Geology Field Camp
Field camp is a three-week course worth three-semester
credits. The course emphasizes field mapping with stratigraphy, structural
geology, regional geology, and surface geology. The course is divided
between the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming.
The group travels to the northern Black Hills of
South Dakota where students learn the Paleozoic stratigraphy and do two mapping
projects. Next, there is a trip across Wyoming with stops including a tertiary
coal mine, the Big Horn Mountains, and Grand Teton National Parks.
The last part of the trip is spent at Sheridan, Wyoming. During
the camp students stay in residence halls at Black Hills State University
and Sheridan College.
The prerequisites for GEOL 404 are:
- Physical and Historical Geology
- Rocks and Minerals
- Structural Geology
- A Stratigraphy-Sedimentology course
Field Camp Coordinators
- Black Hills (South Dakota)
- Powder River and Big Horn Basins (Wyoming)
- Grand Teton National Parks (Wyoming)
student needs to cover 3 credits at WVU for Field Camp tuition (in-state or
out-of-state depending on their status). You can find the per-credit cost here. In addition, approximately $2,000 will
be charged to your account to cover room and board while staying in residence
halls at Black Hills State in Spearfish, SD, at Sheridan College in WY, and at
motels while traveling. Students are required to have their own health
Partial scholarships may be awarded to WVU students based on GPA. The
geology program distributes approximately $9,000 among the students based
on merit. Students are encouraged to apply for external scholarships
NAGT/AWG (mid Feb. deadline).
Grades are based on field exercises. The final grade is based on the maps and
field notebooks produced by the students.
Lessons from the 2022 Field Camp
Students report that field camp builds confidence in themselves and the data
they collect as aspiring geologists. This includes: gaining confidence in
making geologic observations and interpretations; learning to communicate
these observations to other geologists in writing and creating figures; broadening
geologic experience beyond the classroom; learning to deal with incomplete
or apparently contradictory geologic data; and learning to cooperate and
work in the field with fellow geologists.
Learn to Trust Your Instincts as a Field Geologist!
Field camp is an opportunity to apply concepts from the classroom to a real-world
setting as well as learn techniques for effectively communicating your findings
and interpretations. Watch your note-taking, map-making, and communication
skills mature in a way that cannot be replicated in the classroom.
Travel across the country to the Black Hills, Powder River Basin, and Big
Horn Mountains. Visit all the historic mining towns and breathtaking canyons
in between with your classmates. Field camp is a once-in-a-lifetime experience
that you will remember for the rest of your life.