be viewing Ordovician fossils in two historic buildings clad by the Tyndall limestone which is commonly known as Tyndall Stone. 

We will then view a variety of fossils in ten blocks of Tyndall Stone in front of the Safeway store on 10th St and 3rd Ave in Kensington – Sunnyside.  Fossils include the algae Receptaculites which is also informally called the “sunflower coral”, gastropods, cephalopods, corals, nautiloids, a starfish-like sponge Aulacopella and many trace burrowing fossils Thalassinoides.  These blocks provide the opportunity to see the Tyndall Stone in multi-dimensions (top and four sides).

We then proceed up 10th Street to 13 Ave NW in Rosedale and walk over to the Senator Patrick Burns building at SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) which is extensively clad by Tyndall Stone.  We will see many more various fossils including a variety of corals such as “honeycomb” tabulate corals Trabeculites, single chain corals Catenipora and the double chain corals Manipora.  The field trip will conclude at about 4:30 PM.

About the Leader
Tako Koning, P.Geol is Holland-born but Canada-raised with a B.Sc. in Geology (1971) from the University of Alberta and a B.A. in Economics (1981) from the University of Calgary. He worked primarily for Texaco as a geologist, exploration manager and VP exploration in Calgary, Indonesia, Nigeria and Angola.  In Angola he was also much involved as a volunteer with community-focused drinking water projects.  His time living and working overseas totaled close to 30 years. He has been a member of the CSPG for 47 years as well as maintaining his membership since 1974 with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (APEGA).  Tako also leads field trips for the Alberta Paleontological Society (APS) and the Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA).

Field Trip Committee

The CSPG Field Course Committee:

Director – Mark Mallamo

Committee Members – Marcelina Labaj, Astrid Arts, Gabrielle Abernethy, Philip Benham, Jason Lavigne, Bob Lamond