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Field Camp

The EES department strongly encourages all of our majors to attend a summer field camp, especially if you are considering graduate school in the geosciences. A geology field camp is a course where students will solve geological problems outside, in the field.

Traditionally, geology field camps have emphasized making geologic maps, so students learn rock identification, map reading, orienteering skills, and map interpretation.

Some field camps specialize in certain aspects of geology, and many offer subsections in hydrogeology, geophysics, and environmental sciences. While many field exercises are still completed with pencil and paper, some integrate GIS and GPS into their courses. Because there is a range of field courses, it is important to check the required prerequisites, but some programs enforce these prerequisites differently. 

There are many options for field camps in terms of length, focus, and location, so it is worth looking at a number of them to consider your options. The website maintains a list of field camps and a few essays about what you’ll do at field camp and how to choose an appropriate one. The essays on this page are a good place to start thinking about what field camp is best for you:

 For virtual field camp ideas, please check here:

The list below includes field camps that Vanderbilt students have either attended or have seriously considered:
  • The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology often offers multiple different field camp options. These change every year and some of them are abroad:


For a more comprehensive list of field camps other than the ones listed here, see