Stephen F. Austin State University

Summer Field Camp

Summer Field Camp - For Upper Level Geology Majors

The Geology Department at SFASU invites qualified geology majors to join us for a great summer field experience. Our goal is to help geology students make that all-important transition from classroom theory to real-world understanding.

We use the spectacular setting of the American Southwest as a 'laboratory' where we teach students the basic skills of geologic mapping. During the five and a half weeks of field camp you will learn many techniques that have been used by generations of working geologists. You'll explore geology in areas of compression, extension, shearing, metamorphism, volcanism and glaciation. One of our projects has been in glacial moraines in the spectacular La Sal mountains of southern Utah (above).

Field camp starts with a few travel days in Texas as we head west for New Mexico. Enroute we tour the amazing underground world of Carlsbad Caverns and then arrive in 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 or other spectacular national parks in the American Southwest. Finally, we journey to the red-rock arches and alpine mountains of southern Utah for our last mapping projects.

The SFA Field Camp is not tied to any one area, so we are free to travel and work in a variety of geologic settings. T

he field course lasts 5 to 6 weeks and earns students 6 hours of credit. The student/faculty ratio is low, so students receive a significant amount of personal attention. We usually start in late May and finish around the end of June. Prerequisites are mineralogy, petrology, and structural geology. Stratigraphy and introductory field methods are also strongly recommended.

The estimated cost for Texas in-state tuition and fees (including all lodging and transportation in university vans) is about $3000; Louisiana and Arkansas tuition is a little more, and other out-of-state is about $4800. Food is not included in the above estimates, which means you can choose what you want to eat -- you are not forced to eat bland, expensive cafeteria food. Students who elect to take their own vehicles can save money by car-pooling. A few partial scholarships are usually available.

You will learn so much about geology during field camp that it is probably the best investment you will ever make in your professional career.

Ours is a top-quality, traditional field camp. We focus on figuring out geology in the field, which is the crucial experience that every geologist needs. Some of the mapping projects are challenging, but that makes them great learning experiences. There is also a lot of camaraderie, laughter and good times. Many past students have told us that this was the best course -- geology or otherwise -- they ever took in college!

Field camp is where all that classroom geology finally comes alive!

Field Camp Application

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Chris A. Barker, Field Camp Director
Dept. of Geology
P. O. Box 13011, SFA Station
Stephen F. Austin State University
Nacogdoches, TX 75962-3011
Telephone: (936) 468-2340

Enjoy photos of Past Field Camps!