Summer Field Camp

Five weeks in the field with the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering.

Planned dates:
May 24 - June 28, 2023

GEOL 451 2023 Course Application
Due February 15, 2023

Field Camp Director
Andrew Zuza,

We are now accepting applications for the 6-credit Summer Geology Field Course for 2023. Course dates are tentatively set from May 24 to June 28, 2023, although these dates are subject to change. The exact exercise schedule will be formulated over the coming academic year, but we intend to run field exercises in eastern California and eastern Nevada that center around geologic themes of the North American Cordillera and Basin and Range extension. This course will involve camping for the entire duration of the camp.

If you have questions, please contact the Camp Director, Andrew Zuza.

Applications are due February 15, 2023. Send them directly to Camp Director Andrew Zuza. Students will be notified of their acceptance into the course in March 2023. If we are unable to fit you into the course, deposits will be refunded.

The course fees total $3,300, which includes tuition costs, vehicle use, campsite fees, operating costs, field manuals, course materials and supplies, cooking supplies and propane, and other miscellaneous fees associated with running the course. Non-residency fees are extra. Food is not included, but we provide group camping gear to cook great backcountry meals, including several campsite cooking stoves, pots/pans, and utensils.

Group of students walking along a partially snowy ridgeline.

The Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno, offers a comprehensive, capstone, five-week, six-credit summer geology field camp class.  The focus of the course will be to develop advanced field skills, including rock description, generation of geologic maps, and illustrating the geometries of deformed rocks with cross-sections.  Through a series of mapping-based exercises, field camp students will gain the ability to understand complex field relations in three dimensions.  This is enhanced by the incredible geologic setting of these exercises, which includes several world-class geologic sites in eastern Nevada, in the heart of the Basin and Range province, and in eastern California, where the Basin and Range meets the Sierra Nevada.

Students will traverse the North American Cordillera during field exercises across Nevada and Utah, with especially memorable field trips to Great Basin National Park and the Snake Range metamorphic core complex.

Course information

  • Course Title: Geology 451 (6-semester credits)
  • 2023 Fees: $3,300 (non-resident fees also apply for out-of-state students)


Courses in mineralogy/petrology, sedimentology/stratigraphy, structural geology, and field methods.  If you are lacking one or more of these courses, it may still be possible to attend camp. Please contact the Field Camp Director to discuss your individual situation.  Credit will be posted in the office of the registrar at the end of the summer term (mid-August).

Field Camp Scholarships

We are excited to announce that we have secured funding to offer two $1,000 scholarships for the 2023 Field Camp. This support comes from the National Science Foundation through the GEOAllies project to improve diversity and inclusion in the geosciences. Awards will be based on financial need and merit, and final selection will be made by a committee of University geoscience faculty.

To be considered for this scholarship, we require (1) a letter statement and (2) a letter of recommendation. The letter statement should focus on your plans for the future, and how field camp and this scholarship will be beneficial to these plans. Both items should be sent to the Field Camp Director, Andrew Zuza. You can submit your letter statement with your Field Course application, and please ask your letter writers to email their recommendation letter directly to Andrew Zuza.

This scholarship is open to all University and non-University Field Camp students. Awardees will be notified in Spring 2023 and is contingent on attendance to the course.

Please note, there are additional scholarship opportunities through the Geological Society of America and Geological Society of Nevada. We strongly encourage students to look into these great opportunities.

GEOAllies and NSF logo

Field Camp alumni

Students from all over the U.S. participate each year. Below is a list of schools where our Field Camp alumni have come from.

  • Arizona State University
  • Boston University
  • Case Western Reserve
  • CCNY
  • Central Michigan University
  • Clemson University
  • Colby College
  • College of Charleston
  • CSU Bakersfield
  • Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Harvard University
  • Keene State College
  • Muskingum College, Texas
  • Pacific Lutheran College
  • Portland State University
  • Sacramento State University
  • Saint Lawrence College
  • San Francisco State University
  • San Jose State University
  • Sonoma State University
  • Southern Mississippi University
  • Texas A&M University
  • UCLA
  • University of Alaska, Fairbanks
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Maine
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Nebraska, Omaha
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Puget Sound
  • University of Southern California
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Washington University
  • Whitman College
  • Whittier College

Things you should know

The Geology Field Camp will operate from May 24 to June 28, 2023. More information on the course structure and schedule will be posted at a later date. The camp is open to both University of Nevada, Reno and non-University students. Typically, the course is divided into four approximately week-long topical geologic mapping exercises, with specific themes including Quaternary, bedrock, metamorphic, and igneous geology. These exercises will build the students' broad knowledge regarding the geologic history of western North America from the Paleozoic to the present.


In mountainous areas of Nevada and California, you can count on cool evenings and warm to hot days in May and June. We will be working over a range of elevations from 5,000 to 10,000+ feet, so sunscreen and a hat are essential.  Most days are clear, but we have had light snows in June. Spring rains, including afternoon thunderstorms, are possible too, so rain gear is essential.


The exact 2023 schedule is still being formulated. Course dates are set from May 24 to June 28, 2023. More information about the course will be posted at a later date. Please reach out to the course director with any questions.

Transcripts after completing the course

Upon completing the course, please visit the following page to obtain official transcripts.

Meet the faculty of the Summer Field Camp

Summer Field Camp faculty
Andrew V. Zuza
Andrew V. Zuza
Associate Professor | Field Camp Director
(775) 784-1446
SEM 409
Summer Field Camp faculty
Joel Scheingross
Joel Scheingross
Assistant Professor; DGSE Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Chair he/him/his
LMR 372
Summer Field Camp faculty
Wenrong    Cao
Wenrong Cao
Assistant Professor
(775) 784-1770
LME 412
Summer Field Camp faculty
Philipp  Ruprecht
Philipp Ruprecht
Associate Professor He/Him/His
(775) 682-6048
LME 409
Summer Field Camp faculty
Drew Levy
Drew Levy
Field Camp Instructor

Recent former instructors

  • Mike Darin
  • Rich Koehler
  • Tom Anderson