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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, United States;
  • Program Terms: January Term
  • Program Cost: January Term
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English Click here for a definition of this term Minimum GPA: 2.0
Subject Areas: Environmental Science, Geology Housing Options: Other
Language Prerequisite: None Non-UST Students: Contact for application information
Program Sponsor: UST
Program Description:


  JT23 Geology
Program Highlights

  • Field work and research at spectacular sites throughout the southwestern U.S., including the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Zion National Park.
  • Prerequisites: GEOL 111, 114, 115, 130, 161, 162, 163, ESCI 132, or instructor permission
  • Fulfills: GEOL 260, Geology major/minor requirement, lab science core for all majors, ENVR/ESCI major requirement
Course Description
This course is an introduction to the major concepts of geology, as well as the methods of field geology. Students will learn how to collect, synthesize, and analyze geological data in the field. Students will spend 2 weeks in the field examining geological structures, faults, modern processes that shape the earth's surface and the ancient record of past climate and environments preserved in the rock record. Student teams will learn basic techniques and instruments of geological mapping and rock description, how to recognize geological structures such as faults and folds, ways to interpret the evolution of the earth from sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks, and to link surface processes with the rock record. This course prepares students for careers in both geology and environmental science but, for all majors, it also opens your eyes to the beauty of the earth.
Program Structure
In this field course during the day, students learn and practice many skills and concepts as we hike in wilderness areas around Lake Mead and examine features of several beautiful landscapes. We will spend several nights camping under the stars next to gorgeous geologic formations and making new friends around the campfire at Valley of Fire State Park.  We will also spend a few nights in a hotel, which will be our home base to explore additional spectacular national and state parks!
20%        Pre-departure background exercises
25%        Project 1: Bitter Springs mapping project
25%        Project 2: Field research project
5%          Zion National Park pan mapping exercise
5%          Other Short exercises and field notes
10%        Final Geologic History summary (back on campus)
10%        Participation
Location and Tentative Dates – 2023
Jan 4-6            on campus preparations, review logistics, learn how to use ipad program to map
Jan 8               Depart MSP, fly to Las Vegas and drive to Valley of Fire State Park, set up camp
Jan 21              Depart Las Vegas airport for return to MSP
Jan 24-25:        Wrap-up on campus and complete field reports

Housing and Meals
Students will be housed in local hotels and inns as well as some field camping (students should also be prepared for some hiking!). Most meals will be provided.

Click on the Program Cost link above for detailed cost information.
Total cost includes: tuition, transportation and course arrangements as indicated, hotel accommodations and some meals.

Application Procedures & Deadline
  • Select the Apply Now button at the top to start your online application.
  • Log in using your St. Thomas username and password.
  • Complete all application materials by the application deadline. Students are encouraged to apply during the priority enrollment period, April 1-10. Applications will be accepted after April 10 for programs with space still remaining until the final application deadline of October 1.
  • Download and read Short-Term Off-Campus Policies and Procedures.  You are responsible for reading, understanding and abiding by its content.
Priority Application Deadline: April 10, 2022
Final Application Deadline: October 1, 2022
Financial Aid/Scholarships
Students studying abroad during J-Term are generally only eligible for additional loans to help finance their study abroad costs. Please review Financial Aid for Study Abroad. Scholarships may also be available from St. Thomas and some Other Approved Programs. Please refer to our Scholarships webpage for details and review Short-Term Off-Campus Policies and Procedures for additional financial aid information.

For more information
On course content, contact the program directors:
Prof. Lisa Lamb,
Prof. Tom Hickson,

On application procedures or logistical information, contact:
Office of Study Abroad | University of St. Thomas
Murray-Herrick 212 | 651.962.6450 | |

This program is currently not accepting applications.