2014 Field Camp

Central Texas Field Camp

Sarah Beers, John Dabney, Adrian Dancer, Justin Kelley, and Antonio Hernandez completed their summer intercession field camp. We included a hydrogeology professional development aspect to this field camp. To set the stage for their field camp, the above students received the following letter from their employer requesting that they complete the following three projects: Project 1: Willie Howard Investments, Inc. is planning a housing subdivision that will be constructed on the Cypress Mill Ranch property adjacent to the Pedernales River. The owner of the property wants to know what potential aquifers exist under his property to support the water needs of his community. We need you to conduct a geologic investigation of the site, research other studies on adjacent properties, and send me your findings. Project 2: Ron Fieseler (Manager of Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District) and Paul Tybor (Manager, Hill Country Underground Water Conservation District) will be logging the geology of a well using their geophysical logging equipment.

They have type geophysical logs of the surrounding area. Ask for a copy of these type logs because you will be using them in the other projects. Ron and Paul have a number of wells in the area for you to learn how to map the subsurface aquifers. You will need to prepare a methods manual for your technical group for each of these activities. Project 3: The Howdy Doody ranch located in Blanco County (approximately 8 miles west of Johnson City) is looking for a groundwater supply for their ranch on the northern side of the Pedernales River. We need you to conduct a geologic investigation of the site, research other studies on adjacent properties, and send me your findings. Please submit a final report (only one please) that includes your investigations on the above project assignments. Also, send me your field book with billable hours associated with each client. Since the second project is an in-house project you will bill that to us. Very important: the above final report must be organized in a historical geology context.

Big Bend National Park

Sarah Beers, Matthew Dabney, Adrian Dancer, Jeff Elsworth, Antonio Hernandez, Dakota Kubiak, Emilio Martinez, Gloria Salinas, Evan Taylor, and Charles Winn attended our third annual field camp to Big Bend National Park. We held our base camp at the Terlingua Ranch Lodge in the Christmas Mountains. This is a wonderful location in the western edge of the Christmas Mountains Quadrangle. Jim Chude owns a piece of property on the boundary of the Texas State School Property in the Christmas Mountains. We are presenting three new awards this year to honor our best field students in a special category. The Best Overall Field Performer in project work, Best Field Observations Notebook, and Best Final Field Report are key performance areas in professional development measured by faculty. Jeff Elsworth is the winner of the Best Overall Field Performer award. Jeff is ranked within the top two students in each performance area measured in individual projects, field notebook, and final report. Dakota Kubiak is the winner of the Best Field Observations Notebook. His field notebook is one of the best notebooks turned into our program. Matthew Dabney turned in the Best Final Field Report this year. Mr. Dabney won his third writing award this semester.

Mark Ford, Thomas McGehee, and Dan Jackson organized, supervised, and evaluated the field activities and projects performed by our majors. We are very impressed by the individual performances of each of our majors. Mr. Brent Winborne and Veronica Nieto were Field Teaching Assistants this camp. This is Brent Winborne’s second assignment as a field Teaching Assistant. Both performed like high-level graduate assistants. Jim Chude and Brent Winborne also scouted a future field exercise in the Christmas Mountains adjacent to our new field camp at Terlingua Ranch. We are excited to announce that we have a perfect location for this project. We want to thank all the staff of the Terlingua Ranch that provided a top facility for this summer’s field camp. The faculty expresses our special thanks to both of our Teaching Assistants that drove vehicles, provided field instructional assistance, and provided daily logistical support. We are very thankful that Jim Chude provides his time and a considerable amount of field support for our majors. We are fortunate to have Amber Conner on our staff to assist in correcting the final reports.