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Physical Geology in the Rocky Mountains

A special summer school course for any first-year student

If you're interested in the outdoors and natural sciences, consider taking GEOL105: Introductory Physical Geology in the Rocky Mountains. This 4-credit lab science course takes place Aug. 7-Aug. 23, 2020, just before you begin your first year at Augustana College.

Study geology in the Black Hills of South Dakota and the spectacular Rocky Mountains of Wyoming, where a wide variety of rocks and processes are evident. You will learn about earth materials (minerals and rocks), structures, composition,and a variety of dynamic processes.

This rigorous course begins and ends on campus, but in between you'll have opportunities to hike the mountains, camp with friends, and learn geology! (Students should anticipate challenging hikes at high elevations).

Dr. Michael Wolf and Dr. Jeffrey Strasser co-direct the program.

The first class meeting will be at noon Friday, Aug. 7, in the Swenson Hall of Geosciences, Fryxell Geology Museum. The course begins with one day of preliminary study on campus, followed by two and a half weeks of field study.

The field work will include geologic investigations of the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota, and Devil’s Tower and the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming, followed by work in the Wind River Canyon (Owl Creek Mountains), before returning to campus. Additional post-trip study ends on Aug. 23.

GEOL105 carries a Natural Science (PN) course suffix, thus partially fulfilling the general education graduation requirements.

The $1,500 program cost includes tuition, transportation and all related field expenses (i.e., food, course supplies, group tents, ground pads, camping fees, and appropriately warm and compact, brand-new synthetic sleeping bags). Participants must supply other camping gear: field clothing and boots, day pack, and personal toiletries, medium duffle bag.

The program is limited to 12 students and is targeted toward  newly enrolled students; therefore, priority is given to incoming first-year Augustana students.

New student registration for GEOL105 requires a $500 non-refundable (if accepted) deposit by May (sent along with application). Payment-in-full (the remaining $1,000) must be made by the July billing date.

"The trip is one of my best memories to date. It gave me an appreciation for how beautiful our world is and how insignificant we are in its history, yet how big an impact we have made in a short term. Being immersed in a class helped me better grasp the material and learn some new study strategies that I still apply now."

— Caitlin Lebel '18, pre-veterinarian major
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