Department of Geosciences - Experiential Learning

Courses & Trips:  Field Camp   |   Field Trips    |    Special Topics Courses    |    International Travel/Study Abroad
Equipment & Projects:   Weather Station   |    SuperDARN Radar   |    Departmental Facilities & Equipment
Conferences/Meetings & Other Networking Opportunities What Students Have to Say 

The Geosciences Department offers many hands-on and other experiential learning opportunities as well as unique courses targeted to specific topics and continuing education. We believe the best place to learn about the many aspects of geology and geography is in the field! Many of our courses involve field-based and applied learning experiences. Additionally, students majoring in Geosciences at FHSU will have opportunities to participate in internships, independent research, and conferences to build professional experience.

Field Experience Courses

Field Camp - FILLED FOR SUMMER 2013. Check back August 2013 for Field Camp 2014.

Field Trips - Each semester, including summer, the Department offers several exciting field trips and experiences out-side the classroom. Every semester 3 sections of GSCI 355 Field Trips in Geology are offered and may study any of the following topics: Lake Wilson, Ellis County, Gove County Chalk Beds, Central & NE Kansas, SE Kansas, Colorado Front Range, NE New Mexico, SE Colorado, Hays Water Issues, Geology of Wine, Geology of Beer, Fossils on campus, Fossils of KS, and Fossils in the Museum. Each spring and fall at least 2 sections of GSCI 651 Field Studies in Geography are offered. This course GSCI 651 is a concentrated group field study stressing the environment, resources, lifestyles, and problems of a designated territory of the world. Previous field study regions have been New Mexico's Volcano region, Colorado Front Range, Arbuckle Mountains, and Anadarko Oil Bason. Upcoming field study regions include: the Ozark National Forest, Colorado Mountains, Diamond Prospecting in the American Mid-West, Disaster Response sites, and local landscape investigations. Click on the title link to find out more about these and other field trips. 

Unique Courses and Experiences

The Department of Geosciences offers courses that may be of special interest to students or linked to current events.

 Fall 2013

GSCI 673 E Problems in Geosciences: Collections Management - Collections management is a relatively new term in museums and cultural heritage. It has grown from the need to develop professional practice in looking after culturally and historically significant objects and their associated information. It covers a range of activities, including documentation, care, storage, movement, and loan and applies to organizations ranging from national galleries to small local museums. Caring for cultural and natural history collections today also requires knowledge of legal and ethical considerations. Recent developments in the areas of sustainability, security, and economics are also part of daily collections administration. These areas, as well as the practical aspects of collection care, are covered in this course. The information presented in this course can be adapted to a wide variety of collection types. This course will be of use to anyone with responsibility for caring for items of cultural and historical significance. Some course topics include: fundamentals of collections management, collections management policies, legal and ethical considerations, documentation techniques, acquisitions, storage techniques, loans, and exhibitions.

Spring 2014  

GSCI 673 F Problems in Geosciences: Exhibit Planning and Design - For museums, exhibits serve as a unique, specialized, and primary medium through which they communicate with the public. To the general public, exhibits are the museum. This course explores the theoretical and practical considerations, planning process, and design principles that lead to successful museum exhibits. Topics range from audience needs and educational messaging through project management and display materials to object conservation and evaluation techniques. The course will incorporate readings, class discussions, practical exercises, critiques, and a field trip. Over the semester, each student will plan and develop an original exhibit design. Students will research a topic, identify display objects, write an exhibit script, prepare a set of design documents, and present design treatments for review.

GSCI 673 VA Problems in Geosciences: GPS & Land Navigation -

GSCI 673 VB Problems in Geosciences: The Solar System -  . 

 International Field Trips or Study Abroad Opportunities

Fall 2013

  • Opportunities will be posted soon.

Spring 2014

  • Opportunities will be posted soon.

Summer 2014

  • Summer opportunities will be posted soon.

