Field Courses in Geography

Students in the Alaska Glaciers Field Course hiking on the Matanuska Glacier. Photo By Matt SzundyGeography has long enjoyed a tradition of field study, and many geographers consider field work to be an essential skill in their trade. VU Geography is pleased to embrace this tradition through its many exciting field study opportunities. In addition to the numerous field trips conducted as a part of courses like Geomorphology and the Regional Geography of the United States, the Department offers a number of individual field courses under the GEO 385/585 listing. Current courses include the following: Indian ReservationsThe Sonoran Desert, Volcanic Craters and Shield Volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii, and Glaciers of Alaska. A field course to Yellowstone Park was offered in the past. 

Spring Break VU field courses have visited the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona (including Saguaro and Chiricahua National Monuments), the Grand Canyon (and other national park sites in Arizona, including Canyon de Chelly and Petrified Forest), the major Indian mound sites of the South (including Cahokia, Russel Cave National Monument, and Etowah), and the volcanoes and lava flows of the Big Island of Hawaii. In past summers students have toured Glacier of Alaska, the eastern half of the historic Oregon Trail, following its course into Wyoming, visiting Yellowstone National Park and Devils Tower National Monument before returning east via the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota.

Field Experiences in Regular Semester Courses

Several regular semester courses include short overnight field experinces including a visit to Mamoth Cave National Park in National Parks and a trip to Wisconsin in Advanced GIS. Urban Geography and Urban Planning include day trips to Chicago and Geomorphology includes three short field excursions to the Indiana Dunes. 


Glaciers in Alaska