Branson Field Laboratory – Teaching Field Geology Since 1911

Every summer since 1911, the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Missouri, Columbia has run our geology field camp at the site of the Branson Field Laboratory in the Wind River Range near Lander, Wyoming.

Our 6-credit, 6-week course teaches a broad array of field methods ranging from geologic mapping and structural analysis, to sedimentary facies analysis, surface and groundwater hydrogeology, and shallow reflection and refraction seismology. During the last week of the course we offer more advanced projects in hydrogeology, geophysics and structural analysis.

Pre-requisites: We accept geology students from across the U.S. and other countries who have the basic pre-requisite coursework, including Historical Geology, Structural Geology and some Stratigraphy/Sedimentation or Sedimentary Petrology background. Contact us if you have specific questions about your background for the course.

Field Projects: Most field projects are completed in areas within a 45 minute drive from the camp. Project reports are completed in a laboratory setting with computers that are available for completing project reports, reviewing PowerPoint lectures by the faculty, and making satellite internet connections for e-mail and instructional links.

Faculty: The faculty includes specialists from many fields of geology. Some are from the University of Missouri, some are from other schools.  Each project is run by a professor who specializes in the project topic. The student-instructor ratio is generally < ~10:1

Field Trips: The context for the course projects and the historical geology of the region are highlighted by field trips to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the Absarokas and Big Horn Basin, and Owl Creek Mountains.

Living Conditions: Students live in heated log cabins and eat meals in our dining hall that are prepared by our kitchen staff.

Jobs and Scholarships: Jobs and scholarships are available to help defray costs.