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

Summer Field Courses

(please check back periodically as information will be updated)

2021 Summer Field Courses updates: A message from Professor Christian Teyssier, Chairperson, Field Committee (December 17, 2020):

'I am writing as chair of our department's Field Committee to clarify our plan for field courses in Summer 2021. There is still a lot of uncertainty about when we will be able to resume field instruction as we have traditionally done, in the field. However, for next summer, we are committed to teaching the following three courses, hopefully in the field, or online if necessary:

ESCI 3911- Introductory Field Geology course (led by David Fox)
ESCI 4911- Advanced Field Geology course (led by Annia Fayon)
ESCI 4971W - Field Hydrogeology course (led by Crystal Ng, Peter Kang, Scott Alexander)
If we have the chance to take you to the field, the Intro Camp will be in Montana and the Hydro Camp will be based near Akeley, MN, as usual. The new Advanced Camp will be based in northern Minnesota (Ely) and will use the Vermillion Community College facilities. We are very excited about this new version of ESCI 4911! You will learn about Archean geology, Iron Range geology, igneous processes in the Duluth Complex, and mining and environmental issues. We will receive help from colleagues at the Natural Resources Research Institute based in Duluth as well as colleagues from the Minnesota Geological Survey.

Given how fluid the Covid situation will continue to be during Spring term, we hope to be in a position to make a final decision about the mode of instruction (in-person / online) by late February - early March. 

In the hope we can take you to amazing geologic sites in Montana and/or Minnesota, I wish you all the best for the end of this semester and for the upcoming break and holidays. Stay well and healthy!'
Please continue to check back for updates or email Annia Fayon, Field Course Coordinator.

General Learning Outcomes and Field Safety

While the specific learning objectives for each course differ as a function of content, all courses maintain common objectives. After successful completion of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences field curriculum, students will be able to:
1. Work, plan, and communicate effectively in teams whether in person or remotely; 
2. Design and implement a strategy for conducting field-oriented research or analyzing available field data from various sources (images, geophysical data, drill core);
3. Anticipate and work through problems in the field safely and reliably;
4. Develop and test hypotheses based on observations in the field and of images;
5. Work with ambiguity: be able to formulate and test multiple working hypotheses, revising as necessary based on continued data collection; 
6. Collect, manage, and analyze data; and communicate results in written, graphical, and oral delivery formats.
Field safety is our number one priority. This includes safety while working in nature as well as safety from harassment of any kind. It is our goal to provide a safe, inclusive learning environment for all students and instructional staff. With regard to field safety, students will learn how to complete a site safety analysis - identifying hazards and risks associated with working in nature. The goal of this exercise is to increase student self-awareness and self-efficacy in the outdoors.


With regard to student conduct, the University provides detailed guidelines on students Code of Conduct and general community standards. General information on community conduct can be found on the University's Community Standards webpage. The University policy prohibits sexual harassment of any kind by anyone. For more information on our department's policy, please read our ESCI Field Camps Sexual Misconduct Policy June30_2019.pdf




Introductory Field Geology Course near Dillon, MT

Section 001 - June 2021 - pending; Tentantive departure dates from Tate Hall, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN: June 2, 2021, returning June 26, 2021


Advanced Field Geology Course, NEW LOCATION! Northern MN near Ely

Section 001 - July 2021 - pending; Tentative departure dates from Tate Hall, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN: July 10, 2021, returning July 29, 2021




Hydrogeology Field Course, located in Akeley, MN and Deep Portage Conservation Reserve (exact dates forthcoming)








If you have any questions regarding the summer field programs at UMN, please contact Annia Fayon. Students from outside the University of Minnesota may apply for the Geology Field Courses by completing the application. The Hydrogeology link contains more information and contacts for that course.