Geology Field Camp

  • Sheep Mountain, Greybull, Wyoming

  • Sheep Mountain outside of Greybull, Wyoming

  • Students recording notes during Field Camp

  • Ojito Wilderness, San Ysidro Valley, New Mexico

  • Students working together and taking measurements using geologist tools.


  • Petrology
  • Sedimentology/Stratigraphy
  • Structural geology

Or equivalent courses.


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

Alamosa, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Silverton, Colorado

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Taos, New Mexico

Moab, Utah

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


Person item component: matthewmckay
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Dr. Matthew McKay leads the Missouri State geology field camp.

Dr. McKay is an associate 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 Memphis, 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.