For geographers, the world is a classroom.
Field study has enjoyed an enduring tradition within the academic discipline of geography. Many geographers recognize field work as an essential skill in their trade. Valpo 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 Field Courses
- Plains Indians: Conflicts, Resistance, and Reservations
- Biogeography: The Sonoran Desert
- Volcanic Craters and Shield Volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii
- Glaciers of Alaska
Spring break 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 American 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 the glacier of Alaska and the eastern half of the historic Oregon Trail, following its course into Wyoming, and 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 involve short overnight field experiences, including a visit to Mammoth Cave National Park in National Parks (GEO 204) and a trip to Wisconsin in Advanced Geomorphology (GEO 404/504). Urban geography and urban planning encompass day trips to Chicago, and geomorphology incorporates three short field excursions to the Indiana Dunes.