The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is planning two international and one domestic field trips in the Spring of 2023.  Details on these trips will be forthcoming through the Fall semester, but we want students to make plans now, should they wish to join.  The dates, student contributions towards travel, and durations are preliminary, but are provided to give students a general idea of each. We anticipate that the Department will cover field-trip costs in excess of travel costs. We hope to obtain additional financial aid for students based on financial need.


Jeroen Ritsema, Ethan Shirley, Rodrigo Figueroa

Early May 2023        2 weeks        10 students

Students on the field trip will explore Brazil’s diverse environments and geologic history that are markedly different from those in the United States. We will arrive in Rio de Janeiro to see the Neoproterozoic Granite-Gneiss Massifs and to enjoy Rio’s culture. Next, we will fly to Cuiabá near the Brazil-Bolivia border to explore the biodiversity of the Pantanal and surrounding regions. Finally, we will travel to Teresina in northeastern Brazil to visit the Serra da Capivara with massive Silurian conglomerate formations, ancient rock art dating back to 25,000 years ago (or older), and to join local paleontologists on a fossil hunting trip in some of the best Permian outcrops in the world. Students travel in rental cars and stay in hotels and guest houses. Students who participate in the field trip will be expected to enroll in a seminar in W23.


Nathan Niemi, John Geissman

Early May 2023       2 weeks        20 students

Students will fly to Capetown, and explore South Africa on a west-to-east route, ending in Durban. Planned stops and topics include the Kimberly diamond mine (kimberlites and diamond formation); the Karoo Basin (Permo-Triassic extinction – evidence and controversies), the Bushveld Igneous Complex (igneous layered intrusions); the Great Escarpment (why is there a high plateau in South Africa); the hominid vaults at Pretoria (human evolution in Africa).  Stops at game parks and other cultural features are also planned.  Students will travel in vans and accommodations will primarily be at guest houses. Students who participate in the field trip will be expected to enroll in a seminar in W23.


Kacey Lohmann

Early May 2023        2 weeks       20 students

The objective of this course/excursion is to examine and study the geology of the mid-continent and southwest region of the US, focusing principally on the geological history as expressed in the sedimentary record.  The goal of the course is to understand the geological evolution of this region, synthesizing the sedimentary, igneous and tectonic features.  On the trip toward the ultimate goal of west Texas and New Mexico, we will have numerous stops in Indiana, Missouri, and Kansas to examine the Precambrian through the Cretaceous stratigraphic record.  During the return to Ann Arbor, we will pass through central and eastern Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, and Ohio.  Students will travel in University vans and evening accommodations will be camping.  Costs for students will be limited to food throughout the trip.