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This course is 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 even glaciation. In fact, our last project is usually in glacial moraines of the spectacular La Sal mountains of southern Utah (above).

Field camp starts in beautiful Big Bend National Park where we measure the strike and dip of folds in a narrow slot canyon. Then we head north to the amazing underground world of Carlsbad Caverns. From there it's onward to the rugged Gila Wilderness in southwest New Mexico where we have our first major mapping projects. After an intense two weeks in Silver City, NM, 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 two mapping projects.

SFA is not tied to a permanent field camp, so we are free to travel and work in a variety of geologic settings.

The 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 dorm 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!



APPLICATION FORM for Summer Field Camp.

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
Email: cbarker@sfasu.edu


Enjoy pictures of past field camps!

Picture yourself here!

Click here for information about our Weekend Field Trip Courses which are open to all SFA students. These include the Hill Country, Galveston, Arkansas, and Nacogdoches Field Trips.

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