2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 36
Presentation Time: 6:30 PM-8:30 PM


ANDERSON, Donna S., Geology & Geological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Dept Geology, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401 and MISKIMINS, Jennifer L., Petroleum Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Dept Petroleum Engineering, Colorado School of MInes, Golden, CO 80401, dsanders@mines.edu

The petroleum-engineering (PE) geology field camp at Colorado School of Mines is a cross-disciplinary outdoor geology laboratory near Rangely, Colorado. In existence for over 35 years, the two-week field camp is the last geology course for PE majors following two junior-level lecture/labs in sedimentology-stratigraphy and structural geology. It is also a bridge to a capstone senior-level integrated design course in which PE students work with geologic and geophysical engineering students on cross-disciplinary petroleum geoscience projects.

Geologic objectives for the camp include 3-D visualization and how to link surface to subsurface, gather and analyze multiscalar data, relate petroleum engineering to geologic workflows, and integrate engineering, geologic and geophysical technology. Activities consist of daily outcrop-based labs related to nearby oil and gas fields. Labs use mapping, measuring section, sketching, and note-taking to promote geologic thought processes: geophysical data link the outcrop to the subsurface. Two labs emphasize 3-D visualization of stratigraphic pinchouts and folds, which for many students is the first time they actually “see it.” Another lab relates student-gathered data from an outcrop fracture pavement to subsurface strain patterns. In a daylong “Acquisition Game” teams analyze oil and gas properties based on the geologic and engineering data analyzed over the two weeks. Challenges include: 1) teaching iterative thought processes; 2) creating 3D visualization exercises; 3) fostering an applied science approach; and 4) maintaining a positive attitude toward geology and the outdoors. Evaluation methods consist of reports, exams, daily journals, individual and small-group feedback sessions, and questionnaires.