Department of Geology

Next Field Camp will be taught Summer 2020

(Sorry, WIU will not offer Field Camp in 2019)

Geology 361 - 362: Six semester hours


The Department of Geology at Western Illinois University conducts a six week Geology Summer Field Camp at the Black Hills of South Dakota. The main emphasis of our field camp program is placed on understanding basic field relationships in a setting of diverse geological terrains. This is carried out by teaching students:

  • basic field techniques
  • measurement and description of diverse stratigraphic sequences
  • geologic mapping on topographic base maps and aerial photographs

Also included are side trips to points of interest, such as caves, pegmatite mines, Badlands National Park, the hotsprings, and other sites of geological interest in the Black Hills and surrounding areas in Montana and Wyoming  such as the Stillwater Intrusion, Devil's Tower, the Bighorn Mountains, Yellowstone National Park, and the Grand Tetons.


Base is the residence halls of the South Dakota School of Mines, Rapid City, South Dakota. Shopping, educational, and hospital facilities of Rapid City are those of a medium-sized metropolitan area. A wide variety of restaurants are available for weekend dining.


Beds are in residence halls at South Dakota School of Mines. Study lounges and desks are present in the residence halls. Meals are taken on campus (Monday-Friday) at the Surbeck Center. Coin laundry facilities are available at the residence halls. Participants will need to bring sheets, blankets, and pillows or sleeping bags for use in the residence halls.


Geology 361 (3 semester hours) and 362 (3 semester hours): Geology 361 covers approximately the work completed during the first three weeks and Geology 362 covers field work completed during the last three weeks of field camp. Therefore, students receive separate grades for Geology 361 and 362 for a total of six (6) semester hours.


Physical geology, historical geology, mineralogy, sedimentology/stratigraphy and petrology are course prerequisites. Structural geology and/or field methods are recommended.


  • Transportation Fee
  • Dormitory room
  • Meals (5 days, 3 meals/day)
  • WIU tuition & University fees -- 6 semester hours
  • Other anticipated costs: Meals -- Saturday and Sunday, plus miscellaneous expenses


Although the field camp is conducted for WIU geology majors, non-WIU students may also enroll. For further information contact:

Dr. Leslie Melim
Department of Geology
Western Illinois University
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455

Images from Past Field Camps

Students at Yellowstone 2008

Students at the Grand Tetons

Tour of Stillwater Mine

Old Faithful

student at Mt. Rushmore