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Angelo State University Field Camp Emphasizes Geologic Mapping and Problem Solving

Joseph I. Satterfield¹ and James W. Ward²

¹Angelo State Texas Tech University, Department of Physics and Geosciences, San Angelo, TX
²The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Odessa, Texas

Abstract

Angelo State University (ASU) geoscience program includes 70 – 80 majors and three full-time faculty. In summer 2013 ASU ran its first-ever five-week summer field course with twelve students and two instructors. ASU field camp teaches traditional geologic mapping skills while mapping in three diverse geologic settings in the North American Cordillera: a) Triassic – Cretaceous siliciclastic and evaporite rocks in a Laramide fault-propagation fold near San Ysidro, New Mexico, b) Mesozoic metamorphic tectonites, Cretaceous granitoids, and Tertiary volcanic rocks in western Nevada, and c) Cretaceous carbonate rocks deformed in Laramide folds and Basin and Range faults in Black Gap Wildlife Management Area, Big Bend region, Texas. Students also complete hydrology projects on the Dixie Valley Hot Springs, Nevada and on the Rio Grande within Big Bend National Park. ASU field camp offers several unique advantages. A key advantage is the low student-teacher ratio; enrollment is limited to twelve students. Student costs are kept relatively low by offering scholarships. Two of three map areas are sites of ongoing research; one area had not been mapped before 2013. Instructors compile a field camp guidebook containing project requirements, relevant papers, and safety information. ASU field camp provides opportunities for students to draft geologic maps, construct cross-sections, and write scientific reports that integrate diverse data sets to solve complex problems under tight time constraints. Skills learned and practiced at field camp prepare students to solve problems in graduate school and in future careers. The first ASU field camp was supported by a 2013 Southwest Section AAPG grant.

 

AAPG Datapages/Search and Discovery Article #90190©AAPG Southwest Section Annual Convention, Midland, Texas, May 11-14, 2014