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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Various Locations, Canada
  • Program Terms: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2020 02/03/2020 02/05/2020 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Housing Options: Camping
Maximum Credits Available: 02 Prior Language Study: N/A
Click here for a definition of this term Eligibility Requirements: Completed at least 12 college credits, GPA of 2.75 or higher, Program specific requirements Duration: Short-term, Summer
Excluded from Open Doors: Include Program Sponsor: University-Sponsored
Program Description:
MountainProgram potential dates: Summer 2020 dates to be determined.

Overview of the program

Are you considering a major in geology or a related field? Do you dream of seeing the places in your geology textbook first hand? Are you ready to touch the Burgess Shale, crawl through a cave and find real dinosaur bones?

The Undergraduate Geology Field Experience is a unique hands-on learning experience for students who are interested in the geosciences. This program will visit various geological sites in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. Students will build their observation skills and connect the concepts they have learned in their previous geology classes to the real world. Students will learn about mountain building, glaciation, hydrothermal activity, and fossils found in Canada. The intention of this field experience is to provide students with the confidence to make observations and measurements in the field.

ViewStudents will have ample opportunity to identify minerals, rocks, and fossils in the field and see classic geologic sites first hand. By completing this field course, students will be able to transfer into the Geological Sciences department at any college with field experience, which will set them apart when applying to transfer to undergraduate school or when applying to graduate school. There are not many students majoring in geology who have seen the Burgess Shale in situ... students who complete this program will!

This program includes visits to unique and remote locations that will require easy to difficult hiking and physical activity. Accommodations will include tent camping in established campgrounds. Due to the altitude in the Canadian Rockies, students should be in good physical health and be comfortable hiking for extended periods of time over uneven terrain.

Course Information

Students enroll in Madison College course number 20-806-251, class #11331. The course is Undergraduate Geology Field Experience. This 1-credit course is completed during the program in Canada.

The pre-requisite to enroll in the Undergraduate Geology Field Experience course is to have EITHER passed a 4-credit geoscience lab course (options include: Geologic Evolution of the Earth (20-806-249), General Geology (20-806-244), Earth Science (20-806-241) with Earth Science Lab (20-806-247) with a grade of “B” or better, OR be concurrently enrolled in a 4-credit geoscience course.

The Instructor for this course is Jennifer Lewis, a physical sciences instructor at Madison College who specializes in geology, earth science and oceanography. There will be an additional instructor TBD.

Accommodation and Meals
Participants will camp in tents at an established campground with facilities. The cost of the program includes 3 meals per day.


Students will participate in the following excursions as part of this program:
  • Guided tour of the Walcott Quarry in Field, B.C. to see soft-body fossil preservation of the Burgess Shale.
  • “Explorer Cave Tour” of the Rat’s Nest Cave in Canmore, AB
  • Tour of the Cave and Basin National Park, Canada’s first national park.
  • Visit to the Upper Hot Springs Pool in Banff, AB.
  • Behind-the-scenes tour of the fossil prep-room and excavation sites at the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, AB
  • “Fossil Prospecting Tour” at Dinosaur Provincial Park

Moon RiseAdditional Information

A passport is required for U.S. citizens traveling to Canada. If you need to apply for a passport, it is advised to allow at least 6 weeks for standard processing.

All students are required to attend the three-hour pre-departure orientation. This orientation provides information on health and safety, packing and trip planning, flight logistics, and other essential information.


Future program fees are still being determined. Program Fees for 2019 was approximately $1900 USD, and included the following:
  • Travel and field geology experience in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada
  • Hands-on geology field experience
  • Tours of the Burgess Shale, the Rat’s Nest Cave, the Royal Tyrell Museum, Dinosaur Provincial Park
  • All lodging
  • Most meals in Canada
  • Experienced geology instructors
  • Mandatory International Health Insurance

Additional Costs include:
  • Airfare to and from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Additional tuition for the 1-credit Undergraduate Geology Field Experience course
  • Some meals in transit to and from Canada
  • Incidental/recreational food and drink
  • Personal expenses: laundry, entertainment, souvenirs, etc.
  • Passport (if you do not already have one)

For More InformationDinosaur

If you would like to know more about studying abroad through Madison College, please email us or call 608-246-6201 to schedule an appointment.