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The traditional field camp experience for undergraduate students has been paired down to a five week interval, leaving little time to accomplish the dual tasks of training in field methods and completion of a major, independent project. To increase efficiency and provide students with more time to concentrate on field efforts, the geology program at BYU-Idaho has integrated four courses; Introduction to Field Geology, Sedimentation and Stratigraphy, Structural Geology, and Advanced Field Methods (field camp). Students, therefore, become familiar with methodology, proper report-writing format, and the general geology of their project areas prior to the beginning of the camp. This presentation demonstrates how these courses can be linked to enhance the effectiveness of field camp for undergraduate students. Introduction to Field Methods: Introduction to Field Geology (IFG) is taken just prior to the beginning of the Fall Semester of the Junior year. This course consists of a week-long trip through parts of Idaho and Wyoming and is used to introduce students to field methods; such as note taking, rock body description, measurement of stratigraphic sections, and illustration of relationships between stratigraphic units and geological structures. The trip also provides an opportunity for students to visit classic geological features and localities. Sedimentology/stratigraphy and Structural Geology: The sedimentology/stratigraphy and structural geology courses are taken concurrently during the Fall Semester of the Junior year and are taught by the same instructors who conducted the Introductory to Field Geology course. Samples collected during the IFG trip are used with student notes, drawings, and photographs as the foundation for many class discussions and for laboratory exercises. These are combined with a literature review to write a geologic summary and interpretation of the area visited during the IFG trip. The report is submitted jointly in both the sedimentology/stratigraphy and structural geology courses. Advanced Field Methods (Field Camp): The primary objective of field camp is to assure that students are capable of completing an independent field project. In some cases, a project is expanded afterward into a senior thesis that focuses on a specific problem identified during the camp, with results presented at a professional meeting. By conducting most of the training and introducing students to area stratigraphy and structure during the introductory field geology, sedimentology/stratigraphy and structural geology courses, more time is available to students for work on their project during the five weeks of camp. Final projects include maps, cross-sections, measured sections, and a geologic report.
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