Previous Trips 

  • (Summer 2013)  Summer Study Abroad, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany - This is a 1-month summer study program in Germany made possible through an exchange partnership between FHSU and Universitat Diosburg-Essen (UDE). Under the partnership FHSU students will be provided at no additional cost with materials for instruction in german language and culture, guided excursion and trips, use of local and regional public transportation, private rooms with bathrooms. Students may enroll in the study abroad program for 5 to 6 credit hours. Student expenses will be airfare, meals, FHSU tuition, and personal expenses. Knowledge of German is not required. Scholarships may be available.
  • (Spring 2013) Chimote, Peru (GSCI 651 A) - Spring Break Trip 
  • (Spring 2013) International Alternative Spring Break to Guatemala City, Guatemala - FHSU Center for Civic Leadership sponsored service activity trip.
  • (Spring 2013) Spain: Land of Many Cultures - Group Tour opportunity to "Discover the varied cultures of Spain on an adventure that begins in the vibrant city of Madrid. Visit the Royal Palace before exploring Toledo's Cathedral and venturing on to Seville's Alcazar. Journey to Cordoba, experience the Alhambra in Granada and continue to Barcelona, where you'll see La Sagrada Famila, Gaundi's unfinished masterpiece." Trip will be during spring break 2013. First meeting is Sept. 7th at 12:30 in Rarick Hall 113. FHSU contact Charmion Arthur. For more information visit 
  • (Spring 2013) Following in Galileo's Footsteps - Group Tour opportunity. "Galileo, Fibonacci, Leonardo, Fermi , and other great luminaries that laid the foundation for science and mathematics all had their start in Italy. Time, place, and culture all influenced the creative genius of these individuals. While we can read all about the history, why not go to Italy in May of 2013 to follow in the footsteps of Galileo! - from Venice, to Florence, and up the steps of the Leaning Tower of Pisa." FHSU contact Dr. Paul Adams. A non-required on-line course, Following Galileo's Footsteps, is available for those who wish to learn more about Italy and it's scientific history. 

Facilities, Equipment, and Special Projects

  •  Weather Station - The Department of Geosciences maintains both FHSU weathers stations. A small weather station and several weather cams are located near Tomanek Hall on campus. A second larger weather station is located on the FHSU farm. Both weather stations are used to collect and analyze various weather and climate data. In addition to collection of data, the weather station offers students opportunities for internships and undergraduate research experiences.
  • SuperDARN Radar -
  • General Departmental Facilities and Equipment -

A Quick glance at recent Offerings of Unique Courses and Experiences

 The Courses below have been offered recently and may be offered again in the future, watch TigerTracks for enrollment opportunities and check back on this page regularly so see what other exciting courses we are offering.

Advanced Topics in Geosciences: Disaster Planning and Response (Spring 2012)- This class will take an in-depth look at methods of disaster planning and recent responses to disasters. This course is an excellent elective for anyone interested in a career in urban planning, GIS applications, or any aspect of government.

Problems in Geosciences: Geography of Foods (spring 2012) - This class will take you on an investigative and tasty world tour of food and cultural eating habits. In this course you will: be exposed to tastes and uses of spices from different regions of the world, have the opportunity to openly discuss your thoughts and opinions on foods and food sources, learn about and discuss world and personal food taboos, investigate food marketing methods, explore principal foods of the world, and identify regional world cuisines as well as united tastes.

Seminar in Geosciences: Petroleum Geology Environmental Issues (Spring 2012) - This class will explore the differing issues and opinions of the environmental impact of petroleum exploration. 

Museum Administration and Management  (Offered alternating Fall semesters) - Museum administration and management deals with the challenges and changing role in society that museums face in our rapidly evolving world. The course looks into the ways that museums are organized, how they find their mission, and how they achieve their objectives. Issues facing museum administrators including personnel, facilities, marketing, public programs, financial management, collections, and ethics will be covered. The emphasis in this course is to allow you to plan and design your ideal museum. 

Museum Public Education (offered alternating Spring semesters) - Education in a museum encompasses many aspects from galleries, outreach, collections, and ongoing research. Explore the role of education from history and development to current issues, learning theories, techniques and the incorporation of State Science Standards. Learn about museum policies, working with volunteers, and program creation and evaluation. This course will touch on all educational avenues from general public, school groups, and continuing education for teaching professionals. This course is designed for those who want to pursue employment in museum education, further their techniques in elementary and post-secondary education, or simply gain a deeper understanding of the role of education programs within the mission and settings of the museum.  

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