The Department of Geology at UB leads an outstanding Field Camp course. The course takes place over about four weeks and involves intensive geologic mapping and interpretation in incredible locations in the American West. In addition to being the capstone course that brings together all the classroom learning for our Geology majors, Field Camp is a true life experience, where students learn to live and work in the out-of-doors, to collaborate within a group setting, and to work through their difficulties and produce a product that they are proud of. Many of our alumni point to Field Camp as a formative experience that impacted their subsequent careers in important ways.
We are constantly working to improve the Field Camp experience, and this year we are focusing on safety. Our locations are in remote and rugged areas in the Rocky Mountains and Colorado Plateau regions of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Students work in teams of 3-4 on each weeklong project. The two faculty members and three teaching assistants carry two-way radios in order to coordinate their activities as they roam over the field areas, trying to frequently touch base with the student groups, and in order to communicate in case of a medical problem. However, despite the best efforts of the faculty and assistants, separate student groups can be relatively isolated for significant portions of a given day, and if an emergency occurs could have difficulty getting the word to our staff. In addition, our teaching assistants and faculty have variable degrees of training in first aid. This fundraising campaign is mainly targeted at improving this situation by:
- Supporting the purchase of 20 quality two-way radios so that each student group will have one to two radios with which they can contact staff in case of emergency. The radios cost about $200 each, for a total of $4000.
- Providing Red Cross First Aid/CPR training for Field Camp staff and faculty who are not already trained (this includes kitchen staff and Camp Manager). The training costs $120/person, and for 9-10 staff the total is $1200.
In addition, students are trained on use of the most fundamental of geologic field tools (besides hammer and hand lens!) – the Brunton compass. These are surveying quality compasses that get checked out to each student for the duration of the course. As can be expected, the compasses take a beating during Field Camp, and we are in need of replenishing part of our supply. Thus this fundraising campaign also aims for:
- Ten new Brunton compasses, at $280 each, for a total of $2800.
How can you help? Make a donation to this crowdfunding effort page. Donations of any size will help us to accomplish our goals of continual improvement of the Field Camp experience and its safety.
Thank you for your support, which is critical to maintaining our long Field Camp tradition at UB!