Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Introductory Field Camp

ESCI 3911 - Introductory Field Geology

Section 001 tentative dates: June 2 - June 27     


  • Description: This three-week camp teaches fundamental geological field mapping skills and is situated in the southwest corner of Montana, near Dillon. We welcome students from all campuses of the University of Minnesota system, as well as non-UMN students!  We will stay at the Birch Creek Center for most of the time. By the end of this course students should know how to:
    • ​Write detailed descriptions of sedimentary and igneous rocks.
    • Compile a measured stratigraphic section and broadly interpret the section in the context of environmental change
    • Collect original field observations and integrate them into topographic maps, aerial photos, and satellite data to produce detailed geologic maps.
    • Be able to acquire, record, and represent orientation data, including the attitude of bedding, folds, faults, foliation, and slickensides, using traditional and advanced techniques.
    • Interpret three-dimensional geologic structures and generate cross sections for geologic maps.
    • Anticipate the logistical and physical demands for planning their own fieldwork in the future. 
  • 4 credits
  • Prerequisites: ESCI 3891 Field Methods for UMN students or instructor permission
  • Cost: There is a $1400 course fee that covers transportation to and from the field area, meals, camp fees, etc.  This fee is in addition to tuition for four undergraduate credits.  UMN and non-UMN students should expect to pay ~$464 per credit for a total tuition cost of $1856. More information about tuition for non-UMN students can be found here
  • More information: send request for information to:
  • Dates for Summer 2020:  One section of Introductory Field Geology will be offered during the summer of 2020:  
    • Section 1:  June 2 to June 27 (Instructor: Dr. Katsumi Matsumoto)
  • ​Which section of Introductory Field Camp should I sign up for? (Only applies for summers in which two sections are offered)

Because of the large number of UMN and non-UMN students taking our field courses, we established some rules about how people should enroll in a particular section of field camp. If you are a UMN Earth Science or Geo-engineering major, please click here. If you are a non-UMN student, you can apply for either the June or August sections. Please note that preference for the June section will be given to UMN students who plan to take Advanced Field Geology in the same summer.


  • Application and registration for non-UMN students: If you are a non-University of Minnesota student interested in enrolling in this course, please submit an application form available here and an unofficial copy of your transcript, so that we may assess how well prepared you may be for this course. 
  • NOTE: We will begin accepting applications for this field camp on January 1, 2020!
  • Please download a copy of the equipment check list for gear that is required for this course!