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Geology and Geography

GLY4150 - Geology Field Seminar (Summer 2015)

Instructors: Dr Daren Nelson and Ms Amy Gross

Draft Syllabus


This field-based course is a 15-day excursion that will focus on how North America’s landscape has changed due to the geomorphic effects of the last ice age and of volcanic processes related to the Yellowstone Hotspot. However, the course will also discuss many other aspects of North American geology and geography. The course will aid the student to make their own geological conclusions through field observations and through the scientific literature.

The instruction of the course follows a seminar course format wherein each student is responsible, for researching, developing, and presenting to the group 2 - 3 topics relevant to the sites in which we will visit. Students will be taught basic field techniques and are required to keep a field notebook, actively participate in geologic discussions, and take morning quizzes prior to going out in the field each day.  

Morning Glory Pool, Yellowstone National Park by daveynin, on Flickr
Morning Glory Pool, Yellowstone National Park by daveynin, on Flickr

We will be driving cross-country in order to reduce costs and to get a broad understanding of the physiographical and geological providences of the United States. Even though costs are down due to driving instead of flying, there will be a lot more time related to travel. If possible, use this time-wisely to catch up on reading or working on the course project.

The only pre-requisite for the course is GLY 1150 or the instructors’ approval. It is assumed that the student will have a good handle of the topics they covered in GLY 1150. The class will meet for four hours each on July 24 & 27 prior to embarking on the field excursion. These meetings are to discuss proper field safety techniques, logistical concerns regarding the trip, and to review basic geologic concepts. These meetings are mandatory and you will be dropped from the course if you do not attend.


  1. To give students field experiences and to teach basic field techniques in preparation for their future geoscience careers.
  2. To provide students with an opportunity to connect abstract ideas and histories discussed in the classroom with real world examples.
  3. To broaden the students understanding of geological processes and to take the students to localities that is outside of their regular realm of exposure.


The course is being incorporated into UNCP’s Study Away program. The program requires a $50 non-refundable application fee in order for the program to deal with all of our paperwork regarding safety and legal constraints. Please contact Laura Dobson or the instructors regarding the application process. In addition, to the Study Away fee the course has a $550 course fee.  The cost of the course includes all text materials, transportation, lodging (hotel & camp fees), and admittance fees to National Parks etc….  However, costs for food and optional sampling and recreational sites are not included.

2015 GSA Southeastern Section meeting

In March of 2015, Geology students attended the Geological Society of America Southeastern Section meeting and conference. They participated in career workshops, listened to research talks, perused research posters by professionals and students, and learned about Professional Geologist Licensing. As they drove back through the Smokey Mountains, they stopped at several places and studied rock outcrops. Stops included Upper Cullasaja Falls, a well-studied location involving upstream knick point migration of rivers as the Appalachians are potentially being rejuvenated.

group waterfall waterfall 3 Waterfall 4
sample sample 2 sample 3 stream 1
stream 2 stream3 stream 4 dam
waterfall waterfall  

UNCP Cartography Competition

Submission to the Fall 2015 UNCP Cartography Competition.

Step 1: Fill out the competition form to enter the Cartography Competition by October 30, 2015,

Step 2: Submit your poster/map by November 13 through the poster submission form,

Step 3: Prepare a short description of your poster to share with the judges, and

Step 4: Present your poster on November 18, 2015 (GIS Day), details will be provided in early November. 

Internship and field school information

Poster basics and links

There are many approaches to creating a poster and you should sit down with your faculty mentor to discuss details from what images to use to ensuring your text is edited. However, here are a few notes on preparing the document for printing.

Software: Most posters that come to us to be printed are created using PowerPoint and the explanations below are written with PPT in mind. PowerPoint provides a fairly familiar interface for interacting with images, text, and tables. Students more comfortable in a vector graphics application such as Adobe Illustrator or the open source Inkscape; or a raster graphics application such as Adobe Photoshop or the open source GIMP; are welcome to use these as well, but please be sure to save your document in a standard format such as PDF to make sure we can open your poster. Similarly, if you are working from home and do not have PowerPoint, you may want to use OpenOffice on PC or Keynote on Mac, making sure to save your document as a ppt.

Poster size: The standard size of posters for both the RISE and PURC events during the year is 48 inches wide by 36 inches tall (48×36). To set the page size in PowerPoint 2007 or later go to the Design tab and locate the Slide Size tool. Once you have opened the Slide Size tool select Custom, set the width to 48 and the height to 36.

Image size: Please be sure that any images you use are at least 100 dpi/ppi. If you stretch any images larger than its original size, zoom in to 100% using the slider tool in the bottom right of the window to make sure the image does not become pixelated. Also, make sure that you do not elongate your image. You can check that you do not change the aspect ratio by right clicking the image and selecting Size and Position and ensuring the Scale Height and Scale Width are the same value.

Text boxes: You can define the width of text boxes once they have been created by right clicking on the bounding box and selecting Size and Position and defining the width. You can also ensure your boxes are aligned by choosing the position tab and setting the vertical and/or horizontal position.



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