Physical Science

Field Geology Course

Anticipated dates for 2020

  • Session 1: May 18-June 19
  • Session 2: June 15-July 22
Map showing Cedar City's location in southwestern Utah.

We are currently preparing a new application form for the 2020 sessions of Field Geology.  Please return to this site for the link near the end of October.

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 province enhance the experience.

To gain acceptance to the field camp program all students must have taken and passed, or be currently enrolled in, courses in Sedimentology/Stratigraphy, and Structural Geology.

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

Field camp students in Capitol Reef National ParkField camp students at Bryce Canyon National Park

Sponsored By : 

How to Apply

After you apply online (fill out application here) AND submit your transcripts, we will review your application.  The review of applications WILL NOT BEGIN until December, 2019. 

If accepted, you will receive an e-mail from either Dr. Kaiser or Dr. Shimer.  Please be patient regarding these emails.  Once you are accepted you will eventually receive further instructions to begin registration and payment for the camp.

Once you receive notice of acceptance from Dr. Shimer or Dr. Kaiser, you will also received a link to a deposit payment site and an attached PDF form to fill out for admission to SUU for the summer.  The deadline to pay your deposit is February 14, 2020.  If we do not receive confirmation of deposit payment by that date you will shift to the waitlist and your spot will go to another student, as we will assume you are no longer interested in the SUU field camp.


Course Information

Please return for updated syllabi.

Additional Information:


Total estimated cost for Field Geology is $3000 . 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 in early May.

If you have been notified of acceptance to Field Geology, you will receive an authorization code to pay your deposit.  Once you receive your code please click on this link to access the deposit payment site:  Field Geology Deposit

When you make tuition and fees payments you will primarily deal with the SUU cashier's office.

Housing and Food

Weekly campground costs are included when we are in the field, but housing in Cedar City and all food are not included in the cost of the field camp. Information about housing options can be found on the SUU Housing website.

In 2019 the approximate cost for 5 weeks of housing at SUU was $300.


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 (SUU Housing website), physical education facilities, computer laboratories, 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, tent, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag, 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 syllabus link above and will also be provided with your acceptance letter to the program.  Students are responsible for their own meals; cooking equipment can be provided upon request.

Health Insurance

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

Once accepted to the course, all students should fill out a health history form and the SUU liability waiver and email scanned copies to the lead faculty member listed for the correct session of the camp (contact information below). 

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