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Exploring Geology

First-Year Interest Groups

All About the Geology FIG

FIG Sponsor:

Ken Sims

FIG Capacity:


FIG Description:

This FIG is intended for students who have a strong interest in Geology and would like to get an early start on their career.  In this FIG we will take several field trips to explore Wyoming’s amazing geology, which includes rocks from the Earth’s earliest history to our still active Yellowstone super volcano.

This FIG will also introduce the essential realities of living on a dynamic Earth from a geologist’s perspective. We will examine how geologic events and processes (earthquakes, floods, land-slides, volcanic eruptions, and long-term and short-term climate changes) effect our survival, evolution, and adaptation and how our life and civilization are connected to the Earth’s energy cycles. We will also critically examine geo-engineering.

Finally, we will look at the new science of ‘geobiochemistry’, which explores the wonderful nexus between geology and life. In particular, we will become acquainted with how the hydrothermal systems of Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park have led us to a new understanding of life in extreme environments.

Boots on the ground field geology. Students enrolled in the Geology FIG will start the semester by participating in a four-day field trip to the Beartooth Mountains, and Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. During our travels, this trip will also take us through some of Wyoming’s amazing geological features including Wind River Canyon, Heart Mountain, and Sunlight Basin to name just a few. Students get to move in to the Residence Halls on Tuesday, August 18. The trip will occur Wednesday – Saturday,  August 19–August 22.  In addition, we will take two one-day field trips to local geological settings- the  Snowy Range and the Laramie Range.

Please note: Students enrolled in the Exploring Geology FIG should not register for the Fall Outdoor Experience (FOE) through the Outdoor Program, as these programs overlap.

Hall: McIntyre 7th Floor 


  • GEOL 1101 - First Year Seminar: The Anthropocene: Humans Control of Nature
  • GEOL 1100 - Physical Geology

*You will be able to add an additional 2 or 3 courses to your schedule when you meet with an advisor during orientation in June.

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