Field Camp

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Field Camp

Located at the OSU Les Huston Geology Field Camp facility near Cañon City, Colorado, GEOL 3546 - 6 credit hours, Field Geology can be taken for undergraduate credit. This 5 week course begins in late May and ends in June. Initial projects familiarize students with the local and regional lithostratigraphy through detailed measurement and description of stratigraphic sections. Strong emphasis is placed on proper mapping techniques as well as employing the scientific method to explain the origin of geologic features. Traditional mapping techniques including pace, aerial photography, topographic maps and Brunton traverses are augmented with GPS and digital imagery. Projects also include environmental geology exercises and geophysics.


2015 Field Camp

The 2015 field session began May 18 and ended June 19, 2015. Enrollment was 60 students from eleven colleges and universities including Arkansas Tech, Central Michigan, Duke, Georgia Southern, Missouri State, Sam Houston State, SUNY Binghamton, UT Dallas and OSU. This summer marked the 66th anniversary of field camp at the Eightmile Creek location.  In the past nine years, students representing 47 different institutions have attended camp. Our camp is staffed with four fulltime faculty, 2 cooks, 2 teaching assistants, an emergency medical technician and graduate student maintenance person.

Highlights of the 2015 camp included rain and cool weather. Eightmile Creek maintained flow throughout the summer and Grape Creek was too swollen to cross. The grass was green in field areas and there were no fires or smoke. We visited Leadville and learned about treatment of mine discharge water, visited Garden of the Gods, observed mine operations at the Anglo-Ashanti CCV mine at Victor, went underground with the Mollie Kathleen mine tour,  and climbed the tallest dune at Great Sand Dunes National Park.

The 2016 Field Camp:

Transportation is provided for all field exercises.  Also, transportation from Stillwater, Oklahoma to the camp, or to and from the airport in Colorado Springs, CO, are available at no extra cost.  Students are welcome to drive  personal vehicles to the camp and may use them during free time and sightseeing activities before and after the camp.  Personal cars may not be used for field exercises.

The Les Huston Geology Field Camp contains 7 cabins built in 2008 and 2009 for students, and several vintage rustic cabins used by the faculty and staff.  In addition to the cabins,the facitility includes centeral dining and kitchen facilities, a computer lab and drafting room, and restroom/shower facilities.  The cabins are furnished with bunk beds and mattresses.  Students must provide their own sheets, blankets or sleeping bag, and pillow.  Weekday meals including sack lunches are provided.  Hot meals are not served on weekends, but college survival food including breakfast cereal, leftovers and sandwich fixings are provided.  Affordable restaurants and fast-food are available in nearby Canon City.  Transportation is provided to Canon City for weekend meals, shopping or laundry.


Faculty members teaching at the OSU field camp come from several different institutions and reflect the makeup of the camp.  For the past several years, faculty members have been from OSU, Univeristy of Oklahoma, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Amarillo College.  The 2015 faculty came to camp with a combined 39 years of experience teaching this course.


The 2016 field camp will begin May 17 and end June 18, 2016. It is anticipated that enrollment will include approximately 30 seats for non-OSU students. To ensure a spot, apply early.


The total fee is $2,800 per person. This includes a tuition fee of $924.00 and camp fee of $1,86.00, which covers room and board, transportation to and from field areas and maintenance costs. Out-of-state tuition is waived for this program.


Students must have completed 60 hours of college credit. In addition, students must have completed courses in physical geology, historical geology, mineralogy, petrology, stratigraphy and/or paleontology and structural geology. Students that do no meet these requirements should contact the field camp director for permission to attend.


Registrations are accepted on a first come/first served basis. While the deadline is April 1, 2016, the course is often filled by October. Once filled, we will start a waiting list. If we have any drops, we will contact those on the waiting list first to fill the spots.


Send an email to Dr. Jim Puckette at You will shortly receive information on registering online. Complete the forms and return them with a check (or credit card information) to cover admission and deposit fees. Once we have received your completed registration forms and deposit, you will be assured a space in the program.


Field geology is physically demanding and students are expected to be conditioned to hike over rough terrain and climb steep slopes at elevations around 6000 feet above sea level. One project area requires students to ascend in excess of 700 feet on a steep slope to enter the mapping area. The faculty and staff expect students to prepare for the rigors of fieldwork prior camp.

Canon City sits at the boundary between the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains.  This boundary is often called the Front Range Uplift and consists of Proterozoic basement-cored uplifts with dipping sedimentary strata on their flanks.  Excellent exposures of Precambrian to Cenozoic rocks permit the study of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks.  Within easy driving distance are some of the more spectacular geologic features of the western United States, such as Dakota Group Hogbacks, Pikes Peak, Royal Gorge, Spanish Peaks, Garden of the Gods, Pulpit Rock and Fountain red beds.
The Les Huston Geology Field Camp is easily accessible from U.S. Highway 50, a primary east-west motorway that connects to Interstate 25 at Pueblo, CO.