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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.

Estimated Costs

The estimated cost for Texas residents tuition and fees, including all lodging and transportation in university vans, is about $3,700. For Non-Texas residents, use the tuition calculator to get a quick estimate of cost.


  • Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic Petrology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Structural Geology

Additionally, the following course is strongly recommended:

  • 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. View our tentative summer 2020 schedule for more information.

Ready to apply? Complete the application and submit it to the contact information below.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Mindy Faulkner
Field Camp Director and Assistant Professor



Department of Geology

Physical Address:
Miller Science Building 
Room 301

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13011, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962

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