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

Paper No. 12
Presentation Time: 11:00 AM


OVER, D. Jeffrey, SHELDON, Amy L., FARTHING, Dori, GIORGIS, Scott, HATHEWAY, Richard, YOUNG, Richard A. and BRENNAN, William, Department of Geological Sciences, SUNY-Geneseo, Geneseo, NY 14454-1401, sheldon@geneseo.edu

The Department of Geological Sciences at SUNY Geneseo has been offering extended intersession (January) field trips both nationally and internationally for undergraduate geology majors since 1993. International field trip locations have included Costa Rica, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad and Tobago. In each case, all facets of local and regional geology have been included, as well as cultural and recreational activities. The trips are typically two weeks in length, are restricted to upper-level majors, and occur on an alternating year basis. The field trip is an integral part of a capstone experience that also includes related pre- and post-trip seminars. In the semester preceding the field trip, students perform literature research on the geology of the destination and present their findings to the department in a formal presentation. While abroad, students assist in leading discussions at stops pertaining to their topic, and perform field exercises ranging from stratigraphic descriptions and sequence interpretations to small scale mapping. These exercises have added focus and rigor to day trips and evening write-ups. In addition, students choose small research projects that involve sample and/or data collection on site, followed by analysis upon returning to campus. Students present the results of their research in a second formal seminar presentation during the semester following the trip. Projects have involved minerals, ore, sediments, fossils, petrology, surface water, and structural complexities, many of which have been presented at the college research symposium.

The itinerary has been the responsibility of one faculty, in each case the most familiar with the locality visited. Whenever possible, local experts have also participated. Once on-site a minimum of travel has proven the best, thus our focus on small islands with diverse geology. Camping, hostels, and motels/guest houses have served for lodging; meals have been prepared by faculty and students, catered, or been in local eateries. Financial responsibilities for students have included air fare, personal gear, medical insurance, inoculations, one credit registration, and $100-500 for food and lodging. The department, largely through the alumni fund, has covered ground transportation, fees, and junior faculty travel.