Not offered in 2018


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Dates: Summer Session (travel dates May 24 - June 3; the group will travel together)

Location: Gerace Research Station, San Salvador, the Bahamas and SD Mines campus

Credits: GEOL 412 Science and Engineering Field Applications (Three credits)

Costs: Tuition and fees for a 3 credit course (Approximately $1,000)

Required Documents: Valid US Passport. Completed NSF REU and Gerace Research Station Health Forms

Instructors:  Annette Summers Engel, University of Tennessee-Knoxville

                        Laurie Anderson, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology


Course Highlights:

  • 2-week field studies and 8-week research opportunity after returning to campus

  • Travel, meals, and housing during travel are covered while in the Bahamas by a grant from the National Science Foundation

  • Learn field methods, data collection, and site characterization while studying coastal biomes

  •  Examine and compare modern depositional systems to Pleistocene deposits

  • Study how anthropogenic activities affect coastal ecosystems, including the impact of climate change, water quality needs, karst, and carbonate platform sedimentary processes

  •  Construct posters after returning to campus, and write and present research to the group

Background:  "Field Studies in Coastal Biomes. Students will enroll in GEOL 412, and the course will take place on San Salvador, the Bahamas (travel dates May 24 June 3) and then back on the SD Mines campus through July 30, 2016.

This is an interdisciplinary course for highly motivated undergraduate students interested in geobiology and paleoecology. Preference will be given to sophomores and juniors. Students will be expected to enthusiastically take part in mini-projects completed in teams on the island, focusing on seagrass beds, mangrove forests, and coral reefs, and to continue the research during the remainder of the summer back on campus. On campus, students will write up their findings, construct posters, and present their work to the group. Research can continue at the end of the summer for independent research under the direction of Dr. Anderson.


The field component on the island will involve swimming, snorkeling, wilderness trekking, strenuous field work (i.e., shoveling and sieving sediment) and long hours of exposure to the elements. Being able to swim and good physical condition are important.

Eligibility and Minimum Requirements:

  1. Ability to meet for the course both in the field and after return from field work

  2. Enrollment in the Summer GEOL 412 course

  3. Minimum overall GPA of 3.2

  4. Pass medical/dental exam (required by National Science Foundation)

  5. Valid US Passport


Applications are due to Dr. Anderson no later than March 1, 2016.

Selection criteria: You are responsible for ensuring that your application is complete prior to the application deadline. Applications will be reviewed and acceptance into the course is based on multiple criteria, including academic performance, research interests, career goals, and recommendations. Students selected will be notified as soon as possible after selection.


Questions: email Dr. Anderson


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