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2016 Highlights

  • The Coastal Field School spent 4 days in the Tampa area along the Pinellas County coast and Peace River area, observing sediment transport, conducting survey & mapping exercises, and core sampling. The school ended with a 4-day trip along the Atlantic Coast from Matanzas Inlet, FL to Hilton Head Island to study coastal influences. This marked the first year the school utilized buses instead of vans to improve transportation safety.

  • The Hydrology Field School began at the USF GeoPark on campus collecting well data to produce hydro maps & reports, followed by two days in the USF Eco Area and on the Hillsborough River observing wetlands and measuring salt water intrusion. Students then transited from Kissimmee to the Everglades on a tour of the Florida water supply system.

  • The Volcanology, Structural Mapping, and Geophysics Field Schools each met students in Salt Lake City prior to driving to King Mountain Ranch outside Mackay, Idaho to begin activities. Before arriving at King Mountain Ranch, the Volcanology school spent four days at the Blackfoot Reservoir and Yellowstone National Park to map basalt fields and learn about regional volcanics. The remainder of the school was spent in Custer County and Craters of the Moon National Monument observing and mapping volcanic features. During Structural Mapping, students learned traditional geologic mapping techniques in the Lost River Valley and Pioneer Mountains. Finally, the Geophysics Field School surveyed along the Borah Peak fault scarp and along the Lost River Valley before heading to the Sawtooth Mountains and Sunbeam Hot Springs.

  • Logistic improvements at schools held in Idaho included hiring a camp manager/cook to keep the home fires burning, allowing the students/faculty more time in the field. The King Mountain Ranch was also reserved for the entirety of the three camps' duration to provide accommodation for students staying between schools.
  • By the Numbers

  • 41 – number of students enrolled in the 2016 Field School consisting of five sessions: Hydrogeology, Structure Mapping, Coastal Geology, Geophysics, and Volcano Mapping.

  • 3 – number of non-USF students admitted from University of New Orleans & University of New Mexico.

  • $75,222 – total cost of running the 2016 Field School sessions, a 29% increase from 2015, due to increasing enrollment & staffing and logistics.

  • $4,267 - in-state USF tuition & fees for completing 3 sessions required for a B.S. in Geology ($6,900 for out-of-state USF students, $7,350 for out-of-state, non-USF students).

  • $13,000 – funding provided by USF College of Arts & Sciences to defray student expenses.

  • $111* – 2016 Field school tuition/fee offset provided by the Sam Upchurch Field School Operating Fund ($4,057 total) per student completing the three-session Field School requirement.

  • $41,330* – October 2016 balance of the Field School Endowment, a 23% rise from year-end 2015.

  • * Alumni-supported initiatives. Many thanks to Sam Upchurch and numerous Geology Alumni Society donors for making this another great year!