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Geology Field Camps - A Comprehensive Listing

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.

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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.

SIU geology field camp IU geology field camp
grizzly bear 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.

tick 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.

Rock hammers, field books and hand lens

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 Camps Survive?"

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 to use a listing on this page as a free announcement of their course have the following responsibilities: 1) send the information about your course from your university email address; 2) notify us if the information about your course changes; and, 3) notify us if the URL of your course is changed. We do not monitor the accuracy of your information or the URL of your page once you have submitted it to us. Additionally, for security reasons, we will only link to secure pages that have https:// in the URL and a valid security certificate.


Field Location

Albion College Wyoming
Appalachian State University Northern Apennines of Italy
Auburn University Alabama / Georgia / Colorado / Utah / New Mexico
Ball State University South Dakota / Wyoming / Montana
Baylor University New Mexico / Nevada / Arizona / Utah / Colorado
Boise State University Italy
Bowling Green State University New Mexico / Colorado
California State University, Sacramento California
Central Washington University Oregon
Clemson University Kentucky / Tennessee
College of Charleston Multiple courses: New Mexico / Colorado River Basin / Wyoming
Colorado School of Mines Colorado
Colorado State University Colorado / New Mexico
Concord University West Virginia / Virginia; Colorado / Utah
Cornell College New Zealand
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. Geology.com is unable to help you select a field camp.
East Carolina University New Mexico / Colorado
Eastern Washington University Montana
Florida State University New Mexico / Colorado
Fort Hays State University Colorado / Utah
George Mason University Italy (Apennine Mountains, Vesuvius, Rome)
George Mason University Italy (The Dolomites)
Humboldt State University Location varies. California / Montana
Idaho State University Idaho
Illinois State University South Dakota / Wyoming
Indiana University Montana / Wyoming
Iowa State University / University of Nebraska - Lincoln Wyoming
James Madison University Ireland
Kent State University Black Hills, South Dakota / Wyoming
Lehigh University Northern Rockies, Bighorn Basin, Tetons, Yellowstone, Montana, Idaho
Louisiana State University Two different courses (freshman and senior): Colorado
Massey University New Zealand --- Late December to Early February
Miami University (Ohio) Wyoming / Idaho / Montana
Missouri State University Colorado / New Mexico
Montana State University Montana
North Carolina State University New Mexico / North Carolina Coast
Northern Illinois University Illinois
Ohio University Kentucky / Virginia (for Ohio students only)
Oklahoma State University Colorado
Oregon State University Two courses: California and Oregon
Pennsylvania State University Utah / Montana / Idaho
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Various locations in Pennsylvania
Salem State University Northeastern U.S.
San Jose State University Nevada
Santa Barbara City College Multiple courses: White-Inyo Mountains / Cuyama Badlands / Death Valley / Colorado Plateau / Sierra Nevada / Hawaii Volcanology
South Dakota School of Mines Multiple courses: Arizona / Death Valley / Ecuador / Hawaii / New Zealand -- December/January
South Dakota School of Mines Multiple courses: Arizona / Western California / Ecuador / France / Hawaii / Iceland / Montana / Morocco / Nepal / New Zealand / South Dakota / Spain / Turkey / Utah / Wyoming
Southern Illinois University Montana / Wyoming
Southern Utah University Utah
Stephen F. Austin State University The American Southwest
Sul Ross State University Texas / New Mexico
SUNY Buffalo Colorado / Utah / Wyoming
SUNY Cortland New York
The Ohio State University Utah
University of Akron South Dakota / Wyoming
University of Alabama New Mexico
University of Alaska - Fairbanks Six-week field camp (Alaska) and a two-week volcanological field school (Alaska).
University of Arizona Two courses: Italy; Utah / Wyoming / Nevada / California
University of Arkansas - Fayetteville Colorado / Wyoming / Montana
University of Arkansas - Little Rock Colorado
University of California - Davis Hawaii
University of Florida New Mexico
University of Georgia Colorado
University of Houston Montana
University of Idaho Idaho
University of Kansas Colorado / Utah
University of Kentucky Colorado
University of Louisiana - Lafayette Utah / Idaho / Wyoming / Montana
University of Memphis South Dakota / Wyoming / Montana
University of Michigan Wyoming
University of Minnesota Three courses: One in Montana and two in Minnesota
University of Minnesota - Duluth Utah
University of Missouri - Columbia Wyoming
University of Nevada - Las Vegas Location varies. California / Nevada / Utah / Idaho / Texas
University of Nevada - Reno Nevada / California / Utah
University of North Dakota Multiple courses: Arizona / California / Ecuador / Hawaii / Iceland / Montana / Nepal / South Dakota / Spain / Turkey / Wyoming
University of Oklahoma Colorado
University of Oregon Oregon / Montana
University of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico
University of South Carolina Colorado
University of South Florida Multiple Sessions: Florida or 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 New Mexico / Colorado
University of Texas - El Paso Texas / New Mexico -- December/January
University of Washington Montana (for UW students only)
University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Two courses: Texas and New Mexico; Montana
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Multiple courses: Arizona / California / Ecuador / Hawaii / Iceland / Montana / Nepal / South Dakota / Spain / Turkey / Wyoming
University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Utah and Nevada
University of Wyoming Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, California, and Nevada
Wasatch-Uinta Summer Field Camp Utah and Nevada
West Virginia University South Dakota / Wyoming / Montana
Western Colorado University Two courses: Colorado; Western U.S.
Western Michigan University Michigan
Western Washington University Location varies. Spring: Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah. Summer: Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon. For WWU students only.
Wichita State University Wyoming and Montana
Wilkes University Newfoundland, Canada
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 requirements and academic credit transfer rules at your institution before you enroll.
Frontiers Abroad New Zealand
Juneau Icefield Research Program Juneau Icefield, Alaska and British Columbia
SIT Study Abroad Nepal: Geoscience in the Himalaya (and many other programs)
University of Arizona Accessible Earth Study Abroad Course in Orvieto, Italy
University of Georgia UGA Interdisciplinary Field Program: Summer Semester in the American West
Wheaton College Black Hills, South Dakota

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