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Geology Field Camp

Field campField 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

field camp map
  • Black Hills (South Dakota)
  • Powder River and Big Horn Basins (Wyoming)
  • Grand Teton National Parks (Wyoming)


Every 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 insurance.


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 such as  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.

Past Camps

Lessons from the 2022 Field Camp 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!

2022 Field Camp 2

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.

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