Physical Science

Field Geology Course

Map showing Cedar City's location in southwestern Utah.

Summer 2017:

Session 1: May 8 - June 9 2017

Session 2: June 12 - July 14, 2017

Field Geology (GEO 4960), is a six credit course (semester system) structured to teach students the hands-on mechanics of field work and the preparation of geologic maps, cross sections and reports. This is an advanced level course designed for students who have completed undergraduate geology studies and are able to proceed into advanced mapping, analysis and interpretation of geologically complex terrains.

Experience is gained by preparing maps using aerial photos, topographic maps, the transit compasses, and GPS methodologies. Honing observational and interpretive skills is stressed. Exercises include work in sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic and mineralized terrains, many of which are structurally complex. Field trips into areas of the Colorado Plateau, and parts of the Basin and Range enhance the experience.

Students entering the Field Geology Course must have completed courses in Physical and Historical Geology, Sedimentology, and Structural Geology with experience in fundamental field methods.

Classes are held from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Weekends are free to explore the spectacular geology, culture, and scenery of the southwestern Utah area.

How to Apply

Application instructions

Course Information

Tentative Course Syllabus 2017

Weekly Schedule 2017 

A group of people learning in the outdoors

Additional Information:


Total estimated cost for Field Geology is $2550 . These fees include tuition, student fees, class transportation while at camp and use of most equipment (transit compass, pocket stereo, Jacob Staff, tapes, aerial photos, topographic maps, clipboard, hard hat, safety glasses, and GPS units). A $200.00 deposit may be required once your application is accepted. The remaining fees are due by May 1, 2017.

Housing and Food

Housing and food are not included in the cost. Information about housing options can be found on the SUU Housing website.


The Faculty leading each session will be Dr. Grant Shimer (Session I) or Dr. Jason Kaiser (Session II).


Headquarters for this course is the campus of Southern Utah University. Facilities include dormitories, physical education facilities, computer laboratory, and other typical campus facilities.

Personal Equipment

Each student will need at least the following personal equipment: a geology pick, 10X hand lens, day pack, hydration gear, sturdy hiking shoes, and field clothes. The terrain will be rough and the weather hot. A more complete equipment list is available by clicking the link above and will also be provided with your acceptance letter to the program.

Health Insurance

A personal health insurance policy is strongly encouraged as you are not covered by the University during non-classroom hours.

Area Information

Southern Utah University is located in the heart of one of the world's most varied geological areas. The campus is situated at the western edge of the Colorado Plateau and the eastern edge of the Basin and Range province. The base location is a beautiful, modern university campus only 64 miles from Zion National Park, 76 miles from Bryce Canyon National Park, and 22 miles from Cedar Breaks National Monument. It is within easy driving distance of Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef and Great Basin National Parks, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and Las Vegas.

Contact Information:

Summer Field Geology Course
Southern Utah University
351 W. University Blvd., SC309
Cedar City, Utah 84720-2498

Dr. Jason Kaiser
Phone:  435-865-8275
Fax: (435) 865-8051

Dr. Grant Shimer
Phone:  435-865-8429
Fax: (435) 865-8051