Field Camp Participant Information

ERTH 480 (6 cr.) and ERTH 483/484/485 (2 cr. each)

(Dates: May 19th to July 1st)


Packing and Luggage – Consult the field equipment list at: Field Equipment Listing to see what is required and generally acceptable. Luggage space during field camp is limited. Do not bring ice chests,  television sets, desk top computers, bicycles and the like. You will be limited to the equivalent of two bags plus a field (back) pack during travel. My definition of a “bag” is one that is light enough to be carried (not rolled) by one person across a large parking lot and up three flights of stairs with no more than one rest stop along the way. Duffle bags are great. If an item is not on the list and you have questions regarding what is acceptable – ask.

Balance of Fees – Off campus participants and Tech students who have not paid the balance of their tuition and other fees must do so prior to the beginning of field camp. Administrative offices close at 4:00 p.m. on May 18th.  Because transportation from the airport to Socorro will arrive too late to pay fees on Friday, off campus students must pay fees online, by mail or over the telephone BEFORE May 18th.

InsuranceAll participants in field camp are required to have health insurance in effect between May 19th and July 1st.  If you have your own health insurance, you must either bring with you proof of coverage for the interval or an official letter substantiating your coverage. Proof of insurance must also be available during field camp so that medical providers will have a valid billing company and address.


Housing – Students will be responsible for their own lodging through the night of May 20th.  For those of you coming from out of town, you may stay either in a dorm room at Tech or in a motel for the nights of May 19th and May 20th. You may reserve a double occupancy dorm room (no linen) for $16.00 per night. Dorm rooms must be reserved in advance.  Arrangements must be made by May 14th, by contacting the department’s administrative assistant – Francesca Denton. You may do this by email (, telephone (575-835-5679), or mail to:

Francesca Denton, attn: Field Camp Housing
Department of Earth & Envr. Sci
New Mexico Tech
801 Leroy Place
Socorro, NM  87801

In your communication include:

  • your name
  • identify yourself as part of the “Geology Field Camp Group” and a short explanation saying that you are arranging housing for the nights of May 19th and May 20 th.  

A charge for the amount required ($32 for the two nights) will be made to your student account.  

There are many motels in Socorro and you shouldn’t have any difficulties finding a room if you do not make arrangements in advance.

Meals in Socorro – Students will be responsible for their own food through the noon meal on May 20st.

Private Vehicles – Personal vehicles are not permitted along on the field course.

Parking for Private Vehicles – If you wish to leave your vehicle in Socorro you may do so at your risk. If you will need to park a vehicle during field camp, contact immediately. Arrangements must be made in advance. Vehicles will be parked on Sunday morning (May 20th).

SCHEDULE IN SOCORRO (May 18 th – May 20th)

Fri., May 18th

prior to 4:00 pm – pay all remaining fees
~7:30 p.m. – Airport pickup and transport to Socorro.  Exact time to be announced later.  
Sat., May 19th

7:30 – Vehicles leave dorm for breakfast at M-Mountain Grill.
8:30  – ~11:30 a.m.: Orientation in MSEC 101
13:00 – Intro to Field Methods (in the field).
18:00 – Dinner – on your own. Vehicles can be made available to take folks to dinner.

Sun., May 20th

7:30 – Vehicles  leave dorm for breakfast at M-Mountain Grill
8:30 – Park personal cars, load luggage in MSEC Parking lot, travel to Las Vegas, NM;
Noon – Lunch in L.V.
13:00 – Intro to Stratigraphy

Meals – Most meals between the evening May 20th and the morning of July 1st are covered as part of field camp expenses. The exceptions are travel and camp days (approx. 3) when you are expected to provide your own meals from restaurants or in camp.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be covered by fees during our stay at New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU; beginning 5/20), on the raft trip and in Taos areas (beginning 6/22). You should bring sufficient additional funds to cover your food and other purchases for days not covered by the conditions outlined above. The amount will depend on whether you prepare your own food or eat at cafes (during the travel days it may be necessary to eat dinners in cafes). We recommend an absolute minimum of $200.00-$250.00 to cover these meals. You should bring additional money for incidental expenditures over the 6 weeks.

Dorm Accommodation – Dorm rooms employed for field camp are double occupancy and come without linen or blankets. Most participants use their sleeping bags. If you require linen, blankets and pillows, bring some. A small desk lamp is strongly recommended.  

Internet Access – The dorm rooms at NMT are wired for internet.  Please bring an ethernet cable to connect.  Wireless internet access is available at NMHU.  Internet access will not be available after departure from NMHU. Wireless access will next be available after the group moves to Taos.

Basic Rules and Regulation – A more comprehensive list of rules will be circulated on the morning of May 19th.  Rules below are intended to assist your preparations for field camp and our departure on May 20th.

    • A. Firearms and fireworks are not permitted either in the field or in our lodgings.


    • B. Pets will not be permitted during the field course.


    • C. Alcoholic beverages will not be permitted in the field.


    D. Use of personal vehicles is not permitted.

Teaching staff

Three faculty members, plus a teaching assistant will be involved in the course at various times this summer.

  • ERTH 483 -Dr Matt Zimmerer (stratigraphic and structural mapping)
  • ERTH 484 – Dr. Bruce Harrison (environmental geology, soils geomorphology)
  • ERTH 485 – Dr. Chloe Bonamici (structural geology, igneous and metamorphic petrology)
  • ERTH 480 – Dr. Bruce Harrison
  • TAs – TBA

Locale – The first 3½ weeks of New Mexico Tech’s field geology course will be spent in the area of Las Vegas, NM. Students will complete field exercises in Phanerozoic strata and surficial deposits exposed in the area. During this time we will stay in dormitories at New Mexico Highlands University.

We will spend 4 days working and rafting along the Chama River examining the geology of the area.  

The remainder of the camp will be spent mapping and describing granitoids, metamorphic rocks and ductile deformation in the vicinities of Pilar and Taos in northern New Mexico.


Instructors will assign course grades immediately after field camp ends and the final exercise has been graded. You will receive an “unofficial” grade along with the final exercise, if you provide us with a summer mailing address. An official transcript with your grade for Tech’s field camp will be provided after August 5, 2018, from the New Mexico Tech Registrar. The first copy will be sent free of charge. Each subsequent copy will cost $15.00 each. The registrar requires a signed transcript request form to release the transcript(s).