Summer Geology Field Camp


GEOS 4686

Our geology field course is designed to instruct undergraduate students in a variety of field techniques and introduces them to regional aspects of the geology of western Montana and environs. The course is six weeks in length and is offered for six hours of credit.  Applications will be available in November  and will be due to our office in early December.  Notification of acceptance will be by the end of December.

Geology of the Northern Rockies


Students participating in the University of Arkansas field course are given an opportunity to learn a range of field techniques and transition from a student-learner to an independent scientific observer within a regional framework characterized by diverse geological features. Field mapping of Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks in two areas within the Wyoming-Montana fold belt near Dillon allow insight into structural and historical aspects of the Laramide/Sevier orogenic belt. Experience in mapping metamorphic terrains is provided by a project east of Dillon. Precambrian schist, gneiss, marble, amphibolite, and quartzite are exposed in this area. While based at our second base camp at Elkhorn Hot Springs, Montana, students will grapple with hydrogeology and contaminant transport projects. Additionally, they will apply field skills to deciphering the advance and retreat of several glacial intervals at a nearby location.

The field course location allows for a transit through some of the most spectacular National Parks.  Precambrian sedimentary rocks of the Belt Supergroup and glacial geomorphic features will be featured in a visit to Glacier National Park. The Snake River Plain, the Tetons and Yellowstone National Park provide exposure to volcanic terrains, and the role of tectonics.

  The class will check-in to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.  En route to Dillon, Montana, the class will visit geological features in the Front Range of Colorado, and in the foothills of the Wind River Range in Wyoming.

The class will check-in to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. En route to Dillon, Montana the class will visit geological features in the Front Range of Colorado, and in the foothills of the Wind River Range in Wyoming.

The University of Arkansas Field Camp is dedicated to a positive field camp experience for all students from a diverse background. Students will be expected to:

  • Hike ~ 3-5 miles per day in a variety of terrains and conditions (hilly, flat, hot, cold, rain, sleet)
  • Work in groups of 2-8
  • Live in proximity of others (you will be sharing a room)

The UofA make every effort to offer equal educational opportunities for all students with a variety of abilities or disabilities, if you feel you would need accommodations please contact the class faculty and the Center for Educational Access as soon as possible (

A useful article on what to expect from field camp can be found here:

  GEOS 4666


The major bases of operation are the campus of the University of Montana, Western in Dillon, Montana, and Elkhorn Springs about 30 miles southwest of Dillon. Dillon is in the valley of the Beaverhead River on the Lewis and Clark Trail.


The Geology Field Course will be under the direction of the following faculty members:

* Gregory Dumond, Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, Structure and Tectonics

* Phillip Hays, Ph.D., Texas A &M University, Hydrogeology and Isotope Geochemistry

* Celina Suarez, PhD., University of Kansas, Stable Isotope Geochemistry of Fossils

* Adriana Potra, Ph.D., Ph.D. Florida International Univ., Geochem/Ore Deposits

* Andrew Lamb, Ph.D. Boise State University, Geophysics

The faculty members will be assisted by 3 graduate students.
  In Dillon students are housed in residence halls on the campus of the University of Montana, Western. Occupancy is normally two students per room. Morning and evening meals and sack lunches are prepared by the campus food service. The Western campus in Dillon and all parts of the town are within walking distance. Cabins with separate quarters for men and women are utilized at Elkhorn Springs. Hot showers and a well-lighted work area are located in an adjacent building. Excellent meals are prepared in a dining hall at the springs. Elkhorn Springs is in a picturesque valley at an elevation of about 7000 feet in the Pioneer Range. Camping will be required on the drive from Arkansas to Montana and while we visit the National Parks.


Approximately $4800.

Instructions for obtaining temporary admission to the University of Arkansas will be mailed to out-of-state students upon acceptance into this course. Students will also be apprised of their scholarship status at that time. Enrollment is limited.

For University of Arkansas students, scholarship application deadline is February 15.
Return your application and transcripts by Friday, January 18, 2019 to:
Geology Summer Camp
Department of Geosciences
University of Arkansas
340 N. Campus Drive / 216 Gearhart Hall
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701

Sample of Meals Provided

May 23-24-25 B, L, D  
  May 26 D  
  May 27 B, L, D  
  May 28 D  
  May 29-30-31-June 1 B, L, D   
  June  02  
  June 03 B, L, D   
  June 04 D  
  June 05-06-07 B, L, D   
  June 08  
  June 09 B  
  June 10 – 11 No Meals Travel
  June 12 B At UM/Western Cafeteria
      Travel to Elkhorn Hot Springs
  June 12  L, D At Elkhorn Hot Springs
  June 13-19 B, L, D  
  June 20  
  June 21-23 No Meals  Travel to Glacier National Park
  June 24 D In Western Nebraska
Summer Camp 2016 2016 University of Arkansas Summer Geology Field Course
Summer Camp 2014 Summer camp 2015
Summer Camp 2013 2013 Summer Camp
Summer Camp 2012 2012 Summer Camp
Symmer Camp 2011 2011 Summer Camp