Field Camp 2014 Brochure (updated 10/17/13) -  Note there could still be a change in itinerary and/or fees (tuition or fuel costs) but this is the plan for 2014.

Click for the 2015 field camp Brochure.


11 May - 14 JUNE 2014






 Rick Fluegeman, Director; Klaus Neumann, Faculty; Lee Florea, Faculty; Michael Kutis, Technician and Assistant Instructor.

GEOL 383/583, 6 Semester Credit Hours

The field camp course provides an immersive experience in the physiography, resources, and general geologic relationships of the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains regions of South Dakota, northern Wyoming, southern Montana. Points of geologic interest include Badlands National Park; Black Hills mining regions; Bighorn, Beartooth, and Teton mountains; Devils Tower National Monument, and Mt Rushmore National Memorial, Wind Cave, Jewel Cave, and Yellowstone National Parks.

Similar versions of this course have been run since 1972. We have a lot of experience on the projects and stops that are the core of this course. Newer projects include mapping in the Big Horn Mountains near Lovell, Wyoming, and expanded practical experience with GPS including mapping on portable computers with ARCMAP and PDA pocket computers with ARCPAD.

Emphasis is on scientific observation and geologic problem-solving in the field through the application of suitable geologic mapping techniques. Students will acquire familiarity with geologic, physiographic, and natural resource features of the region, and develop skills in preparing stratigraphic sections, scientific reports, and maps based on their daily research and investigation.

This course meets the field study requirement for geology majors and is an elective option for undergraduate majors in earth science and natural resources. Admission is open to geology and earth science majors and minors and to others with the permission of the department chairperson.

Enrollment will include students from other colleges and universities. Students enrolled for graduate credit will write an additional geologic report.

Participants will live in convenient dormitory facilities with comfortable work spaces during mapping and section-measuring projects. Fees include all transportation from Muncie and return; students wishing to be picked up or dropped off between Muncie and Wall, South Dakota, should contact the camp director.

Group Size: 12 to 40 participants

Fees:  (tentative fee estimates)

Ball State University requires payment of a field-study fee ($2500) that includes round-trip transportation from Muncie, housing and meals at Black Hills State University, South Dakota (7 days), and at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming (16 days), a guidebook, and daily transportation in the field during the five weeks of the course. A regular instructional fee (tuition estimate) of $1730 also is required by in-state students. The out-of-state student instructional fee (tuition estimate) is $2120.


Please apply early to reserve a spot. A deposit of $500 is required at the time of application, before March 3, 2014 to guarantee a place, others might be accepted later on as space is available basis.  The remainder of the field study fee, about $2000, is due in four payments of about $500.00 each on the following dates, March 23, April 6, April 20 and April 27.

The $1730 (in-state) or $2120 (out of state) instructional tuition fee (estimated) will be billed separately by the university in April or early May. The graduate student fee of $174, when applicable, is due with the final payment.  There is also a $60 application fee for graduate students.


Therefore, total payment to Ball State University is $4,230 (estimated) for in-state undergraduate students, $4,620 (estimated) for out-of-state undergraduates or $4,638 (estimated) for in-state graduate students, $4,854 (estimated) for out-of-state graduate students. All fees due to Ball State must be paid prior to departure. 

In addition there are some food costs paid by individuals en route:

Including Yellowstone, the group will camp while traveling for a total 11 nights. Costs for food purchased en route for travel/camping days and weekends are estimated to be about $200.00. Most of this will be breakfast, lunch, dinners, and snacks when we are traveling. This could be more or less depending on individual preference.

Personal Expenses:

Cost of film, snacks, laundry, entertainment, and other miscellaneous expenses are not included in the preceding figures. Many students have found about $250 to be sufficient for these expenses, but on individual's choices may dictate more (or less) than that amount. The out-of-pocket total of $450 for travel food and personal expenses can be very variable for different individuals and some will spend more.


General Information:


Recent inoculation for tetanus is recommended. Each student must have a sleeping bag, field boots, canteen, hammer, hand lens, acid bottle and elementary cartographic supplies, including good quality drafting pens, a scale or ruler, colored pencils, drafting tape, etc. A more detailed list will be posted on the field camp WEB page in several days but will be similar to that posted for last year (click "back"). Travel from and returning to Muncie, IN is provided in university vans. Brunton compasses, portable computers, GPS units, and PDA computers will be provided for use in the course.

For More Information and application Materials, Contact:

Dr. Rick Fluegeman, Department of Geology, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306-0475, Phone: (765) 285-8267, E-mail:



Preliminary Itinerary (as of 10/17/13)

(click here to see a more detailed calendar and location map)


11-14 May


Leave Muncie, 8 am; travel to Badlands, South Dakota; introductory pace and compass problem; Mount Rushmore(four nights camping) .



Introduction to geologic traverses and airphoto-base mapping; geologic section measurement; geologic and petrographic observation; (dormitory at Black Hills State University, Spearfish, South Dakota).

22 May

Travel: Devil's Tower, Powder River Basin coal, Big Horn Mountain structures, (one night camping)

23 May - 7 June

Regional geology; section measurement; Elk Basin oil field structure and stratigraphy, mapping project, Beartooth Mountains, Five Springs mountain front mapping project (dormitory at Northwest College, Powell, Wyoming).


-14 June

Travel: Yellowstone Park, Teton Mountains, tour of SW Wyoming, and travel to Muncie (six nights camping).

The information presented here, correct at the time of publication, is subject to some changes to improve the schedule.

Ball State University practices equal opportunity in education and employment and is strongly and actively committed to diversity within its community.