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The department long has appreciated the value of geological field training, particularly for students at the University of Michigan where outcrops of bedrock locally are few, poor, of limited variety, and structurally simple. The department's first summer field camp, established in 1920 at Mill Springs, Kentucky, served both Geology and Geography. It was directed by Ermine Case (1920), C. O. Sauer of Geography (1921-24), and George M. Ehlers (1924-35). The Geology and Geography camps separated in 1936 when Geology moved its camp to State Bridge, Colorado, remaining there through 1938. Ehlers directed that camp.

In 1939 the program moved to Camp Davis, near Jackson, Wyoming. Camp Davis, established by the Department of Civil Engineering in 1929 was administered by that department. Ehlers directed the geological program there from 1939-43, Armand J. Eardley from 1943-50, and Edwin N. Goddard in 1951.

The department conducted a roving field camp in 1952, while it searched for a new field training headquarters. Boulder, Colorado, was selected. E. N. Goddard served as Director there from 1953-64. Students lived in rooming and boarding houses in Boulder. The six-week field course, conducted mainly in the Colorado Front Range and eastern foothills, included a weeklong final trip to examine features elsewhere. A four-week, post-camp field research program was conducted mainly in Huerfano Park, Colorado, where graduate student and faculty field research projects were directed toward a thorough regional analysis of the geology and geologic history of the Park.

Many seniors received additional training as field assistants there under the general direction of Professors Goddard and Louis I. Briggs, but with other faculty members and graduate students participating. Because of the drastically reduced numbers of its concentrators, the department operated no camp in 1962, 1963, or 1964. Field studies continued in Huerfano Park, Colorado, however.

In 1964 the number of concentrators needing camp increased. Therefore, after 1964, when Civil Engineering discontinued its summer field program in Wyoming, it was arranged with the University to convert Camp Davis to a geological field station, beginning in 1965 and continuing to the present. The field course for geology concentrators was increased from 6 to 8 weeks. Again some graduate students and faculty members did research in that region.

A very successful introductory geology course was established at Camp Davis in 1965. Albion College and Western Michigan University also used the facilities at Camp Davis for field courses in geology and biology during certain years of the post-1964 period. When the department again took over, Camp Davis was directed by J. A. Dorr (1965-68, 1970, 1972-74, 1978), C. I. Smith (1969-71, 1975-77), and P. L. Cloke (1979).

John A. Dorr, Jr.

The University of Michigan, An Encyclopedic Survey, Wilfred B. Shaw, editor, pages 165-166

History of the University of Michigan

Summer Geological Field Training