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Shallow Geophysics Field School

A field course for environmental geologists, archaeologists, hydrologists, architects, engineers, and all who deal with Earth's near-surface

Course Format: Students learn the basic theory and operate geophysical instruments that are particularly suited to the characterization of shallow geological, sedimentological and hydrological features many of which have environmental, archaeologic al or engineering significance. The students complete an intensive 3 week, 3-4 hours/day course in the use of magnetic (MAG), electro-magnetic (EM), and radar (GPR) geophysical instruments. Additionally the student will use Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers to determine geographic location and will process data in a variety of display software. The objective is to create in the student a basic competence in the systems used such that they will be able to apply the specific techniques in other settings beyond that of the tutorial.

Course Setting: The students will alternate between lecture and field settings. Lecture periods will be held in the Geography, Geology, & Speech buildings (GGS) on the UGA campus. Most field problems will be held at the Scull Shoals historic area in the U.S. Forest Service's research forest located in Greene County, 25 miles from campus. One or two additional sites - possibly a landfill or dump site - will be visited, time and weather permitting. Transportation will be provided for field sessions.

Credit: 3 semester hours

Cost & Registration: Approximately $50/hour.
All students must be admitted to the university; those who are not should register before April 30.

Instructor: Dr. Ervan Garrison, Professor, Geology & Anthropology

Request application and information from:
Dr. Ervan Garrison (egarriso@uga.edu)
Department of Geology
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602-2501
Phone: (706)542-1097

Geology Field School

Twin Mountain The University of Georgia Department of Geology will hold its Geology Field School for its 24th year in Cañon City, Colorado. Our Field School is the capstone experience of our undergraduate program in geology and includes the field application of our core geology courses. The Geology Field School is run jointly with the University of South Carolina whereby both schools contribute students and faculty. This arrangement allows us to increase the diversity of our faculty's expertise as well as to keep costs reasonable.

Field work is concentrated in the Cañon City area, where the geology is dominated by Laramide uplift and subsequent erosion along the Rocky Mountain Front. This has produced a series of Precambrian-cored structures flanked by folded and faulted Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks. Cañon City lies within an embayment between two of these Laramide uplifts, the Front Range and the Wet Mountains, and these structures are spectacularly displayed within the area. Other features in the Cañon City area include isoclinally folded Precambrian metasediments and Precambrian to Tertiary intrusive and volcanic rocks, and mineralized zones.

In the Cañon City area, students measure, describe and correlate classic Paleozoic and Mesozoic sections. These observations are used to construct a geologic column of the region. Completion of this work establishes the basis for geologic mapping of structures involving the same stratigraphic units in the Cañon City area. Projects increase in complexity as the course progresses. The geology is mapped on aerial photographs or topographic base maps with the aid of Brunton compasses and handheld GPS units. In the evenings or during scheduled office time, students prepare final geologic maps and cross sections on digital topographic maps or aerial photographs, facilitated by GIS software.

CanyonlandsIn addition to stops on the way from Athens, Georgia to Cañon City, we conduct two major field trips. The first trip is to the Arches-Canyonlands and Book Cliffs areas in eastern Utah, during which we study depositional environments, sequence stratigraphy, and sedimentary basin analysis. The second trip is to the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico and San Juan Mountains of Colorado, where we study Tertiary volcanism, ore deposits, and environmental geochemistry. Additional short day trips include mining districts near Cañon City, Great Sand Dunes National Monument, and Capulin National Monument.

Course Format

The field course is taught by three to four Geology faculty and one to two teaching assistants. Typical enrollment is 12-20 students, which provides for an excellent student-to-teacher ratio.

While in Cañon City, Colorado, we stay at The Abbey School and each student has their own room. Breakfast and dinner are served at the Abbey School. Students pack their own bag lunch for the field.

Our tentative dates for 2012 are May 16 (leaving Athens) - June 28 (returning).


With the current upswing in the number of Geology majors at UGA and nationally, we will likely not be able to accept non-UGA students, however a waiting list has been established for summer 2012 - contact Dr. Doug Crowe (crowe@gly.uga.edu) for more information.

Projected cost for summer 2012 will likely be: program fee of $2850 + tuition, which covers room and board, and all transportation, including roundtrip transportation between Athens, GA and Canon City, CO.

The prerequisites for Field School are GEOL 3010, 4060, and 4500. However, we recommend GEOL 3020, 4010, and 4020 in addition to the prerequisite classes. Students should register for GEOL 4270 for 6 credit hours during the summer session.

Students should check the equipment list to determine what they will need for the program.