Summer Field Courses


Intensive 4-6 week courses to learn field mapping or marine science techniques. Several types of field projects are usually presented in a course (e.g. surficial geology as well as bedrock geology), and some programs are more specialized (e.g. hydrology, engineering geology, volcanology).


Many field camps are in the Rocky Mountains, but there are also international opportunities in some years. Some are traveling programs, others have fixed bases.


Maybe you! Most students are rising juniors or seniors, and some are recent graduates. They come from small colleges and large universities. Summer field courses are required for a Geosciences major at many schools (but not at Williams). Check prerequisites to ascertain eligibility. Most require structural geology, sedimentology and petrology (301, 302 and 303). If you’ve already completed an intensive field geology course like in Frontiers Abroad New Zealand, then another field course may not be necessary, talk to Bud Wobus.


A field course is required for admission to some graduate schools. It is potentially as important as GIS in your CV when applying for many kinds of jobs in Geoscience. And it’s a way to make your semester courses come alive, and to begin to build an association of peers in your profession. They can be a lot of fun as well as hard work: total immersion in geology in neat parts of the country, with students from all over. Some field courses can also be used to make up a course deficiency.


Summer field camps can cost up to $5000, and participating in one does keep you from making summer earnings while you’re at the camp. However, the Geosciences department has several endowed funds to provide partial scholarships for field programs for students up to a year after graduation. Other national scholarship programs are also available. And you will be immediately be eligible for new categories of jobs!


If you have any questions, contact Bud Wobus.


Here is a list of programs that Williams Geosciences majors have participated in, but there are other great programs out there! If you find one not on this list you are interested in, talk about it with Bud Wobus. Note that some programs have application deadlines before the end of the calendar year, and others at the start of the spring semester.


Albion College NOT OFFERED SUMMER 2020

Camp location and accommodations: Wyoming ; college dorms and camping
Prerequisites: 102, 301, 302 and 303 (or permission of instructor)
Duration and dates: NOT OFFERED SUMMER 2020
Approximate cost*: n/a
Capacity: 16 students
Application deadline: n/a

Indiana University

Camp location and accommodations: Tobacco Root Mountains (Montana); dorms
Prerequisites: 102, 202, 301, 302, 303
Duration and dates: 6 1/2 weeks; June 29 to August 8, 2020
Approximate cost*: ~$6910 (Indiana resident ~$5500); 65 scholarships available, average amount $1250
Capacity: 65 students
Application deadline: Ongoing until full (apply early for best scholarship awards.)

Lehigh University

Camp location and accommodations: Northern Rockies; camping
Prerequisites: 102, 202, 301, 302, 303
Duration and dates: Thursday May 28 or Friday May 29 to Tuesday June 30, 2020
Approximate cost*: $4500; scholarships available
Application deadline: Applications open Nov 15, offers made before Feb 15

Miami University of Ohio

Camp location and accommodations: Dubois, WY; ranch
Prerequisites: 102, 301 required; 302, 303 strongly recommended
Duration and dates: 5 1/2 weeks; June 9 to July 13, 2020
Approximate cost*: $5529
Capacity: 30
Application deadline: Applications open late fall, offers made in early Feb

University of Houston/Yellowstone-Bighorn Research Association

Camp location and accommodations: Red Lodge, Montana; dorms
Prerequisites: 202 and 301
Duration and dates: 5 weeks; June 1 to July 5, 2020 (Geology)
Approximate cost*: ~$3800 (Texas resident ~$2870)
Capacity: 20-25
Application deadline: Feb 14, 2020

University of Missouri

Camp location and accommodations: Lander, Wyoming; dorms
Prerequisites: 101 and 301 and at least one of 302 or 303
Duration and dates: 6 weeks; May 24 to July 4, 2020
Approximate cost*: ~$4600 (scholarships available)
Application deadline: rolling

* Cost includes room and board. Travel to and from the camp is extra.