“This course was a perfect culmination of all the field trips I had taken during my time at Juniata. I was particularly invested because we, the students, were responsible for the research and locations. I enjoyed experiencing outcrops that even the professors hadn't been to before.”

Kaylee Pennell ’18


Nothing in our field is more integrative than field studies, where students solve real-world earth science problems through hands-on study of water, rocks, and environments. Expedition: Earth is a new field experience course designed for geology students of all levels to promote exposure and engagement with a diverse range of geologic settings.

In the first two years of this class, field trips have included a 15-day driving tour of Maine and a 10-day trip to Aruba.

“I most enjoyed the exchange of ideas and thoughts with my peers and professors. On the Maine trip, I remember a great discussion of features in the outcrop by the Nubble Lighthouse that lead to further questions and exploration I wouldn't have done had I been there on my own. It was also amazing to be able to climb Mt. Katahdin.”


What to expect:


Students take a 3-credit class during the spring semester and then embark on the trip during spring break or after the semester’s end. The course is offered at the 100-level and has only introductory geology as a prerequisite, so it is available to students of all levels. The class is repeatable, but does not fulfill any requirement for the major or for the general education curriculum.

Instruction is designed to be student-centered: the professors choose the overall location, but the students have input on every other aspect of the trip: code of conduct, itinerary, schedule, and designing the field trip guide.

Students who participate in this class show enthusiasm for exploring new environments, confidence in their ability to apply their geology knowledge in a new setting, and appreciation for the work and research required to develop a sophisticated field guide.

“I do feel I've gained a greater understanding of the research that goes into planning a field excursion. I feel like this course has given me confidence that I could assemble research to guide my own trip.”


Future expeditions:


We are traveling to Montana in August 2020! Students will study the geology and dinosaur paleontology of the Cretaceous rocks in northern Montana and the diverse exposures of Glacier National Park. Research will be a main focus of future expeditions. Students will design and write a geological guidebook for the trip and carry out a group research project in the field area.

We are exploring options for an excursion to Nova Scotia in 2021! Check back for more details!


For more information, please contact the faculty below:

Juniata College Research Associate in Geology Adam Ianno

Adam Ianno

Research Associate in Geology and Chemistry

Phone: (814)641-6662
Email: iannoa@juniata.edu
Office: Brumbaugh Academic Center P100