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Field Camp

Field geology (Geol 344; six credits) runs for six weeks and is based in the Park City region of the Wasatch Mountains, Utah.

Our summer geology field camp is designed to expose students to a wide variety of rock types and geologic settings. Projects are conducted in the Wasatch Mountains, as well as other parts of Utah and Nevada. Working in these areas allows us to examine various aspects of the contractional and extensional tectonic history of the North American Cordillera. Field areas include intrusive rocks, deformed sedimentary rocks, contact and regionally metamorphosed rocks (greenschist to amphibolite grade), and Quaternary landscapes and deposits.

Critical thinking skills are emphasized in our field course in the sense that students are required to think critically about the geology by examining field relationships. The curriculum is steeped in the fundamentals of geology and emphasizes field based analyses in field trips and projects.

Projects involve geologic mapping, rock descriptions, cross-section construction, stratigraphic section measurement and descriptions, stereonet analyses, and interpretations of geolgic histories. The projects are challenging, but considerable guidance and feedback are given during the course through interaction with the faculty, both in and out of the field, to assure that students become independently thinking geologists as the course progresses.

Field trips take the class to classic areas such as Capitol Reef National Park, the Great Salt Lake, and the impressive Bingham Copper Mine.

This geology field camp is taught by Tim Paulsen and Tom Suszek. Tim Paulsen is a structural geologist who has been working and teaching in the Wasatch Mountain area for over nineteen years. He has also worked extensively in Antarctica, focusing on the assembly and break up of Gondwana, as well as the neotectonics of Antarctica. Tom Suszek has been teaching in the area for over eleven years and has a broad background in geology that includes extensive experience in sedimentology, stratigraphy, economic mineralization and environmental geology.

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