Summer Field Course: Northern New Mexico

May 26, 2014 to June 30, 2014

Trip Description

Essentials of Field Geology: Outcrop description; Introduction to geologic mapping; Interpretation of Sedimentary, Metamorphic, & Igneous rocks; and Structural Analysis.

The first exercises teach the use of a compass, writing geological notes, use of topographic maps, map making, traversing, and an introduction to the geology of the Rio Grande Rift and Sangre de Cristo Mountains. A series of increasingly complex exercises follow: 1) mapping undeformed sedimentary strata, 2) measuring sections of Mesozoic sedimentary rocks, 3) mapping simply deformed Mesozoic sedimentary rocks, 4) mapping complexly folded and faulted Paleozoic sedimentary strata, and 5) mapping complexly deformed Precambrian metamorphic rocks. There will be excursions to examine Tertiary volcanic rocks in the Valles Caldera, Front Range faults of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, sand dunes in the San Luis Valley, radial dikes at Spanish Peaks, and altered volcanic rocks at Red Mountain, CO.

Mapping exercises incorporate global positioning system (GPS) for locations and digital mapping skills with geographic information system (GIS) software.

Course Info

GEO 495, six semester credits. Prerequisites: Igneous and metamorphic petrology; structural geology; and stratigraphy, sedimentology, or sedimentary petrology.


Approximately $4275 (Alabama resident) or $7,905 (nonresident). Includes all transportation, round-trip from Tuscaloosa AL to Taos NM, accommodations and food in Taos, and tuition. This amount does not include medical insurance (required) and food when away from Taos (14 days), field gear, and personal items. A $100 nonrefundable deposit (checks to University of Alabama) must be paid to Debbie Frank, Department of Geological Sciences by March 17. Remaining course fees and tuition must be paid to University of Alabama Student Receivables in May.

Lodging: Class is based at the Austing Haus – 9,000′€™ elevation in the spectacular Taos Ski Valley [see]. About 14 days will be spent camping in beautiful northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

For More Information

Ms. Debbie Frank
Department of Geological Sciences
Box 870338, 2003 Bevill
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
205 348 5095

Dr. Harold Stowell
Field Course Director
205 348 5098

University of Alabama
Student Receivables
105 Student Services Building
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487