Summer Field Courses

Observations in the field are an integral part of learning about the Earth and its environments.  Undergraduate majors in the department are required to take the introductory field course (ESci 3911) and one advanced field course (ESci 4911-Advanced Field Geology or ESci 4971-Hydrogeology). 

Students studying geology in Montana

Summer Field Courses




Please hold off on registering for summer field courses (February 25, 2021)
Hello everyone, 

We understand that registration for summer courses has recently opened and that many of you are eager and anxious to enroll in your preferred field courses. However, due to evolving conditions regarding Covid and vaccine distribution, the department has not yet made a final decision about how or when these courses will be offered. Additionally, some students will need to have priority access to these courses in order to graduate in a timely manner. These considerations were part of the rationale for Prof. Teyssier circulating the field survey yesterday. (If you haven’t yet responded to this survey, please do so here).   

For now, we ask that all students please hold off on trying to register for summer field courses.  

We promise that as soon as we have a final decision, we will move forward with registration in a fair and equitable way that allows each of you to plan their summers. 

Thank you for your understanding!

Annia Fayon 
Josh Feinberg
David Fox
Christian Teyssier

2021 Summer Field Courses updates: A message from Professor Christian Teyssier, Chairperson, Field Committee (February 24, 2021):

Hello ESCI undergraduate students,

The department's Field Committee would like to provide an update on this summer's field courses. As we mentioned in our Dec. 14 email, we are committed to teaching all three courses (ESCI-3911, ESCI-4911, and ESCI-4971W). The question is, in what form will they be?

As you know, the University is deeply concerned about the spread of Covid-19. At this point it appears that University courses will be online this summer, but we can request an exception, and this is what we intend to do. We are actively working on a range of options, from all online to all in-person, with the possibility of hybrid modes. The options are summarized below:

1. If the University does not authorize in-person courses, then we will teach all the courses online. In this case, we will likely revise the timing of the courses, and possibly the duration of the courses (the number of credits will remain the same); we will let you know as soon as we can.

2. If the University gives us sufficient time for in-person teaching at the end of the summer (a few weeks before classes begin on Sept. 6, 2021, we will consider a hybrid mode; we will shorten the online portion of the courses, and add extended field trips and possibly a full field course.

3. If the University allows us to teach in-person this summer, we feel that it should be later in the summer in order to provide more time for wider vaccination. In this case, we would propose to concentrate the courses in July and August, possibly as follows:

     July: 3911 (section 1) and 4971W

     August: 3911 (section 2) and 4911

We expect to have a very large enrollment in 3911 this summer. If we are in this scenario of in-person teaching, we request that those of you who are taking Field Hydrogeology (4971W ) enroll in the August section of 3911 (3911 is not a prerequisite for 4971W). Students planning on taking the Advanced Field Geology course (4911) will be required to take the July 3911 section.

To help us with planning for different scenarios, we need help from you! Please complete this short survey so we can work out logistics and be as prepared as we can for summer instruction.

We should have more definite information as we proceed over the next couple of months, and we will share this as it becomes available. We really want to exhaust all possibilities of taking you to the field before we commit to all-online courses. We hope your semester is going well!

Field committee:  Scott Alexander, Hannah Blatchford, Annia Fayon, Josh Feinberg, David Fox, Mark Griffith, Nora Loughlin, Christian Teyssier, chair, Josie Welsh

Please continue to check back for updates or email Annia Fayon, Field Course Coordinator.