Experiential Learning Opportunities
The Guilford Geology program is inherently experiential; all students participate in outdoor field labs. Upper level courses include multi-day academic trips providing the opportunity to develop observational and analytical skills in the field. We encourage our students to study abroad and to engage in research and internship opportunities.
Guilford Geology major examining structural features in an outcrop near Danbury, NC.
Geology students learning about karst geology in a cave near Townsend, TN.
Geology majors have many options to study abroad. Many of our students attend programs offered by our affiliate, the School for Field Studies; they travel to locations such as Bhutan, Australia, and Costa Rica. Other students opt to participate in summer and semester programs led by faculty of the Guilford Geology program and other Guilford professors. These programs take place in Tanzania, Ecuador ,the Galapagos Islands, Munich, and Italy.
Students in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador studying glacial geology with Associate Professor Angie Moore .
A waterfall along a hike in the Alps to study geology, taken during the Guilford Munich Study Abroad program led by Associate Professor Dave Dobson.
Backpacking in Italy as part of the Guilford Brunnenburg Study Abroad program with Professor Marlene McCauley.
Summer Field Experience
To complete a B.S. degree in Geology, all students must complete a 4 credit summer field camp at an accredited university. The summer field experience provides our students an unparalleled opportunity to hone their observational and analytical skills and to apply and integrate the knowledge they have gained in their upper level geology courses. This intensive experience is typically completed in western states such as Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Utah. Some students opt for international field camps held in Canada or Ireland; additional opportunities to study in regions such as Argentina, Turkey, and Africa are also available.
At Guilford, we work with individual students to help them identify the program that will best suit their particular interests.
Geology students are encouraged to pursue undergraduate research, either as an independent study, crafted in collaboration with a professor, or as a senior thesis. Recent majors have engaged in research that investigates the relationships between soil quality and the wine industry in North Carolina, others have investigated the impacts of wastewater residuals on ground and surface water quality, and the impacts of storm water runoff on our campus lake and stream.
Our students regularly participate in the prestigious National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates, which include opportunities throughout the country and can vary from fossil research in Florida to fluvial studies in Colorado. Students pursuing research on and off campus can present their work on campus at the annual Guilford Undergraduate Symposium, as well as at regional and national professional meetings.
Many Geology students engage in internship opportunities which can be developed in partnership with the department and completed as an elective for the major. For example, a recent graduate completed an internship with the United States Geological Survey to conduct fundamental geologic research in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Several students have landed positions with the National Park Service to study invasive species, while others have conducted water quality research for state transportation agencies or state parks. Students also have opportunities for internships in the private sector, including consulting and engineering firms.