Geology Field Camp

  • Geology field camp

  • Checking out the mountains

  • Surveying the scene

  • Rocky terrain of the Southwest United States

  • Geology field camp

GLG 413 Field Geology — An upper-level, six-credit hour, field camp.

Earn college credit as you explore the geology and terrain of the Southwestern United States.

How to apply

Apply directly through the Office of Education Abroad.

Admission is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Space is limited, so apply early!

Key details: a geology field camp recent example


Departing from Springfield on May 18. Returning on June 21.

Note: If flying into Springfield, please plan on arriving on May 17 and departing June 22.


Approximately $2,500 course fee + $1,488 tuition = $3,988 total cost

What your costs cover

  • All lodging and meals, except for two fast food lunches on the drive out and back.
  • Transportation from Springfield to the field camp and back.

We will also issue you a brand-new Brunton pocket transit and weatherproof field book. You can keep both at the end of the camp.


  • Petrology
  • Sedimentology/Stratigraphy
  • Structural geology

Or equivalent courses.


Our field camp crew departs from Springfield, Missouri and travels to geologic field areas in:

Alamosa, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Silverton, Colorado

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Taos, New Mexico

Members of Geology 413 field camp overlooking hilly terrain.

What to expect

Multiple days of field work in areas with dry, mountainous terrain.

You collect field data and use it to complete project deliverables in an office-like setting at our lodging.

Where you’ll stay

We will camp at the beginning of the course for six days (some primitive camping, some at established campsites with showers, etc.).

We will then stay at several ranches and ski lodges in the middle portion of the course. At the end, we will camp for four days.

What do the field exercises cover?

A lot, including:

  • Geology of the Rocky Mountains and Southwestern United States
  • Sedimentology and stratigraphy
  • Structural geology
  • Igneous and metamorphic petrology
  • Economic geology
  • Field mapping
  • Geophysics
  • Tectonics
  • Geomorphology
  • Subsurface fluid dynamics
  • Hydrothermal systems

Dr. Matthew McKay leads the Missouri State geology field camp.

Dr. McKay is an assistant professor of geology at Missouri State University. He completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science at the University of Alabama, and PhD at West Virginia University.

His field-based research blends field geologic mapping with petrology and radioisotope age dating to investigate mountain-building processes.

He has worked at Chevron, Statoil and the Geological Survey of Alabama and published research on rocks from all seven continents. During his career, he and his research group have mapped over 300 square miles (and counting!) and taught field courses in New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Africa.

Outside specialists

The Missouri State field camp also employs outside specialists to teach portions of field camp.

In 2019, Dr. William Jackson, assistant professor of geology at the University of South Alabama, took charge of teaching the stratigraphy intensive portions of the course.

He received his BS from the University of Alabama, MS from the University of Memphis and PhD from the University of Alabama. He is currently active in research projects throughout the southern Appalachians, Bighorn Basin and eastern Tibetan Plateau.

Additional staff and graduate instructors will be present, depending on availability and enrollment.