Where classroom geology finally comes alive
Our goal is to help upper-level geology students make the all-important transition from classroom theory to real-world understanding while working in a variety of geologic settings.
During the five-and-a-half-week field course, we use the spectacular setting of the American Southwest as a laboratory where we teach students the basic skills of geologic mapping. At field camp, you will learn techniques that have been used by generations of working geologists and explore geology in areas of compression, extension, shearing, metamorphism, volcanism and glaciation.
SFA’s field camp is top-quality and traditional. We focus on mastering geology in the field, a crucial experience that every geologist needs. While some of the mapping projects are challenging, they are also great learning experiences. Past students have told us that this was the best course – geology or otherwise – they took in college.
The field camp experience
Field camp starts with a few travel days as we head west. In New Mexico, we tour the amazing underground world of Carlsbad Caverns on our way to the rugged Gila Wilderness in Southwest New Mexico, the site of our first major mapping projects. When our work in New Mexico is finished, we hit the road for the Grand Canyon and the Kaibab Plateau to learn about the unique stratigraphy of Northern Arizona.
We then journey through Southwestern Utah to complete our final mapping projects. While there, we visit Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks and the alpine basalt plateaus near Navajo Lake. Finally, we travel to the red-rock arches and Southwestern Colorado on our way back to Texas.
The estimated cost for Texas in-state tuition and fees, including all lodging and transportation in university vans, is $3,000.
- GOL 242 - Petrology
- GOL 338 - Structural Geology
- GOL 408 - Stratigraphy
Additionally, the following course is strongly recommended:
- GOL 471 - Field Methods
The six-credit-hour field course usually starts in late May and concludes around the end of June. Because the student to faculty ratio is low, students receive a significant amount of personal attention. Check out our tentative Summer Field Camp schedule!
Students interested in attending the Summer Field Camp should complete the application.