Field Quarter

students on mountain

Students who are in their junior or senior year are encouraged to participate in Field Quarter, in which they register for a block of academic credit and spend the entire quarter exploring off campus. Students travel as a cohort, with different professors joining the course as the group travels throughout the southwestern U.S., Mexico, Central America and Europe, learning about different physical and cultural environments and applying their knowledge in research projects. The program is open to undergraduate students majoring in environmental science or geography as well as students with sufficient course work in earth sciences and ecology.

Field Quarter 2024—Apply Now!

Fall 2024 Destinations and Dates (tentative):

  • GEOG 3550: Paleoenvironmental Field Methods (3 credits), taught by Prof. Don Sullivan (Sep 6 - Sep 13), this class will focus on obtaining samples from various environments for paleoenvironmental analysis.  The fieldwork will take place principally on Grand Mesa, in western Colorado.  Laboratory analysis may be done on campus after returning from Grand Mesa.  Note that this class will begin before the start of the regular Fall Quarter.
  • GEOL 2400: Geology and Ecology of the Southwest (5 credits), taught by Prof. Mike Kerwin (Sep 15 - Oct 6).  This course will be taught at the DU High Altitude Lab at Echo Lake, in the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico, and at the Southwestern Research Station in Arizona. Students will be introduced to basic field methods in geology, hydrology, and ecology, and apply these skills when collecting and analyzing data from ecosystems throughout the SW USA.
  • GEOG 3930: Nicaragua: Development Dilemmas (4 credits), taught by Prof. Matthew Taylor (Oct 9-19).  This class will examine the economic boom along the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua from a political ecology perspective.  Students will also study and practice ethnographic field methods.  This class will be taught entirely in Nicaragua.  Please note that students must purchase round trip airfare from Denver to Nicaragua for this class.  (This class is optional.)
  • ENVI 2660: Mountain Islands and Desert Seas:  the Natural History of Sonora and Baja California (5 credits), taught by Prof. Don Sullivan (Oct 22- Nov 20).  This class visits the Mexican states of Baja California and Baja California Sur in a field trip that covers more than 4500 miles of driving. Students will learn Sonoran Desert botany, climatology, and geologic history. Students will apply class lessons to sustainability and conservation research projects.

Additional information

Field Quarter 2024 Application