Geoscience students experience off-campus study in a variety of settings and formats—from weekend field trips that examine geological sites in the Northeast to multi-week and full semester programs in distant US or foreign locations. Geoscience faculty lead two programs—the GEO 299 Geoscience Field Studies course and the Australia/New Zealand semester program.
GEO 299 and the Australia/New Zealand program are relatively easy to incorporate into a geoscience major program because they count directly toward major requirements. However, with some careful planning, geoscience majors can also participate in other programs and still graduate on time. Geoscience students have participated in the HWS Ecuador program and have also pursued studies at other universities in England, Germany, Ireland, and Australia.
GEO 299 Geoscience Field Studies
GEO 299 is a two to three week long field course that takes place outside of the normal semester in a location of special interest for geoscience study. Students completing the course receive a single course credit. This past year, the course began just after the end of the Spring semester and travelled through southwestern Utah and northern Arizona studying the geology of classic sites like Zion Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and the Marysvale volcanic center. Planning is now under way for future offerings in the northern Rocky Mountains and Hawaii. Depending on the faculty involved, the course may have a geologic, atmospheric and/or paleobiologic focus.
The Queensland program is a semester long integrated field and lecture experience based at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. The program focuses on geology and the marine and terrestrial ecology of eastern Australia with several extended field trips to Lamington National Park, Stradbroke Island, Carnarvon Gorge, and Great Barrier Reef, but also includes homestays in Brisbane and introduction to Australian history and culture. The final portion of the program consists of a multi-site expedition in New Zealand where students explore the unique geological features of the North and South Islands.
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city with a population of 1.8 million, is the country’s main economic and commercial center. Sometimes called the “City of Sails”, Auckland is the home port of more boats per capita than any other city in the world. Spread out across an isthmus outlined by the Pacific Ocean, Waitemata and Manukua Harbours, Auckland is very much defined by its neighborhoods, each with a distinctive character and tempo.