Summer Field Camp

Geology 436

Field Camp 2021 Last Week Singleton Copy

Summer 2023 Field Camp

May 25-June 30, 2023

Course Description:

The Colorado State University Geology Summer Field Course (GEOL 436) emphasizes a rigorous approach to geological field studies, with a strong concentration on geological mapping.  The course is taught throughout Colorado and New Mexico.  The course is divided into modules taught by specialists in these areas.  Each module will include a final report that will be prepared in the field.  Please note that, at this time, field camp is open to CSU students only.

Check out this article about students’ field course experience. Watch our video of the field camp experience!


John Singleton, Sean Gallen, John Ridley, Jeremy Rugenstein, Dan McGrath


May 25, 2023 to June 30, 2023


GEOL344, GEOL364, GEOL372, GEOL376; Recommended: GEOL454, GEOL366


Recommended reference texts: Class texts in each of the required courses as listed above and a mineralogy reference book; field and camping equipment (list handed out)


Students enrolled in GEOL 436 will be assessed summer tuition and fees based on their residency status.  In addition to the standard tuition and fees, students will also be assessed a special course fee for GEOL 436.  The special course fee assists with transportation and lodging costs associated with the field course.  Please visit the Student Financial Services website for information on summer financial aid.

Are funds tight?

Apply for our Field Camp Scholarship to help cover costs.

* Important *

This course will adhere to the Academic Integrity Policy of the Colorado State University General Catalog and Student Conduct Code. A student may be dismissed from the course at the discretion of an instructor for impairing the safety of others or themselves at any time during the course whether in the field or not; for impairing the ability to return to the same area the following year; and for violating local, state, or federal laws. A student can be refused access to the field if intoxicated or otherwise impaired.

The Colorado State University Student Conduct Code applies to conduct that occurs on University premises and at University-sponsored programs or activities. It also applies to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the University community, poses a threat to persons or property, or damages the institution’s reputation or relationship with the greater community.  The Director of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services decides whether the Student Conduct Code applies to off-campus conduct on a case-by-case basis.

Required Forms

Field Camp 2023 Agreement – Please sign and return to department

Field Camp 2023 Waiver – Please sign and return to department

Medical Information form – Please complete, sign, and seal in an envelope. Return to department. These will not be opened except in case of emergency and they will be destroyed at the conclusion of field camp.

Course Schedule

Link to full schedule

Week 1: Canon City, 5/25 – 5/30

Week 2: Canon City, 6/1 – 6/7

Week 3: Mountain Campus, 6/10 – 6/15

Week 4: South Fork, 6/17 – 6/23

Week 5: Lime Creek, 6/24-6/30


Please Note: All students are required to stay overnight with the field camp group until the morning of the final field camp date before returning home. This will apply to every student without exception.


If you wish to seek alternative field camp experiences, please make sure the program is approved by our field camp faculty and fully transferable. Some approved, online field camps are offered by Indiana University, the University of Michigan, The University of Wyoming, and the University of Illinois.

All other field camps could well be an option but are being evaluated on a one-to-one basis. More information on online field camps can be found on the NAGT website.

Please contact us if you are planning to take an alternate field course, so we can adjust our enrollment.


  • Special note: Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, additional safety precautions will be implemented. You will recieve information and instruction on these precautions prior to the start of field camp.   
  • You have to sign a liability and medical information form and hand them in to the Academic Success Coordinator prior to the departure.
  • Students are responsible for supplying their own camping equipment and for buying and preparing their own food. It is highly recommended to form cooking groups of 3–4 persons. There will be opportunities to purchase groceries at least once a week, with more numerous opportunities to purchase food (and ice) at smaller markets.
  • Students are responsible for bringing field mapping equipment, except Brunton compasses and GPS equipment, which will be available for loan from CSU. In addition, first aid kits will be loaned by CSU, and, as needed, radios. Students are responsible for proper care of equipment from the time received to the time properly checked back in by a TA or instructor. Damage or loss of equipment will be billed to the student.
  • Students and faculty will camp or stay near field project areas and use CSU vans for daily transportation to the project sites. A limited number of personal vehicles will be allowed on the trip on a first-come, first-served basis.  Personal vehicles are allowed for transportation to camp sites and for use after hours. People using CSU vehicles to transport their gear must limit their gear to reasonable amounts (e.g., maximum of one week’s supply of food).  Please note that CSU is not liable for any damage to personal vehicles used during the course and that vehicle owners are liable for their vehicle and any damage incurred to the vehicle during the course.  CSU is not responsible for insurance coverage to personal vehicles and vehicle owners are responsible for providing insurance for their own vehicle.
  • Approximately one day of free time per week is scheduled, with timing dependent on weather.


