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Program coordinators are now accepting applications for the 2019 Appalachian Geoscience GeoCamp

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with West Virginia University (WVU) and the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES), is proud to announce the second annual Appalachian Geoscience GeoCamp. This event is a collaborative geoscience opportunity, open to high school students nationwide, and will be held June 23– 30, 2019, in Morgantown, West Virginia. 

Picture of camp participant identifying rock types
Hands-on experience identifying rock types while rafting along the Cheat River. (Public domain.)

Participating students will learn about local geology through hands-on geoscience activities led by WVU staff and professional research geologists from USGS, WVGES, and others in the geoscience community. The GeoCamp will take a non-traditional approach by integrating field-based earth science education with engaging outdoor adventure experiences. Educational topics include: orienteering techniques; rock, mineral, and fossil identification; plant identification and forest ecology; earth processes; geologic framework mapping and structure analysis; hydrology; environmental remediation; interactive photogrammetry using photos taken with smart phones and drones; and the geologic history of the Appalachians. Camp activities incorporating these topics include:

  • A forest canopy zipline tour
  • Exploring the WVGES Museum
  • An all-day rafting trip led by WVGES staff on the Cheat River
  • Cycling along the Monongahela River Rail Trail
  • Caving tour in nearby Laurel Caverns Geological Park
  • Geocaching, rock climbing, and hiking in Cooper’s Rock State Forest
  • Sampling and touring of acid mine drainage remediation stations operated by Friends of Decker’s Creek.
  • A day trip to the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area and Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley State Parks.

The Early Bird cost for the camp is $475 per student (in-state), $655 (out-of-state), plus tax.  Rates will increase after April 17. This all-inclusive fee covers meals, housing, activities, and transportation for the duration of the camp. There are six scholarship (two full, and four partial) opportunities for residents of West Virginia. Space is limited – only 20 slots are available.  Details, registration, and scholarship applications: Appalachian Geoscience GeoCamp.

Picture of Student Yurts in the West Virginia University Research Forest
Student Yurts in the West Virginia University Research Forest will will provide shelter for GeoCamp participants.  (Public domain.)
Picture of GeoCamp participants, geologic research
Learn about geology and how it informs our understanding of the world around us while hiking and biking through Cooper’s Rock State Forest.  (Public domain.)
Picture of Cooper's Rock State Forest
Students will have an opportunity to hike, bike, and explore through Cooper’s Rock State Forest, all while learning foundational geoscience concepts. (Public domain.)