Summer Field Camp

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

Planned dates:
May 18 - June 18, 2022

Field Camp director
Andrew Zuza,

We are currently planning for the 2022 summer field course. Details for this course are not yet available, but please check back. The course will be 6 credits and probably run from May 18, 2022, to June 22, 2022. The exact dates may change. Course tuition will be somewhere around $3,000 for the course.

Applications will be posted online during the Fall 2021 semester, and will be due in early 2022.

Please let Camp Director Andrew Zuza know if you have any questions.

Camp Director: Andrew Zuza 

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)
  • 2021 Fees: TBD (depends on field course versus online class)


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 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
  • 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 before you go

The Geology Field Camp will operate from May 19 to June 18, 2021. 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.


A specific 2021 schedule is still being formulated. More information will be posted at a later date.

Meet the faculty of the Summer Field Camp

Summer Field Camp faculty
Andrew V. Zuza
Andrew V. Zuza
Assistant Professor
(775) 784-1446
SEM 409
Summer Field Camp faculty
Tom Anderson
Tom Anderson
Field Camp instructor
Summer Field Camp faculty
Wenrong    Cao
Wenrong Cao
Assistant Professor
(775) 784-1770
LME 412
Summer Field Camp faculty
Rich Koehler
Rich Koehler
Assistant Professor, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
(775) 682-8763
SEM 405
Summer Field Camp faculty
Philipp  Ruprecht
Philipp Ruprecht
Assistant Professor He/Him/His
(775) 682-6048
LME 409