As a general rule, students enrolling in field camp are expected to have completed courses in mineralogy, petrology (igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary), structural geology, and stratigraphy. Students that have attended field camp without completing one or more of these courses typically have had more difficulty with the curriculum.


The curriculum is designed to provide field experiences in a wide variety of geological environments. It's is your responsibility to make the most of this opportunity through hard work and interacting with the faculty. In general terms the curriculum is as follows. The schedule and particular projects may change from year to year.

  • Week 1: Introduction to regional Mesozoic & Cenozoic stratigraphy, sedimentary rock and unit descriptions, geologic mapping of faults and folds, measuring stratigraphic sections
  • Week 2: geologic mapping of faults and folds, sequence stratigraphy
  • Week 3: measuring stratigraphic sections, introduction to Proterozoic & Paleozoic stratigraphy
  • Week 4: geologic mapping of volcanic and shallow intrusive igneous rocks
  • Week 5: geologic mapping of igneous and metamorphic rocks, economic geology
  • Week 6: geologic mapping of igneous rocks and contact metamorphism


Grades for all course-related deliverables (e.g., rock descriptions, geologic maps and cross sections, stratigraphic columns, short written reports, and exams) are determined jointly by the faculty. To help highlight areas for improvement while avoiding a counterproductive preoccupation with grades, scores for individual project elements are loosely divided according to rubrics into three bins: good, average, poor. These scores reflect the intelligence of your interpretations; the effort, neatness, clarity, accuracy, pertinence, and conciseness of your work; your industry and attitude in the field; and the intangible subjective impressions of your instructors.

Grades are not helped by sloppiness in work, spelling, grammar, attitude, and poor "field etiquette". Deadlines are strictly enforced. Early projects are designed as "learning" exercises, generally involve group work, and are graded accordingly. Later projects – including opportunities for individual work – carry additional weight.


Last revised 11/6/17