2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 156-8
Presentation Time: 3:35 PM


HUGHES III, Richard, San Bernardino Community College District, Crafton Hills College, 11711 Sand Canyon Road, Yucaipa, CA 92399, rihughes@craftonhills.edu

One of the most enticing and beneficial components of geosciences is the opportunity for field studies and real-world applications. Many professional geologists often claim that their academic field study experiences were a primary reason they chose to pursue the geosciences for a career. The Crafton Hills College geoscience department has developed a field program that consists of one credit classes. Each class examines the geology of a particular region in either central and southern California. One class is offered each semester, including the summer session. A total of nine classes exist in the program. Three classes are alternated for each fall and spring semester and summer session. The nine classes allow students to experience the diversity of California geology during the course of their college pursuits.

Each one credit class consists of a required weekend camping trip and several class meetings, where the students learn basic field procedures, field etiquette and the geologic setting of the study region. The average class enrollment is approximately 20 students. Once the field excursion is complete, the students are required to develop a field report due at the end of the term.

Since the inception of the program, interest in geology and the number of majors has increased dramatically. Most students return to complete numerous field classes before graduating or transferring. This promotes the program and also provides an excellent opportunity for experienced students to mentor newer students. These classes provide the students experience working with geologic tools and instruments in the field as well as developing the ability see the world from a geologic perspective. A robust collection of field classes is the staple of a successful academic geoscience program, as exhibited by Crafton Hills College.