Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Skip to content Skip to navigation

Field Trips & Activities

Stanford University’s close proximity to spectacular geological  and ecological areas provide a wonderful opportunity for diverse field-based educational activities and programs. Many Stanford Earth courses include an optional field trip—below are listed opportunities where the field experience is a significant (or the only) component of the course.

Upcoming Field Opportunities for 2016-17

Fall Quarter

  • GS 5: Living on the Edge (Oct 10-11). A weekend field trip along the Pacific Coast for freshman. Tour local beaches, geology, and landforms with expert guides from the Department of Geological Sciences. Enjoy a BBQ dinner and stay overnight in cabins along the Santa Cruz coast. Get to know faculty and graduate students in the Earth Sciences. Contact Prof. Elizabeth Miller for more information.
  • GS 49N: Landscapes and Tectonics of the Bay Area. An Introductory Seminar with weekly afternoon field trips to explore active faulting, erosion, and landscapes around Stanford. Contact Prof. George Hilley for more information. 

Winter Quarter

  • GS 183: California Desert Geologic Field Trip. Two class meetings during Winter quarter followed by a 6-day field trip over Spring Break to Mojave Desert, Death Valley, and Owens Valley. Basin-and-range faulting, alluvial fans, playas, sand dunes, metamorphic rocks, granites of the Sierra Nevada, lava flows and and the deposits of supervolcanic eruptions, hot springs, ore deposits, and desert landscapes. Involves camping and moderate hiking. Contact Prof. Gail Mahood for more information.

​Spring Quarter

  • ENERGY 101A: Energizing California. A weekend field trip featuring renewable and nonrenewable energy installations in Northern California. Tour geothermal, bioenergy, and natural gas field sites with expert guides from the Department of Energy Resources Engineering. Contact Prof. Roland Horne for more information.
  • EARTH 193: Natural Perspectives. 4-day field trip over Memorial Day weekend that combines exploration of regional geology, ecology, and environmental history with guided drawing exercises. Students will gain an understanding of the natural processes shaping California, acquire new skills and techniques for artistic expression, and gain an appreciation for how scientific and aesthetic perspectives complement and enhance one another in the study of nature. No previous scientific or artistic experience is required. Contact Richard Nevle for details. 
  • GS 105: Introduction to Field Methods. Two-week, field-based course in the White Mountains of eastern California. Introduction to the techniques for geologic mapping and geologic investigation in the field: systematic observations and data collection for lithologic columns and structural cross-sections. Interpretation of field relationships and data to determine the stratigraphic and deformational history of the region. Contact Prof. Marty Grove for more information.

Other ways to get out to the field...

The Wrigley Field Program in Hawaii is an interdisciplinary field school which immerses students in a 10-week long investigation of the geological, environmental, and ecological processes shaping the Hawaiian Islands. The program was first offered during the fall quarter of 2010 and will continue to be offered in alternate years (next offering in Autumn 2018, application available December 2017). Contact Ryan Petterson for more information.