Field Camp (GEOL 560/561)

A well-worn path leads to the recreation hall and two of the cabins at KU's Field Camp.

The Fremont Formation as seen from some of the student cabins.

KU Geology has operated a camp in the Cañon City, Colorado, area since 1922.  We occupy permanent facilities thirteen miles north of town in a rustic camp that will accommodate some 30 students. The rocks in the area are well suited to introduce students to field geology.  In most of our field areas of one or two square miles, the stratified rocks change from nearly flat-lying to complexly faulted and folded; basement rocks consist of intrusive and metamorphic suites.

The purpose of our geology field camp is to teach students to deal with exposures of rock that are larger than hand specimens and smaller than mountain ranges.  For this reason, the curriculum at our camp is focused to give students hands-on experience in structural mapping and stratigraphy. We work with rocks in the field nearly every day, and faculty assign each field project with a purpose in mind.  Each project is designed to convey a specific idea about geology or the methods of studying geology in the field.  A course in structural geology is a prerequisite, and we urge non-KU students to have had a field-methods course.  An enrollment of approximately 30 students is anticipated.

During the first part of the camp, we start students in the simple part of a field area, and they work their way into the more difficult geology, growing in their understanding as they map.  Moreover, the dry climate has provided good exposures, and the straightforward stratigraphy allows students to concentrate on structural mapping without having to worry much about making stratigraphic errors as to which rock units they are mapping. Much of our work deals with the lower Paleozoic section, but we also map Precambrian and Cretaceous rocks and do several stratigraphic projects that deal with almost the entire section. We also introduce some longer field mapping projects on hardened field laptops with GIS software. We may also spend part of the first part mapping sections in Utah and camping there.

The second part of the course emphasizes longer mapping projects exclusively using mobile devices and laptop computers and incorporates hardened field laptops and GIS software for mapping.  KU offers one of the few digitally-based field courses in the world.

Information about the course

Students at the University of Kansas field camp enroll in two, three-hour courses that operate consecutively.  Students are expected to enroll in both courses.  Our six-week, six-hour sequence of courses will begin on May 21, 2018 with the drive from Lawrence to the Canon City area.  Camp will end by July 1, 2018 or perhaps earlier with the return trip.  Students who wish may find their own transportation to and from camp. 

In-state tuition and fees in 2018 will be: for a single course (560 or 561) for Undergraduates: $1316.75 or Graduate Students: $1549.55: for both courses (560 and 561) for Undergraduates: $2893.55  and Graduate Students: $3176.30. Out-of-state undergraduate rates are a bit over twice those for in-state students, with cost of approximately $2650.00 per course. Students not previously enrolled at The University of Kansas will pay a one-time fee of $30.00. In addition, there may be some course fees associated with these classes, but any added costs will be updated as soon as possible.Tuition and fees pay for lodging in rustic cabins, transportation in Department of Geology vans from Lawrence to camp and return, transportation in the field, and some supplies. Students will provide their own food and fix their own breakfasts, field lunches, and, typically, dinners.  Dinners will be either in camp or in town at the choice of the students. Costs of all meals is the responsibility of the students.  Some scholarships are available, and students selected to drive state vehicles will receive a stipend that helps offset expenses.

We provide bunks, mattresses, Brunton compasses, aerial photographs, stereoscopes, and field computers.  Students are expected to provide their own textbooks, field gear, bedding, towels, and personal items. More information about camp, supplies, textbooks, scholarships, and being a driver will be sent later after we have received your application.  A booklet of information, maps, and worksheets is required at a cost of $5.00.  Faculty members this year will be Doug Walker, Diane Kamola, Andreas Moeller and Mike Taylor, and one or more teaching assistants.

We still have room for the summer of 2018 and we are accepting additional applications.   To apply, please complete the enclosed application materials and send them with an official, academic transcript directly to Prof. Walker at the Department of Geology.  Please do not send your application to the University's Admissions Office.  We shall take care of that for you. Enrollment will be done online.  If you have questions, please e-mail Doug Walker.  Thanks very much for your interest.

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Application Form

Scholarship Form - KU students only

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