Students in Geology 306 enjoying their field experience
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GEOL Field Experience

Students are required to complete a Geological Sciences Field Experience, in which students apply their knowledge obtained in the classroom to geological problems in the field involving time, space, and process. The Geological Sciences Field Experience is a critical component of the student's curriculum because it requires students to apply classroom-based skills to geologic problems and processes occurring (or which have occurred) over spans of geologic time.

GEOL 306 mappingPractical applications of geological science skills by prospective employers might include (but are not restricted to):

  • the recognition, description, and mapping of rock and fossil-bearing units using standard field techniques;
  • the structure and geometry of formations at the Earth's surface and below it using geophysical instrumentation;
  • the geomorphology and the shaping of landscapes by Earth surface processes; and
  • the exploration, delineation, and development of fluid-bearing units and other resources in the Earth's subsurface using stratigraphic principles and concepts.

The Geological Sciences Field Experience requirement may be satisfied by the following options:
1. Geological Sciences Field Course offered by an institution other than the University of Delaware.
2. GEOL field course offered by the University of Delaware.
3. Field-oriented Geological Sciences “special project” supervised by a Departmental faculty member (including any of the Geological Sciences joint appointees).

GEOL 306 Grand CanyonThe faculty strongly recommends Options 1 or 2. Option 1 represents the traditional field training for geologists, and provides the most thorough background in the skills described in the paragraph above. Option 2 is similar to Option 1, though less extensive. Option 3 might be pursued by students with less traditional interests.

All options except 2 shall be approved by a vote of the faculty. Procedure, implementation, and administrative details are described below.

All field experiences must satisfy the University's Discovery Learning Experience requirement. This may require adding additional components to courses offered by other institutions (i.e. Option 1). Students choosing Option 3 must communicate the results of their work in written and oral/graphical form (i.e. verbal and/or poster presentation).


1.    The student first discusses the proposed field experience with their adviser at least 1 term before the field experience is to begin.

2.    The student will write a 1-­page description of the proposed project and turn it in to their adviser at least 1 term before the proposed field experience is to begin.

3.    The student’s adviser will inform the Chair, who will then schedule a discussion of the proposed project for the next scheduled faculty meeting.

4.    The student’s adviser will inform the student of the faculty’s comments and decision regarding the project.

5.    If approved, the student will enroll in GEOL466 (3 credits) to receive credit for the field experience.  The faculty mentor directing the field project will serve as the instructor of record.

6.    For Options 1 and 3, the adviser (Option 1) or faculty mentor (Option 3) will be responsible for ensuring that all forms are completed to ensure that the student receives DLE credit for the field experience.

7.    The student’s faculty mentor (Option 3) will be responsible for scheduling, facilitating, and providing an assessment of the student’s written and verbal presentations of the results of the project.

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