If you crave education in action, the great outdoors, and building community then you should consider this once in a lifetime opportunity to learn how the geosciences are utilized in multiple facets of daily life. Our GeoJourney course for newly admitted NC State students will explore the relationships between the geosciences and society along one of North America’s greatest waterways – the Colorado River.

What We Offer

  • Earn 3 credit hours in Geology which may fulfill a GEP requirement
  • Spend 2 weeks learning and exploring along the path of the iconic Colorado River
  • Get to know an amazing cohort of curious adventurers just like you
  • Learn about how our geoscience knowledge will be essential in shaping our future world.

Who Can Apply

This 16-day field course is only offered for incoming freshmen (those admitted for the Fall 2018 term).

Overview of Field Course

When: Thursday, July 26th, 2018 – Saturday, August 11th, 2018

Cost: This is an all inclusive trip that will cover your round trip airfare from Raleigh-Durham Int’l Airport, ground transportation, lodging, meals, and National Park entrance fees for $1700. (3 credits of tuition, $918.60 for NC residents, is not included in this cost)

Where: Our 2018 GeoJourney will begin in Raleigh where students will spend 3 days (July 26th – July 28th) on campus at NC State engaging in team-building and outdoor-oriented experiences while learning about the basics of the study of the Earth with a focus on the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Plateau, and Basin & Range physiographic provinces through which the GeoJourney will traverse.

Faculty and students will fly together from RDU to DEN, where the GeoJourney begins. See our interactive map below for details on each stop along the journey. Our first stop will be the headwaters of the Colorado River, located at the Continental Divide within Rocky Mountain National Park.  Along the route we will spend focused learning time at some of the most iconic locations in the American West, including Grand Mesa, Arches, Canyonlands, and Capital Reef National Parks, the Henry Mountains and Lake Powell, Monument Valley and Glenn Canyon Dam, San Francisco Peaks Volcanic Field, Grand Canyon National Park, and Hoover Dam.  The GeoJourney will end in Las Vegas, Nevada from where faculty and students will fly back to Raleigh.

Have a question about the GeoJourney?

View our frequently asked questions (FAQs) page by clicking here

Click on individual map “placemarks” for additional information about the locations, topics, and activities that students will engage with while on the GeoJourney.


Colorado River GeoJourney Staff

Geologist Dr. Karl Wegmann is an Associate Professor of Geology in the Dept. of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences (MEAS) at NC State University. Wegmann teaches undergraduate courses in Introductory Geology, Geomorphology, Natural Hazards, and Field Geology. He is the co-director the MEAS capstone senior undergraduate geology field course, which is taught every summer in New Mexico. Wegmann also directs departmental regional geology field courses to locations including the Colorado Plateau, Basin & Range, Rio Grande Rift, and Cascade Mountains. Wegmann’s geology research has taken him across the country and world, from the Olympic Mountains of Washington State, to the Khangay Mountains of Mongolia, from Colorado’s Grand Mesa, to the south coast of Crete, and from the southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina to the Apennines of central Italy. Wegmann loves teaching geology in one of the best classrooms available – the land and riverscapes of the American West.

Contact: kwwegman@ncsu.edu | Phone: 919-515-0380

Chester Brewer is the Assistant Director of the University Scholars Program (USP) at NC State University. Brewer has a Master’s degree in Outdoor Education with a focus on place-based learning. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder through the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).  Each Semester, one of his primary duties in the University Scholars Program is development and leadership of a series of outdoor experiential trips for students. He has led hundreds of students on outdoor trips in North Carolina, to locations across the US including to the Rocky Mountains and Colorado Plateau, and several international destinations. Brewer brings years of training and learned skills in outdoor living, risk management and wilderness medicine, paired with his connections across the NCSU campus community to the Colorado River GeoJourney.

Contact: ckbrewe2@ncsu.edu

Geologist Rachel Atkins is a Graduate Teaching Assistant & Ph.D. Student in the Dept. of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences (MEAS) at NC State University. Atkins has a Master’s degree in Geoscience Education with a focus on improving climate science literacy. Atkins is passionate about Geoscience teaching. She has taught lecture and laboratory courses in Introductory Geology and Earth System Science and co-organized and led a regional geology field course for undergraduate students to Lassen Volcanic National Park in California.  She has twice been the graduate teaching assistant for the NC State Univ. Geology Summer Field Course in New Mexico. Atkins’ Ph.D. research focuses upon the tectonics and planetary surface processes of Mars, Mercury, and Earth.

Contact: ratkins@ncsu.edu


(Photo Credits: Mather Point, Grand Canyon National Park and a stop on the GeoJourney. NPS Photo by Michael Quinn.)