Summer Field Courses

  • Dr. Joyashish Thakurta leads a class discussion

    Before embarking into the field, students in Dr. Thakurta's GEOS-5390: Geological mapping course receive some in-class instruction to prepare them for the sights they will see and the exercisesthey will perform.

  • Student performing measurement in the field

    A student takes a Strike-and-Dip measurement to determine the orientation of the rock body.

  • Dr. Gillespie leads a discussion in the field

    Students in Dr. Gillespie's GEOS-4380: Field studies in geology class learn about the unique landforms of Michigan's Upper Peninsula while standing on the rocky shoreline of Lake Superior.

  • Dr. Thakurta's class observes a landform

    Dr. Thakurta and his students observe an outcrop at Marquette Mountain.

Western Michigan University's Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences offers two field courses, all of which take place during the summer sessions.

  • The Hydrogeology Field Course is now offered in both summer I and summer II. Information about the Hydrogeology Field Course can be found on its webpage.
  • GEOS 5390–Geological Mapping is offered during summer I, from June 2 to June 15, 2018.

GEOS 5390–Geological Mapping

Required for majors in geology and geophysics (optional for hydrogeology majors)

Geological mapping is a course designed for students training for a professional career in geology. This course provides students with field mapping experiences, starting with rudimentary rock observations and compass use and ending with an extended, independent mapping project. Activities will include rock identifications, contact mapping, orientations of planar and linear features in rocks, cross-section and stereographic constructions, tectonic interpretations and reconstructions of the depositional, thermal and deformational history of the Marquette region. Upon departing from Kalamazoo, the class will spend a week visiting the Leelanau Peninsula, Tahquamenon Falls State Park and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The following week will be spent in the Marquette area for the purpose of field exercises, cross-section constructions, sample collecting and geological discussions.

Professor: Dr. Peter Voice

tuition costs

Please note—this course is 3 credit hours


  • Undergraduate—$467.34 per credit hour

  • Graduate—$596.25 per credit hour

Non-resident - admitted summer I 2017 or later

  • Undergraduate—$584.17 per credit hour
  • Graduate—$1,204.17 per credit hour

Non-resident - enrolled spring 2017 or earlier

  • Undergraduate—$1,155.06 per credit hour
  • Graduate—$1,204.17 per credit hour

Additional expenses

Lodging and transportation

  • $729

Lodging includes camping for three nights in State Parks and ten nights in a dorm at Northern Michigan University. Transportation will be via WMU-provided vehicles only.

Meals and incidentals

These expenses will vary depending on each individual's needs. Meals can be purchased at the NMU Student Union, in restaurants or be prepared at campsites. Incidental expenses will be for supplies, laundry, etc.


Students already admitted to Western Michigan University should register for GEOS 5390 as a summer course which will meet continuously for two weeks. Formal admission for non-WMU students is not required for this course; non-WMU students may participate by filing for Permission to Take Classes (PTC) status. Additional information will be supplied upon request.


For questions about course structure, content or scheduling, contact:

For questions about registering for a course, contact:

  • Dr. Michelle Kominz
    Undergraduate advisor (all programs, except earth science education and secondary integrated science education)
  • Dr. Duane Hampton
    Undergraduate advisor (earth science education and secondary integrated science education major)