Field Experience


Inks Lake State Park

Dr. Sanchez and 11 students traveled to Inks Lake State Park and Marble Falls April 5-7 to study the structural geology of that area. Students mapped contacts between different metamorphic rock units on a topographic base map. They sketched field relationships and annotated these, so they could use these in a report. They also documented cross-cutting relationships on their map and in their notebook. Their mapping technique instructions was to do a closed loop/pace and compass traverse. They had to follow the down-plunge or down-dip direction of foliation and focus on encountering contacts between contrasting lithologies.


On April 11, Dr. Mark Ford led six students taking Petrology to Ingleside on the Bay to examine the different types of granite that make up the seawall. Students discovered and documented more than 15 different textural features and determined if they were primary or secondary textures. The students also described the mineralogy of the multiple different types of granite used in the seawall and documented their work in both field notebooks and a final report.

Houston Museum of Natural Sciences

On April 14, Dr. Thomas McGehee and Richard Parker led 29 students taking Physical Geology and Historical Geology classes to the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences to study the professional exhibits and complete a scavenger hunt exercise. The Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals and the Lester and Sue Smith Gem Vault keys into the Physical Geology class study of
mineralogy. The Weiss Energy Hall keys into modern technologies in acquiring energy resources. The Morian Hall of Paleontology keys into both Physical and Historical Geology.

Cypress Mill Property

On April 19-21, Drs.. Brent Hedquist and Haibin Su with geologists (Dr. Thomas McGehee, Richard Parker, and Jim Chute) led 15 students taking Field Methods and Cartography on a field trip to study the unconformity contact between Paleozoic and Cretaceous rocks on the Cypress Mill property. Four teams were organized by the faculty to discover contact boundaries using pace and compass techniques. At each location the team was required to study the differences in the surrounding rock types and make detailed notes and sketches on what was seen. The following day students mapped the unconformity contacts.

Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District

On April 26-28, Dr. Brian Smith, Brian Hunt, Ron Fieseler, and Dr. Thomas McGehee led 11 students in the Hydrogeology class to the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) to study how hydrogeologists manage this portion of the Edwards Aquifer and Trinity Aquifer. Ron Fieseler and students logged a well, brought the data back to the lab and interpreted the log. He had two other logs they used to correlate the geology across a broad area. We discovered a fault between the two of the wells, which was cool

This page was last updated on: October 13, 2018