Stanford University

Field courses and trips

Want to get into the field? No experience required.

At Stanford Earth, we recognize that field education is a fundamental component of undergraduate education and an integral part of professional development for Earth scientists and engineers. In the field, you will learn to understand Earth’s dynamic processes and develop your observational, spatial, and problem-solving skills. 

From one-day exploratory trips to a 10-week course in Hawaii, field experiences are available for students at all levels -- from undergraduates with no background who want to learn about the natural world to majors and graduate students in the geosciences.  

Introductory Field Courses 2018-2019

Stanford Earth instructors immerse you in hands-on field experiences to understand Earth’s processes and develop your observational, spatial, and problem-solving skills.

Coastal view
Living on the Edge (Earth15, GS5) Fall
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This fall quarter weekend field trip along the Pacific Coast exposes students to local beaches, landforms, and geology.  Camp overnight in tents along the Santa Cruz coast and get to know faculty and grad students. No experience needed.

rock wall
Bay Area Landscapes and Tectonics (GS42) Fall
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Observe earthquake faults and erosion in the Bay Area, and their effects upon landscapes. Learn about landslides and tectonic processes in the valleys, mountains, and coastal areas around Stanford.  No previous experience needed.

Energizing California (ENERGY101A) Spring
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This spring quarter weekend field trip takes students to geothermal, bioenergy, and natural gas field sites in Northern California. No prior experience needed. Freshmen get priority.

students in the field
Introduction to Field Methods (GS 105) Fall, Spring
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A month long course offered in summer that provides students with the opportunity to collect data in the field as part of a team-based investigation of research questions. For geoscience majors or graduate students.

Professor and students looking at map
Natural Perspectives (EARTH193) Spring
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This four-day field trip combines exploration of regional geology, ecology, and environmental history with guided drawing exercises in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. Students will gain an appreciation for how scientific and aesthetic perspectives enhance one another in the study of nature. No previous experience required. Preference for freshmen and sophomores.

More Field Learning Opportunities
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Learn about courses taught by Stanford Earth faculty through Stanford's Sophomore College courses and Bing Overseas Studies Programs. Faculty take students to South Pacific coral reefs, Alaskan fisheries, Italian volcanoes and other sites for the study of Earth processes.

Wrigley Program in Hawaii

A quarter-long course for students interested in the interaction between humans and environmental systems.

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