Iowa State Geology Field Camp Part 1 of 2


The field camp is a required course for
any earth science or geology major at Iowa State. It entails a six-week course
out in Wyoming. The I-S-U geology department has a field station located
near Shell, Wyoming, which is right at the base of the Big Horn Mountains. It’s an
amazing location I’ve never been anywhere like that before. I can’t wait
till I get to go back. They just built a new building two years ago called the
Smith Family Lodge and that has a mess hall and classroom in it. The whole
building is air-conditioned so that makes a good place to hang out, do your
homework, where you eat, where you have class. It helps a lot have a nice nice shelter
like that and it has a beautiful porch on the back that looks right into the cliffs of
Chug Water right behind camp so that’s something you don’t get experience very often. Going out in the field we go out pretty
much from 8 a.m. every day, except for sundays, and we’re back by dinner time.
We have time to take showers before dinner, thankfully, and when we’re out in
the field it can be hot it can be cold it can be raining it can be dry but
we’re still out there. Sometimes you end up walking, hiking 6 miles around an
anticline mapping it, looking at all the different sedimentary units, so, looking
for faults it’s, it’s quite an experience you, you might struggle at first but then
you’ll get it down and it really helps you get ready for all your career is
going to be like. From Iowa State the field camp manager is Mark Matheson. He
runs the field camp for the whole six weeks that we’re out there and he really
makes the place round and he does a great job of that. And then there’s also
Carl Jacobson, who is the structural geology professor from Iowa State. He
comes out for a couple of weeks to do the structural part looking at
anticlines and sank lines and mapping structures like that. And then Jane
Dawson comes out from Iowa State and she does the trip that we take to
Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons and the Wind Rivers. She does that project with us and
she’s great at that because her specialty is in igneous and metamorphic
rocks and that’s what the mountain belts are so she’s really great at doing that.
When you first get out there you kind of stay with your groups of friends from
Iowa State or from Nebraska and as time goes on you get put in groups with other
people, they’re randomly assigned groups, and you really get to know everyone by
then you can and you make friends with everyone and those are friendships that
will last forever. Everything that we learn in the classroom, it makes sense as
you’re learning it but you don’t get a visualize
it completely until you get out there in the field. Especially in the Big
Horn Basin you get to see everything that we learn about is out there and it
it’s perfect it makes perfect sense they’re amazing looking structures they
haven’t been completely weathered away so you can really see it when you
actually get up on a hilltop and look out you can see all the folds and all
the different units.