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Field Camp

Field camp Field camp is a five-week course worth six 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 southwestern Montana. 

The first two weeks are spent in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota where students learn the Paleozoic stratigraphy and do two mapping projects. Next, there is a five-day trip across Wyoming with stops including a tertiary coal mine, the Big Horn Mountains and Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The last two weeks are spent at Dillon, Montana, where there are two additional mapping projects. During the camp we stay in residence halls at Black Hills State University and University of Montana-Western. 

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)
  • Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (Wyoming)
  • Big Hole Valley (Montana) 


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 the University of Montana-Western in Dillon, MT 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. 

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