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Geology Field Camp: About & Cost


Each summer, Idaho State Geosciences offers a five-week, 6-credit capstone course in field geology.  Our camp is unique in that six or more of our field-oriented faculty participate as instructors. For continuity, our field camp director remains at camp for the entire 5 weeks. This broad faculty participation, in addition to the geologic diversity in central Idaho, allows our students to become confident, broadly-trained field geologists prepared either to pursue careers in the Earth Sciences or dive into research projects in graduate school.

Our “basecamp” approach, which includes a full-time cook, reduces the need to drive long distances to our field sites, and ensures that we maximize our time, honing skills in field geology. Our camp also provides amenities such as bathrooms with showers, laundry facilities, and computers with wireless internet all at our outstanding field station--the Lost River Field Station near Mackay, ID.

Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on developing an individual's ability to observe, record, and interpret field relationships. Accordingly, students prepare several complete geologic reports, including digital data and maps. Our students come from across the United States, and their diverse backgrounds contribute to the learning experience.

Our field camp features a low student/faculty ratio with high standards. Exercises involve detailed rock descriptions and geologic mapping using air photos, topographic maps, GPS and remote sensing computer applications.

Be ready to "jump in with both feet" to an intensive 16 hour-a-day, 6 days-a-week group learning experience. Completed assignments are due several nights a week, with a culminating final map project due at the end of each field area.

Since the country is scenic and steep with rugged mountains, the most important prerequisite is for you to be in robust physical condition and be willing to push yourself in a cooperative group learning environment.

Those applying need to be a junior or senior Geoscience Major.  Specific course prerequisites are somewhat flexible, but Structural Geology and Sedimentary Geology are required with a minimum grade of "C" or better.


The total cost for Summer 2021 will be $5,362.00 for undergraduates and $5,979.82 for graduate students (taking the class at the graduate level).

The totals above include both tuition for the 6-credit class ($402 per credit for undergrads, $504.97 per credit for grad students) and student fees ($2,950.00) for lodging, facilities, meals, Wi-fi, some class supplies, transportation to and from Pocatello, and fieldwork transportation during the duration of the camp.

Non-resident fees (i.e. out-of-state tuition) are waived during the summer session.

Please, check with Ryan Anderson or the Geosciences Office [208-282-3365] before paying any fees.