Geosciences Department

Field Camp

Field camp is an outdoor course taught in an area with fantastic geology. These are typically 3 to 6 weeks long, and often in the western United States because of generally good rock exposure and weather. In a typical geologic field camp students learn field mapping, medium-scale structural analysis, and use of structural geology, petrology, and stratigraphy for interpreting geologic problems.

There are also environmentally science-oriented field camps which emphasize mapping of soil, plant communities, and water resources, field measurements, sampling and chemical analysis, and data interpretation. One or the other is highly recommended for all Geology majors, typically in the summer between their junior and senior years. Not convinced? Here are two excerpts from a post card from the Indiana University field camp in Wyoming:

“Hi from field camp! We’re in Yellowstone tonight-waiting for Ol’ Faithful, right outside our cabins! Today we mapped a plunging anticline in the Mesozoic rocks of the Wind River basin-the fun never ends!! Kidd found lots of belemnites in the Sundance Formation-fulfilling his mantra of collecting fossils on sunny days. We saw the really big Tetons and learned about the normal faulting there, and yesterday we saw the only river that flows uphill! Awesome stuff!”

We realize that field camp can be a financial stretch, so we try to offer field camp scholarships to those accepted to field camp (amount available varies). Here is the Field Camp Scholarship Application Form.

Send us your field camp photos and comments for us to display!