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Geology Field Camp receives excellence award

Young man making notes while sitting on a grassy ridge

A student taking part in Illinois State University’s Geology Field Camp

Illinois State University’s Geology Field Camp was named the 2017 Geological Society of America/ExxonMobil Camp Excellence Award recipient. The Field Camp was selected for this award based on technical abilities, the outstanding safety records, and diversity of participants and instructors.

Along with the recognition and prestige of winning the award, Illinois State’s Field Camp will also receive $10,000, which is allocated for curriculum enhancement including the development of new field project sites.

Field Camp is the capstone experience for undergraduate geology majors, and provides the students with the opportunity to apply their accumulated knowledge and skills to the investigation and interpretation of unfamiliar geologic areas. The camp is a six-week program, with a different theme each week. Students begin their Field Camp experience in Wyoming, make their way through the northern part of the state, and complete camp in western South Dakota.

Illinois State University Professor of Geology Dave Malone has been involved with Field Camp since 1992 and has spent the last 17 years as the camp’s director. “The Geological Society of America/ExxonMobil Field Camp Excellence Award is testimony to our Field Camp’s commitment to diversity, safety, and technical excellence,” said Malone. “It also is testimony to the commitment of our University to support this essential capstone experience for our geology majors.”

During his time as camp instructor and director, Malone has served 737 students from dozens of universities. He is within reach of his goal of teaching 1,000 students at the camp. Malone and the Field Camp will be recognized at the Presidential Award Ceremony Annual Meeting, which is held in Seattle, Washington in October.

Field Camp was first offered as a cooperative effort between Illinois State and Northern Illinois University in 1970. Illinois State fully took over the directorship and administration in 2007, and began accepting students from universities across the country in 2008. Field Camp is a required 6-credit course for Illinois State students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in geology.

For more information or to get involved, visit the Field Camp website.