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The University of Texas at ArlingtonThe University of Texas at Arlington

College of Science

Earth and Environmental Sciences


Field Camp 2019

May 13- June 12th, 2019

Bring a computer; GPS and Compasses provided

General Information

  • 5 days: Environmental Geoscience and lake geochemistry around Arlington, TX
  • 1 day office day finish reports/prepare for trip to New Mexico
  • 1 travel day to New Mexico
  • 14 days: Pennsylvanian and Mesozoic Sedimentary Systems near Las Vegas NM
  • Mapping and structure of sedimentary rocks, Taos Trough, NM
  • 8 days: Regional Geology and mapping in igneous and metamorphic terrain; in and around the Rio Grande Rift, Jemez, Picuris, and Sangre De Cristo Mountains, NM
  • 1 travel day back to UTA (Arlington, TX)


  • Food, lodging, and transportation: approximately $1900
  • Fee $950 for GEOL3387 and $950 for GEOL3388
  • Food provided by Highlands University, NM; students responsible for additional food costs on travel days.
  • Lodging will be in local dorms and/or hotels (minimum of 2 students per room). Lodging will not provide for the field work in the first week in Texas.
  • Transportation provided by University vans.
  • Tuition (Texas Resident): Approximately $2187
  • Tuition (Out-of-State Resident): Approximately $4293


Mineralogy, Petrology, Structure, Sedimentology/Stratigraphy, Computer Literacy


Students will use compasses, GPS receivers, and laptop computers. Field data are analyzed and displayed using either hand mapping techniques, Adobe Illustrator, PhotoShop, or Microsoft Paint programs. All reports to be written using Word.

  • Required softwares includes Microsoft Word, Excel, and Adobe reader.
  • Free, open-source software may be required to be downloaded onto student's computer in order to complete certain projects.


  • Geoscience Handbook: AGI Data Sheets.
    • Handy, 5” X 8” spiral bound, 478 page reference tool that you can easily carry around in your backpack for quick access. Available at many online retailers, available on GSA website for a discount for current members. Older versions are helpful too.
  • Apps for smartphones that plot locations on topographic maps in the field include:

For Apple iOS devices:

  • iHikeGPS : USA ($9.99)
  • Topo Maps ($7.99)

For Android devices:

  • US Topo Maps Pro ($11.99)
  • BackCountry Navigator TOPO GPS ($11.99)

Field Camp Schedule:

  • Monday, May 13
  • Field camp orientation: 8:00 AM, Room GS 104.
  • 8:30 AM: Arrive at Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, University of Texas at Arlington - room 104 of the Geoscience Building for introduction to the field course, review of policies and safety procedures, and introductions of students and faculty.
  • Lunch will be provided but bring water (and snacks if needed) as field projects will start after the introductory session (approximately noon).
  • See the campus map.
  • Tuesday, May 14 - Friday, May 17
  • 8:00A AM: Arrive at Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, University of Texas at Arlington - room 104 of the Geoscience Building. See the campus map.
  • Projects: Environmental Health project (Hunt) and Lake Geochemistry (Winguth).
  • Saturday, May 18

At home office day, finish and turn in reports and pack/prep for trip to Las Vegas, NM.

  • Sunday, May 19

Meet at UTA at 7:00 AM to pack vans and leave for Las Vegas at 8:00 AM (approximately 10 hour drive)

  • Monday, May20 - Saturday June 01

Structural Analysis of the Laramide Mountain Front at Las Vegas, NM (Pirouz); Late Paleozoic and Mesozoic stratigraphy and sedimentary systems near Las Vegas, NM (Fan); Mapping structure and stratigraphy near Las Vegas, New Mexico (Pirouz).

  • Sunday, June 02 - Tuesday June 11

Regional Geology analysis and mapping of igneous and metamorphic rocks in the vicinity of the Rio Grande Rift. (Loocke)

  • Wednesday, June 12

                  Return to Arlington.

General Policies

Field Camp 2019 will run from Monday, May 13 through Wednesday, June 12, 2019. You should make no other plans for this period. You will be occupied every minute.

  1. Policies on alcohol and other drugs affecting judgment and physical performance:
    • No alcohol is to be consumed in any field camp vehicle, or during class hours. No alcohol is permitted in a university operated vehicle.
  2. Possession or consumption of illegal drugs is not permitted under any circumstances.
  3. An 8-hour period of quiet will be observed where people sleep during the night.
  4. When residing in the motel, quiet time begins at 10 pm.
  5. Obnoxious, harassing or abusive behavior, whether or not produced by drugs or alcohol, will not be tolerated. People involved may be expelled. Harassment consists of physical and verbal behavior that is unwanted by anyone receiving it after that person has told the perpetrator to stop. Harassment can lead to dismissal from the course.
  6. Any threat of bodily harm, explicit or implied, can be considered an assault and can lead to dismissal from the course.