Field Equipment:

  • Hand lens
  • Geological hammer and holster. Avoid very light-weight hammers. See instructors for more advice.
  • 2 hard covered field notebooks, plain ruled (not grid)
  • Mechanical pencils (H or 2H lead best)
  • Ultra-fine point black or blue Sharpie pens are excellent for note-taking, but recognize these cannot be erased (which is okay) but they do not work in wet conditions.
  • Fiber-tipped drafting pens, multicolored, must be waterproof (test them before buying!)
  • Good eraser and extra lead for pencils
  • Waterproofed clipboard for base maps and 9″ x 9″ aerial photos (min. size 10/13″) with heavy acetate cover sheet to keep maps clean and dry, or something like:

Magnet (combination scriber/magnet or swing magnet preferred)

Photo of magnet and scriber combination tool
  • Pocket knife (Swiss Army-type with scissors work best)
  • Acid bottle (get plastic or polyethylene and label clearly as containing acid!)
Photo of small acid bottles with caps
  • Permanent, black felt-tipped marker (e.g., Sharpie) for marking samples
  • Mapping ruler with protractor (get an extra)
Photo of mapping ruler
  • Colored pencils (at least 12 colors: get waterproof ones!)
  • Day pack for 3 liters of water, extra clothing, personal first aid kit, lunch, samples, camera,
  • Some type of notebook case or field vest 
  • Chapstick and sun screen (waterproof 15+ to block UVA and UVB, not suntan lotion)
  • First aid kit (small) w/ ace bandage, gauze pads, Band-Aids, Tylenol
  • Binoculars, camera (optional but highly recommended)
  • (Brunton compasses, GPS, radio, and surveying equipment furnished by CSU)

Course Equipment:

  • Calculator or computer (bringing a laptop is recommended); flash drive
  • Straight edge
  • Drafting tape (masking tape type)
  • Course textbooks: Ig-Met Pet, Structural, Sedimentology, Mineralogy reference book; Handouts
  • 8.5x 11” graph and tracing paper
  • Grain-size card (commercial or home-made)
  • Equal area stereonet (laminated, keep thumb tacks separately)
  • Geologic glossary (optional)

Required Field Clothing:

  • Sturdy hiking boots in good condition (middle-weight are best); make sure they fit well and are broken in! They should cover the ankles
  • Broad-brimmed hat for sun protection—very intense sun over the course of long days
  • Loose, comfortable clothing for very hot to very cold weather, long pants best for brush, zip-off pants/shorts ideal
  • Watch (water resistant)
  • Mittens, gloves, warm hat, for cold days
  • Sunglasses (dark, neutral gray do not distort colors, glass lenses are more scratch resistant)
  • Good rain/wind gear (waterproof-breathable fabrics like Goretex are recommended)

Camping Gear:

  • Medium-sized tent built to withstand high winds (plenty of adequately long stakes) and horizontal precipitation. Tents that can be completely sealed up (not simply no-see-um mesh) are much better for keeping fine dust out.
  • Folding chair
  • Warm sleeping bag, foam pad, flashlight and ground cloth
  • Lantern
  • Small cook stove, cooler for food, cooking and eating utensils (organize in groups!)
  • Large duffel bag(s) for your gear
  • Repair kit, with needles, thread, wire, duct tape, tools (we will have a camp tool kit)