Cornell students prepare for a dive off San Salvador island in the Bahamas (above), explore a rock outcrop in New Zealand (below), and pose with a lava tree in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

New Zealand Boulder

Hawaii 

Field Courses

Geology is a field science; hence it is best studied in the field. Our program is unique at Cornell College in that virtually all courses include field trips that last anywhere from 1-18 days.

An extended field course is required for the geology major, and we offer three options on a regular basis: in New Zealand, the Bahamas and, on an alternating schedule, Hawai’i, Washington state and the Western Interior region of the U.S. The geology department administers the Cedar Valley Rocks and Minerals Society Fund, which provides funding to help defray the extra expenses incurred by students participating in block-long field courses.

Field trips of shorter duration include study of rock exposures within Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri. Field trips also are conducted to the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago) during winter months. Shorter field trips entail nominal cost to students.

Field station
Field study has been a part of our curriculum for decades, as evidenced by these Cornell students from the 1950's.