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Field trips from Hawaii to the Grand Canyon

Hawaii
On their spring break trip 2017 to Hawaii, geology students and faculty “run” from a “red hot moving surface flow” during a 12-mile hike across lava fields where lava tubes flow from the Pu’u O’o vent and enter the sea in firework-sprays.

Geology provides many opportunities for students to observe and study in the field.

This begins for first-year students with GEOL105: Introductory Physical Geology in the Rocky Mountains. It is a 3-credit lab science course that takes place in August in the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming.

The department also offers three major field trips each year to places of geologic interest. Winter and spring break trips usually venture to some place distant, exotic, and warmer than Illinois. Field trips provide a great way to learn geology, enjoy nature and make new friends around the campfire.

Departmental field trips

Every year the department takes students to the Geological Society of America North Central meeting and the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show in Arizona. In addition past trips have included:

2019 Spring break geology of Death Valley, Calif.

2018 Spring break backpacking the Grand Canyon

2017 Tri-State Geological Field Trip, Wisconsin

2017 Spring break geology of Hawaii

2016 Spring break geology of Death Valley, California

2015 Spring break backpacking the Grand Canyon

2014 Spring break geology of Hawaii

2013 Spring break geology of Death Valley, Calif.

2013 Spring break geology of South Eastern Missouri

2012 Spring break backpacking in the Grand Canyon

2011 Spring break geology of Hawaii

2010 May in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado

2009 Winter break in the Florida Keys

Mike Wolf's mineralogy clas

Dr. Mike Wolf's mineralogy class traveled to Arizona to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show in February 2019. It is the largest gem, mineral and fossil exhibition in the world. Here the group is against a wall of 180-million-year-old crinoid sea creatures. (Even though crinoids are nick-named "sea lilies," they are marine animals, not plants.)

Death Valley

How low can you go? In this case, about 270 feet below sea level! The geology department spent spring break 2019 studying the rocks of Death Valley, California! (Photo by Matthew Harrington '19). 

Josh Pearson and Matt Harrington

Winning research from two geology seniors

Matt Harrington ’19 and Josh Pearson ’19 took home research awards from this spring’s joint Geological Society of America meeting

Jenny Arkle

Remote learning

To research mountain formation, Jenny Arkle travels to remote places. Her students can use the thermochronology lab on campus and also travel off campus—way off campus. 

Leech book explores 'city that ate itself'

Augustana's Dr. Brian Leech writes about how Butte, Mont., went from a booming mining economy to a shrinking town infamous for a toxic pit.