The number of students reported to be taking geology field camp has increased 37% in the past five years, 53% in the past 10 years, and is up 10% over 2010, according to the latest Geoscience Currents fact sheet from AGI. In 2011, attendance in geology field camps totaled 2,525 students.
The report combines data from continuing field camps and camps newly added to the database. However, the report notes that "A total of 94 fi eld camps have consistently reported field camp attendance data for the past five years (2007-2011), and 76 fi eld camps have consistently reported attendance data for the past 10 years (2002-2011)." The attendance increase percentages above are attributed to these sources.
I'm frankly surprised at the strength of this growth. There is a perception among many of us that geoscience students are turning away from field work to focus on computer-based work in the office. But the old adage that the best geologists are the ones who have seen the most rocks, may still have some cachet.