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

Advanced Field Camp

       ESCI 4911 - Advanced Field Geology

Mapping in the Bitterroot metamorhic core complex

The Summer 2018 Advanced Field Geology Course (ESci 4911) is designed to expose students to a range of rock types, deformational styles, and geologic phenomena associated with the development of the North American Cordillera by working in three key locations (Pioneer Mountains, MT; Ruby Mountains, NV; Wasatch Mountains, UT). The course includes geologic mapping; study of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks; structures and surficial features. A final paper is required. By the end of this field course, students will have a general understanding of how rocks are exhumed from different crustal levels via different mechanisms, the importance of surface denudation for crustal exhumation, and the feedback between erosion and tectonics during the formation of the North American Cordillera. We welcome students from all campuses of the University of Minnesota system, as well as non-UMN students! 




Vital stats:

  • 4 credits
  • Prerequisite ESCI 3911 for UMN students or instructor permission
  • In addition to tuition for 4 undergraduate credits, there is a course fee of $1000 that covers transportation to and from the field area, meals, camp fees, etc.


Dates for Summer 2018:  July 7 to July 31


Course objectives: The following is a specific set of objectives for the advanced field course:

  • Correctly identify sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks in the field and write detailed descriptions of each rock type (including mineral identification);
  • Distinguish the differences between igneous crystallization, metamorphic mineral growth, and mineralization due to hydrothermal fluids;
  • Acquire, record, and represent location and orientation data using traditional and advanced techniques (magnetic compass vs. GPS);
  • Use topographic maps at different scales (1:2000, 1:12000, 1:24000);
  • Measure and analyze structural data;
  • Interpret the various depositional systems in the stratigraphic section;
  • Interpret a variety of field data in a three-dimensional framework;
  • Be able to design and implement a strategy for conducting fieldwork. This includes the ability to effectively use multiple working hypotheses for problem solving on a daily basis as well as the ability to safely anticipate logistical and physical demands for your own fieldwork in the future.


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 you will also need to include a $250.00 deposit, check made payable to the University of Minnesota. When a student receives notification that their application has been accepted and they are admitted to the Camp, the student will have 2 weeks to accept the admission in written form (email is OK) or to contact Annia Fayon. At that point the deposit check will be cashed and is then non-refundable. If you are not admitted or you withdraw before accepting admission, your deposit check will be returned. Registration for non-UMN students will begin in April 2018. This page will be updated as more registration information becomes available.

UMN student registration: Students from the University of Minnesota will be able to register online for this course starting April 12, 2018. This year, UMN students are required to submit a non-refundable $250.00 deposit to reserve a spot in one of the intro camp sections.
NOTE: We will begin accepting applications for this field camp on January 1, 2018!

What to bring:

Here is a pdf of the comprehensive list of what to bring: 4911_Equip_list.pdf. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions. Note - this is a travelling camp; we will be camping for the entire 3 weeks, so keep that in mind as you work through the list.