Equipment and Supplies

The university provides special items and materials needed to carry out individual projects (GPS Receivers, Compasses, Communicators, Hand Levels, Jacob Staffs, and Maps). Students must bring a computer capable of running Adobe Illustrator. A USB drive is necessary to store files.

The following list includes items that you will need, but are not provided by the University:

    • Laptop with Word, Excel, and Adobe reader, as well as one of the following illustration programs: Paint, PhotoShop, or Adobe Illustrator.
    • USB for storage
    • Stout footwear; at the least, light boots with strong soles.
    • Belt for field equipment.
    • Long pants for protection against brush.
    • Rain poncho.
    • Water container(s): (2 liters recommended).
    • Dark glasses with UV protection (avoid eye damage).
    • Day pack.
    • Field medical kit (minimum: Band-Aids, Neosporin, and aspirin).
    • Sun Protection (avoid Skin Cancer): Sunscreen - 15 or greater, hat, and shirt.
    • Bedding, towel, washcloth, toiletries - mattresses provided but not bedding.
    • Rock hammer.
    • Hand lens.
    • Field note-taking equipment: clipboard for field maps, engineer field notebook (5 "x 7.5"), pencils (#2 or #3), and something to sharpen them with, eraser.
    • Ruler, protractor, triangle, colored pencils.
    • A set of pigment liners (Staedtler) with widths of 0.1, 0.3, and 0.5. These can be found on Amazon, Office Depot, or art supply stores such as Michaels.
    • Calculator.
    • Optional: Camera and binoculars.
  • Optional:
  • Apps for smartphones that plot locations on topographic maps in the field include:

    For Apple iOS devices:

    • iHikeGPS : USA ($9.99)
    • Topo Maps ($7.99)

    For Android devices:

    • US Topo Maps Pro ($11.99)
    • BackCountry Navigator TOPO GPS ($11.99)
    • Camera, binoculars

Equipment Prohibited: Firearms and other weapons


Weather will vary from hot and dry (in the low 90's) to mild and raining. Temperatures at night may be in the 50's. Shorts are fine along roadcuts, but wear long pants and sleeves when mapping to avoid cuts by brush. Choose your clothing with care, and remember that the more comfortable you are in the field, the less distracted you will be from your work.

Safety Precautions

Everyone is safe if they are aware of dangers and take precautions. In the field, people have hand communicators and work in teams so there is someone nearby if you get into trouble. The following are the primary dangers in New Mexico:

  • Falling

Most minor injuries come from slipping and falling in the field. There are no trails, and loose rocks and steep hillsides are common. Always walk slowly and look before you step. Keep away from cliff edges which may give way. Please get in shape before you come; take a strength or aerobic class.

  • Road Cuts

Some projects are on road cuts. Instructors put out cones to warn drivers, but stay off the pavement and avoid death or injury from a distracted driver. Students are required to wear orange construction worker vests.

  • Plague

Northern New Mexico is a plague area. Plague is usually carried by fleas, which live on most mammals and rodents. Avoid close contact with rodents and other mammals, and if you develop a fever, see a doctor. Plague is easy to arrest in the early stages.

  • Hantavirus

Northern New Mexico also reports cases of Hantavirus, which can also be fatal if not treated early. It is spread through rodent fecal matter that accumulates in old buildings and nests. Stay out of abandoned buildings and don't rummage around in animal or bird nests.

  • Dehydration and heat exhaustion

In New Mexico, you will be usually working in low humidity at elevations around 7000'. Before setting out, drink as much water as you can and carry at least 2 Liters of water with you. Move slowly and steadily. If you do get overheated and/or dizzy, find shade, drink water, and rest a while.

  • Potable water

Don't drink from streams, pools etc. All have nasty pathogens and parasites.

  • Nasty little critters

Ticks, mosquitoes and gnats are rare, but a horse fly may bite you. Ticks are dangerous as a carrier of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Fever is the main symptom, so see a doctor if you have an elevated temperature. Lyme disease is possible but not common in New Mexico. Ticks will crawl around on you for some time before sucking, and it is sufficient to check yourself at the end of the day.

  • Nasty big critters

Bears and mountain lions exist in the New Mexico Mountains. A bear was seen in 2001, as well as mountain lion tracks. If you do see one, let your partners know, don't turn and run, but back away slowly, facing the animal.

  • Nasty plants

Scrub Oak, brush and cactus can cut and puncture your legs if you don't wear long clothing that covers your limbs. Poison Oak and Ivy occur in damp, shady canyons.

  • Lightning and hail

Afternoon thundershowers (with hail) may occur. If you hear or see an approaching storm, leave high ground IMMEDIATELY. Large hail stones can injure you, so use your backpack or clipboard to protect your head if necessary.