The University of Georgia Department of Geology will hold
its Geology Field School for its 24th year in Cañon
City, Colorado. Our Field School is the capstone experience of our
undergraduate program in geology and includes the field application of
our core geology courses. The Geology Field School is run jointly with the University of South Carolina whereby both schools
contribute students and faculty. This arrangement allows us to increase
the diversity of our faculty's expertise as well as to keep costs
Field work is concentrated in the Cañon City area, where the
geology is dominated by Laramide uplift and subsequent erosion along the
Rocky Mountain Front. This has produced a series of Precambrian-cored
structures flanked by folded and faulted Paleozoic and Mesozoic
sedimentary rocks. Cañon City lies within an embayment between
two of these Laramide uplifts, the Front Range and the Wet Mountains,
and these structures are spectacularly displayed within the area. Other
features in the Cañon City area include isoclinally folded
Precambrian metasediments and Precambrian to Tertiary intrusive and
volcanic rocks, and mineralized zones.
In the Cañon City area, students measure, describe and
correlate classic Paleozoic and Mesozoic sections. These observations
are used to construct a geologic column of the region. Completion of
this work establishes the basis for geologic mapping of structures
involving the same stratigraphic units in the Cañon City area.
Projects increase in complexity as the course progresses. The geology is
mapped on aerial photographs or topographic base maps with the aid of
Brunton compasses and handheld GPS units. In the evenings or during
scheduled office time, students prepare final geologic maps and cross
sections on digital topographic maps or aerial photographs, facilitated
by GIS software.
In addition to stops on the way from Athens, Georgia to
Cañon City, we conduct two major field trips. The first trip is
to the Arches-Canyonlands and Book Cliffs areas in eastern Utah, during
which we study depositional environments, sequence stratigraphy, and
sedimentary basin analysis. The second trip is to the Jemez Mountains
of New Mexico and San Juan Mountains of Colorado, where we study
Tertiary volcanism, ore deposits, and environmental geochemistry.
Additional short day trips include mining districts near Cañon
City, Great Sand Dunes National Monument, and Capulin National Monument.
The field course is taught by three to four Geology faculty and one
to two teaching assistants. Typical enrollment is 12-20 students,
which provides for an excellent student-to-teacher ratio.
While in Cañon City, Colorado, we stay at The Abbey School
and each student has their own room. Breakfast and dinner are served at
the Abbey School. Students pack their own bag lunch for the field.
Our tentative dates for 2012 are May 16 (leaving Athens) - June 28
With the current upswing in the number of Geology majors at UGA and nationally, we will likely not be able to accept non-UGA students, however a waiting list has been established for summer 2012 - contact Dr. Doug Crowe (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Projected cost for summer 2012 will likely be: program fee of $2850 + tuition, which covers room and board, and all transportation, including roundtrip transportation between Athens, GA and Canon City, CO.
The prerequisites for Field School are GEOL 3010, 4060, and 4500. However, we recommend GEOL 3020, 4010, and 4020 in addition to the prerequisite classes. Students should register for GEOL 4270 for 6 credit hours during the summer session.
Students should check the equipment
list to determine what they will need for the program.