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Geology Field Camps - A Comprehensive Listing

What is Field Camp?

Field camp is a tradition in the education of a geologist. It is an intensive outdoor course that applies classroom and laboratory training to solving geological problems in the field. Skills developed during field camp typically include: collection of geologic data, constructing measured sections, interpreting geologic structures and how to take notes in the field.

Most geology field courses teach students to read geologic maps and use them in the field to solve geologic problems. Some courses also provide instruction in the field and office work needed to prepare a geologic map - often using technology.

Well in advance of field camp you should learn about the weather, vegetation and terrain of the field location. You should also learn about the types of physical activity that you will be engaged in. This will allow you obtain proper clothing for the weather and vegetation of the field location; obtain and break in a suitable pair of shoes; and, increase your level of physical fitness if needed.

Geology Field Course Readings

Students preparing for field camp should read the following essays...
Scholarships that can be applied towards field camp expenses have been offered by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers and the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists. In addition, many of the schools listed below have financial assistance that applies to their own students.

Faculty might be interested in nominating their best field camp students to the USGS / NAGT Field Training Program or reading a Journal of Geoscience Education article by Carl Drummond titled "Can Field Camp Survive?".

field camp cross-section
A geologic map is the basic tool of a field geologist. It is a map that shows the types of rocks present at the surface throughout the mapped area and the approximate location of rock unit contacts. Geologic structures such as fault traces and fold axes are shown with special symbols.

Bear Encounters and Bear Attacks: During field camp you may be asked to enter into bear country. Knowing how to avoid an encounter, what to do during an encounter and how to react to a bear attack could save your life.

Avoiding Ticks and Lyme Disease: Ticks are a major problem for geologists in some areas. Learn how to recognize ticks, how to avoid them, what to do if you have a tick bite and the symptoms of lyme disease.

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Geology Field Camp Directory

The purpose of this page is to help students find a geology field course. Students who use this list should know the field course requirements of their academic program. Before enrolling in any course the student should consult with an academic advisor to determine if the course is suitable and will transfer the academic credits needed for their program of study.

Faculty members who want this free announcement for their course should keep their website information up-to-date and on a permanent URL. We visit each link in this list at least once each year to determine if the course is still offered with a bedrock mapping and field methods emphasis. Faculty members are encouraged to contact us with new courses and changes.


Field Location

Adams State University Colorado / New Mexico
Albion College Wyoming / Montana
Ball State University South Dakota / Wyoming / Montana
Boise State University Italy
Bowling Green State University New Mexico / Colorado
California State University, Sacramento California
Central Washington University Oregon / Idaho
Clemson University Kentucky / Tennessee
Colorado School of Mines Colorado
Concord University Colorado / Utah
Cornell University Argentina
Attention Students: If you are looking for a field camp please speak with your academic advisor to be sure that the field camp that you select is appropriate for you and will satisfy program requirements for your school. is unable to help you select a field camp.
East Carolina University New Mexico / Colorado
Eastern Washington University Montana
Fort Hays State University Colorado / Utah
Idaho State University Idaho
Illinois State University South Dakota / Wyoming
Indiana University Montana
Iowa State University / University of Nebraska Lincoln Wyoming
James Madison University Ireland
Kent State University Idaho / South Dakota / Wyoming
Lehigh University Ohio / Wisconsin / Minnesota / South Dakota / Wyoming / Idaho
Louisiana State University Two different courses (freshmen and senior): Colorado
Massey University New Zealand --- Late December to Early February
Miami University-Ohio Montana / Wyoming / Idaho / Alberta
Michigan Technological University South Africa
Montana State University Montana
New Mexico Tech New Mexico / Colorado
North Carolina State University New Mexico
Northern Illinois University Wyoming / South Dakota
Oklahoma State University Colorado
Oregon State University Two courses: California / Oregon
Pennsylvania State University Utah / Wyoming / Idaho / Montana
Salem State College Montana
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology California -- December/January
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Multiple courses - Arizona / California / Hawaii / Iceland / India / Montana / South America / Spain / Turkey / Wyoming
Southern Illinois University Montana / Wyoming
Southern Utah University Utah
Stephen F. Austin State University Texas / New Mexico / Arizona / Utah
Sul Ross State University Texas
SUNY Buffalo Colorado / Utah / Wyoming
SUNY Cortland Three courses: New York (offered in even numbered years)
University of Akron South Dakota / Wyoming
University of Alaska-Fairbanks Alaska
University of Arizona Wyoming / Utah / Nevada
University of Arkansas Montana
University of Arkansas Little Rock Colorado
University of Florida New Mexico
University of Houston Montana
University of Kentucky Colorado
University of Louisiana-Lafayette Texas / Oklahoma / South Dakota / Wyoming
University of Memphis South Dakota / Montana / Wyoming
University of Michigan Wyoming
University of Minnesota Three different courses: Montana / Colorado / Minnesota
University of Minnesota-Duluth Minnesota
University of Missouri-Columbia Wyoming
University of Nevada-Las Vegas Utah / Nevada / Idaho / Texas / California
University of Nevada-Reno Nevada
University of North Dakota Multiple courses - Arizona / California / Hawaii / Iceland / India / Montana / South America / Spain / Turkey / Wyoming
University of Oklahoma Colorado
University of Oregon Montana / Oregon
University of South Florida Multiple Sessions: Florida / Georgia / South Carolina / Idaho
University of St Andrews Scotland
University of Texas-Arlington New Mexico / Texas
University of Texas-Austin Multiple Courses: Texas / New Mexico / Utah / Wyoming
University of Texas-Dallas Two Courses: New Mexico / Colorado
University of Washington Montana
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Multiple Courses: South Dakota / Arkansas / Wisconsin / Michigan / Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Multiple courses - Arizona / California / Hawaii / Iceland / India / Montana / South America / Spain / Turkey / Wyoming
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Utah
West Virginia University South Dakota / Wyoming / Montana
Western Illinois University Montana / South Dakota / Wyoming
Western Michigan University Michigan
Wichita State University Wyoming and Montana
Wright State University Multiple Field Courses

Other Geoscience Field Experiences

The listings below are field experiences with significant geoscience elements. They are either: A) university courses that are not focused on bedrock mapping, or, B) field experiences offered by organizations that do not grant academic credits but have some record of being approved for academic credit under a syllabus at an academic institution. Consult with your academic advisor to see if these courses will satisfy the program requirments and academic credit transfer rules at your institution before you enroll.
Burren Geology School Western Ireland Field Experience
East Carolina University Iceland, England, Wales, Ireland & Outer Banks USA
East Carolina University Summester at the Coast, Outer Banks, NC
Frontiers Abroad New Zealand --- January to June
Juneau Icefield Research Program Juneau Icefield, Alaska and British Columbia
Michigan Technological University Geology of Utah's National Parks
SIT Study Abroad Nepal Himalaya
Southern Hemisphere Field Institute Field Camps and Trips in Africa and Australia/New Zealand
University of Arizona Accessible Earth Study Abroad Course in Orvieto, Italy
University of Georgia University of Georgia Interdisciplinary Field Program
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