2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)
Paper No. 224-4
Presentation Time: 2:15 PM-2:30 PM


REYNOLDS, Jim, Environmental Studies, Mathematics, and Natural Sciences, Brevard College, Brevard, NC 28712, reynoljh@brevard.edu

The idea of organizing and leading an international geological student field trip is too daunting for most people to consider. This presentation is gleaned from various successful trips led for the Geological Society of America (GSA), Brevard College, or the Appalachian College Association (ACA) to northern Argentina, Patagonia, Iceland, Costa Rica, Italy, and Bolivia. Basic steps that need to be taken are an appealing itinerary, sponsorship, travel accommodations, advertising, and recruitment.

Having 2-3 trips in mind, a year in advance, is advantageous because some trips don’t make for a variety of reasons: failure is an option. Not investing large amounts of time planning a single adventure until it makes helps overcome the disappointment of failure.

Delegating work is critical. Institutional sponsorship alleviates most worry about advertising but guidance is needed to keep costs down. Travel agents also climb a learning curve to adapt to geological excursions. A reliable in-country travel agent provides innumerable advantages. Local agents can find hotel, meal, and transportation deals available to few stateside agents. The itinerary should cover what the leader wants to see but supplemental ideas provided by the agent can be highlights of the trip, particularly if the country is new to the leader. On two occasions, travel agents expanded their businesses into the student market on a regular basis after successful geology trips.

Finding students to make the trip is the hardest task, usually because of the cost. Students have an almost innate fascination with geology but many do not realize it. Brevard’s trips are offered as the lab component to a 4-credit sophomore level course for which students receive lab credit. A 2-credit Pass/Fail course is available for those just interested in participating on the trip. Upper level students are able to apply what they learned in their classes while introductory students are given a field foundation on which to base their future studies. These courses will be offered to the entire ACA as an online course.

An interdisciplinary approach, such as Geology and Archaeology or Geology and Ecology draws students from a wide range of interests. Co-leaders learn about their colleague’s discipline and students begin to see connections across disciplines as an integral part of science.

2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 224
Geoscience Education II
Colorado Convention Center: 603
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Wednesday, 10 November 2004

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 36, No. 5, p. 519

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