Field Camp at the University of Akron
Who are the instructors?
Why is Geology Field Camp split into two classes?
  • Field camp is divided into two parts (Geology Field Camp I & II) to provide students the option of taking camp over two summers rather than one.  Many students are unable to spend up to six weeks away from home because of family or work commitments.  The class has been divided to make it possible for these students to complete their degree requirements.  It also provides an opportunity for students to gain valuable field experience early in their academic career.
Should I take Geology Field Camp over one summer or two?

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  • The answer depends upon your schedule.  If you are in your Junior or Senior years you should take both Geology Field Camp I & II this year.  If you are completing your Freshman or Sophomore years you could consider taking Geology Field Camp I this year and Geology Field Camp II over one of the next two summers.  The material covered will be the same whether you take the classes separately or together.
Are the pre-requisites the same for Geology Field Camp I & II?
  • No, Geology Field Camp I requires only Physical Geology and Historical Geology and permission of the Field Camp Director. Students receive substantial instruction in the field supported by evening lectures which introduce topics to be covered the following day.  Geology Field Camp II requires that you have taken Geology Field Camp I,  Mineralogy-Petrology, and Structural Geology, or have permission of the Field Camp Director.  We assume greater academic experience and include more individual exercises in this part of field camp.
Why is Field Camp taught in so many locations?
  • If you take both Geology Field Camp I & II you will work at three different sites:1. South Dakota School of Mines, Rapid City, SD; 2. Northwest College, Powell, WY; 3. The Seminoe Mountains, located about 50 miles southwest of Casper, WY. In addition, you will stay overnight in Bear Lodge, Bighorn Mts. (2 night), Grand Tetons National Park (2 nights). We chose to travel between these locations because it gives more variety to the exercises and it provides more opportunities to see the geology of the northern Rocky Mountains. One more thing, moving around prevents boredom.
Will we be camping?

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  • We have camped in the past but we will not be camping this year. Why? Because camping involves bringing a lot more equipment which is only used four times and it often requires that students borrow or buy items they don't already own. In the Tetons, we will be staying in tent cabins for two nights (sleeping bags required). One advantage of this arrangement is that we are located closer to visitor facilities than we would if we were in group camp sites.
How are the exercises organized?
  • At the beginning of camp you will be given a field camp manual, a 3-ring file containing approximately 100 pages of information necessary to complete the class. The objectives of the field exercises, the methods to be used, and the specific assignments for each exercise are described in detail in the manual. Data are collected in the field and the exercises are completed in the evenings.
Do the type of exercises vary with location?
  • Yes. During the first part of camp (Rapid City) all the exercises last for one or two days and are intended to introduce you to the techniques of field work. Most exercises last for 2 or 3 days at Powell, where we begin to map larger areas with a greater variety of features. During Geology Field Camp II the exercises may last for up to six days and involve more exercises where you will be working on your own.
Will I receive help in the field?

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  • Yes. The professors and teaching assistants will be in the field with you every day. Student:Instructor ratios will be around  6:1. Early exercises involve mapping in relatively small areas to ensure that students are never too far from an instructor if they need assistance. As your abilities increase, so too will the size of the map area.
What will the weather be like?
  • Weather can certainly influence your enjoyment of camp and we try to time our trip west to ensure it will be warm enough to do work in the northern Rockies (so we don t leave until late May-early June) but not too hot for larger mapping exercises in the arid basins at the end of camp (we finish in early July before daily temperatures reach the 100's). Temperatures in the field may range from 40's-90's F, but are more often between 70-85 F. Precipitation is generally not a problem, we lost only two days of field work due to rain or snow in the last five years. We have been snowed on a few times but students seem to find it more of a highlight than a problem. You should bring a rain-proof and wind-proof field coat that can be easily stored in your day-pack.
Why does Geology Field Camp cost so much?
  • Consider two things. First, how much is tuition? Tuition and fees will be approximately $335/credit hour (exact rates will not be released until late in the Spring semester), totaling about $2200 for six credits of Geology Field Camp I & II. The operating costs for camp are approximately $1800 (see separate cost estimate). That includes all meals and lodging. Have you checked to see the summer rate for a decent hotel room these days? We could save money by spending more time camping but we believe that working conditions would deteriorate. Students work hard in the field all day, we feel it is important to be able to come back to a dry room, a warm shower and a good meal. We have worked hard to keep costs as low as possible. Students do not pay for instructor salaries or their  living expenses as part of their costs.
When is Geology Field Camp taught?

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  • Geology Field Camp I: late May until mid-June
  • Geology Field Camp II: mid-June until early July
How can I travel to Geology Field Camp?
  • If you chose to travel to camp on your own, you can join us at Palmerton Hall on the campus of South Dakota School of Mines or we can meet you at the Rapid City Airport. If you wish to travel to field camp with us (as most students do), we will leave the University of Akron campus at 8.00 a.m. on a Saturday in May. We may be able to pick you up along I-80 & I-90 if you live between Akron and South Dakota. Field camp begins and ends in different locations, make travel plans accordingly. It takes two days to travel to camp and three to return to Akron. GFC I will return to Akron in mid-June.
How do I apply to attend Geology Field Camp?
  • Complete and submit the electronic application form linked to the field camp homepage and send a copy of your transcripts. Applications will be accepted until March, or until places are filled, which ever comes first.
Any other questions?

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  • Please contact me if you have any questions about the Geology Field Camp program. I can be reached by phone (330-972-8046), by fax (330-972-7611), by e-mail or by letter (Field Camp Director, Department of Geology, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-4101).