Sunday, November 13, 2011

Geology field camp attendance is growing

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.


  1. Had 60+ in our Wasatch-Uinta field camp class in summer '10 from Michigan State, UW-Madison, U. of Minnesota, U. of Illinois and some others.

  2. Anonymous2:05 PM

    Real geology is done in the field; the data is taken to the office and interpreted. If the geologist in the field has little experience, the data that reaches the office is in question. Field geology and field camp are important aspects of reasonable geologic training.

  3. Anonymous6:29 PM

    One thing to think about too is that the increasing trend in field camp attendance is a sign of an increasing trend in undergrads choosing geology as a major, since field camp is a required upper-division course in most undergrad geology programs.

  4. It's the rocks that got me fired up about Geology in the first place -- I would feel very disappointed if my work didn't take me into the field at least part of the time.