We hope that our field camp will be a memorable experience for you. We will be working in many great places and you will observe a wide variety of geologic and scenic features, some of them truly exceptional. And we have many enjoyable activities planned as well.
However, please keep in mind that the field camp is a capstone course and is a rigorous academic exercise for which you will receive 6 credits. We have high expectations of you, and we expect your best individual efforts. Also, you will be expected to be a team player and contributor.
As the field camp progresses, you will learn how to study geology in the field, and how to construct geologic maps, cross-sections, describe rocks, and much more. It is our goal that your time here is productive, so please let us know of any problems that may detract from this productivity. We continue to improve the course every year based on your input.
*Our camping localities will not have internet access, so count on focusing on your map projects throughout the entirety of Summer Field Camp! Each day we will have some cell phone service, so communication is possible.
The following rules must be observed
Only lawful activities and permitted
- The use of illegal drugs is prohibited.
- Alcohol may not be consumed by anyone under the age of 21.
- No alcohol may be transported in University of Nevada, Reno vehicles.
- No weapons (guns, knives, etc.) are permitted (small pocket knives are OK).
The lead instructor is in charge
- You are expected to comply with the requests of instructors and TA’s.
- Similarly, please be courteous to your fellow students and listen to any personal requests.
- The camp kitchen must be kept clean and neat after meals.
- A rotating schedule will be assigned for general camp/kitchen cleanup and organization.
Tolerance and patience are necessary
- We ask that you be tolerant, patient, and considerate with fellow students; we all have to live and get along together.
- Sexual harassment is expressly forbidden; this includes subjecting others to sexually offensive material or speech. Immediate expulsion will be implemented.
- Quiet hours are 10:00 PM – 6:00 AM (no loud music, loud noises, etc.).
- You are expected to engage in safe practices at all times. This includes when in camp, while in the field, and while driving. Please report any unsafe conditions to instructors. We are often in relatively remote locations, where extra caution is needed.
- First aid kits are located in all vehicles and in camp.
- Important medical history (drug and food allergies, etc.) should be brought to the attention of instructors and TAs for each portion of the field camp.
- Safety in the field and while camping
- Always have an emergency plan; vehicles will be unlocked, with students apprised of the location for the keys. In the event of emergency, know the route to the hospitals in Ely, Bishop, and Reno.
- Every field party or team must have a first aid kit with them in the field.
- Carry your cell phone and make sure you have instructor and TA cell numbers in your contacts; although we may not always have reception, it is worth having them just in case.
- Use appropriate eye protection when hammering rocks.
- Use care when moving about in steep topography, particularly where there are loose rocks – be aware of who is above and below you.
- Watch for rattlesnakes; they are common in all of the places we will be working.
- Hantavirus has not been reported as a problem in Nevada in recent years, but it is wise not to stir up or inhale dust in areas where there may have been rats or mice.
Safety with vehicles
- Drivers must safety inspect their vehicles each morning before leaving camp.
- Drivers are responsible for ensuring they have charged radios and complete first aid kits.
- Drivers are expected to obey all traffic laws.
- Use special care when driving off-road in vehicles, and stay on established tracks.
- Vehicles: treat them as your own; you may be required to pay for damage.
- You are expected to keep your vehicle clean; remind passengers to clean up at end of day.
- Report any unsafe conditions or unsafe practices to the lead instructor immediately.
- There is strictly no smoking in vehicles.
- If you must smoke elsewhere, always clean up butts and matches.
- Keep a distance of 50 feet from tents, common areas, and buildings
- Be aware of fire hazards and know where the extinguishers are.
Students are responsible for supplying/buying and cooking their own camp meals during this course. We will provide kitchen equipment for this, including numerous propane-burning stoves, a small oven, pots/pans, water, and coolers. Each week, we will have a dedicated grocery-shopping trip. We will also go through a town with a store almost every day, so small replenishments of your food supplies are possible. Cooking in groups is strongly encouraged as it is less time consuming, spreads daily responsibilities, allows for more diverse meals, and is fun.
- There will not be wakeup calls – you are expected to take care of your own schedule.
- Students will generally consume their breakfasts at ~7:00 AM, and should make easy, fast, and nutritious meals; eating times may change depending on specific schedule.
- Make your lunch before 7:45 AM; please bring extra food the first couple of days until you determine how many calories you are conformable with during strenuous field days.
- Pre-field briefing (if needed) will occur at 7:45 AM.
- Departure from camp will be at 8:00 AM for most projects, otherwise a bit earlier
- Generally, we will return to camp by 5:30 PM.
- Students will generally cook and eat 6:00-7:00 PM; travel into town for meals is possible ONLY on days specified by the lead instructor.
- Rotating camp crews (typically 3 students) will be responsible for cleaning tasks of the group gear and areas immediately after dinner. They will also encourage individual cleanup of the shared cooking gear.
- On most days, you should work on your maps, notes, reports, etc before and after dinner, as lighting permits; some evenings there will be lectures or discussions which will generally be announced at dinner.
- When all other work is done, your evenings are your own time; BUT students may NOT leave camp without permission of the lead instructor.
- On most of your days off, there will be optional field trips to scenic and/or geologically- interesting areas. If you like, you may stay in camp on these days, but please make sure you inform the instructor the night before.
- There will be opportunities for washing clothes and going to town.
- On some days off, UNR vehicles will be available for local trips, such as for mineral collecting, fishing, hiking, hot springs, etc., but not for long trips to places like Reno.
PERSONAL VEHICLES are allowed, but you must inform the Director (Prof. Zuza) you are driving. Students should not drive daily for exercises, but may use vehicles after workhours for grocery, restaurant, or laundry runs.
Grades and course evaluations
We are very much interested in your comments so we can continue to improve the course. A course evaluation will be provided at the end of each weekly exercises your anonymous feedback. Your constructive feedback is very much appreciated and will help improve the course for future students.
A letter grade will be generated from your performance on projects in each session, as well as from the final project. Even though you will work in teams, we will assess each person’s individual completed projects. We also change around the teams for each exercise. Your final grade will reflect the letter grades you have received in all of the projects. However, your final grade will also be based in part upon your behavior in a group dynamic situation and your citizenship including teamwork, cooperation, compliance with camp rules and willingness to help around camp. We believe that this reflects the real world; it is important for future employers to know that a person can adjust to a group situation where sacrifice, good judgment, and tolerance are required.
A final word
Compliance with these rules and policies is essential to everyone’s safety and to learning and having a good time. Compliance is also mandatory. If you find it impossible to follow these rules or to give us your best efforts, you may be leaving the field camp early and without any credit. Please sign the waiver linked to below. It will be sent to Andrew Zuza.
Sign the rules and regulations waiver