2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 9:15 AM


WEBB Jr, Fred, Department of Geology, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608, webbfj@appstate.edu

International geology summer field camps are not field trips per se, but problems encountered by both types of programs are similar. Although the relative importance of each logistic task required for leading one of these programs depends on factors such as the nature of the location and its infrastructure, travel costs, and backgrounds of the participants, some shared aspects deserve more attention than others. Our experience with eight of these programs to northern Italy since 1996 has taught us some valuable lessons we describe here with the intention of helping others set up and lead their trips.

Our program has prerequisites that limit participation to students with at least third-year course work in the geology major. As the minimum number of participants required to fund the expenses and salaries of faculty and staff is 15, to reach the quota we recruit students from other universities mainly via our WWW site. Program participants must certify that they are physically capable and willing to take part in the rigorous field work part of the course. Applicants must submit information concerning dietary needs and relevant medical histories. Participants must subscribe to the health and accident insurance policy mandated by the university for all international program participants.

We have had access to relatively inexpensive housing accommodations (under 3.5 euros per day per person) in most years. These facilities which include kitchens, showers, and class rooms have been provided by local civic and governmental organizations. This good fortune in housing has been the result of connections and introductions provided by our Italian colleagues. Although there have been several housing crises due to double booking and facility renovation, we have found replacements so far.

We bring our own cook to prepare meals for the group on a flexible schedule that changes depending on the time demands of each field project. The cook must shop in local markets and be reasonably fluent in Italian.

Program cost for participants has been kept relatively modest primarily as a result of our ability to obtain housing for favorable charges. Prediction of program costs became more difficult after 2002 as a result of devalued U. S. currency. Regardless, cost of the 5.5 week-long program exclusive of air fare has remained less than $3000 since 1996.