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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Min GPA: 2.8 Housing Options: Apartment
Academic Area: Geology
Program Description:

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The Geology of New Zealand Programme (Geology) begins with a five-week field camp, which includes a series of interlinked modules that explore the stratigraphy, mountain building, and tectonics of the South Island, and the volcanology and geothermal geology of the North Island. Following field-camp, students transition to a campus semester at the University of Canterbury located in Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island. While at the University of Canterbury, students enroll in four courses, one of which is a research methods course based upon data collected in field camp.

Field Camp Spring Semester: January 9th – February 13th, 2017
Field Camp Fall Semester: June 7th – July 15th, 2017

For 5.5 weeks, students will travel throughout the North and South Islands, deciphering the geologic evolution of New Zealand from a series of linked field modules. Our goal is to provide students with a skill base of field-focused techniques that will enable them to understand the fundamental causes and timescales of geologic processes. Field work is complemented by map preparation and exercises in the evenings, as well as lectures that highlight a wide variety of our staff’s field and laboratory-based studies.

2017 field modules (modules subject to change):
  • Field Module 1: Introduction to Geologic Field Mapping  in Castle Hills Basin. The first component of field camp is an introduction to field mapping in the Castle Hill Basin, located in the eastern foothills of the Southern Alps, inland Canterbury. Students will learn basic field skills including compass work and navigation, triangulating for location, field notetaking and sketching, outcrop descriptions,  introduction to geomorphological observations, and producing a small geologic map.
  • Field Module 2: Detailed stratigraphic and structural mapping in an uplifted and deformed succession of Oligocene marine strata (Castle Hill basin). The second module examines the stratigraphy and structural geology of Castle Hill basin, located in the eastern foothills of the Southern Alps, inland Canterbury. This part of the course will focus on advanced field mapping skills, including the compilation of a detailed stratigraphic column, mapping geological contacts and structures, geomorphic features, and preparing geological cross sections. The structural mapping concentrates on the complex folding best expressed by a middle Tertiary limestone unit, and we will be developing a structure contour map on this unit. This will develop an understanding of both the structural and geomorphic evolution of the basin, and subsequent uplift, deformation and glaciations.
  • Field Module 3: Gondwanaland to New Zealand: reconstructing the geologic architecture of the South Island. Field module 3 integrates different types of geologic data to interpret a geologic history of the Buller District of the West Coast region, South Island. This part of the field programme is based in Westport. This model focuses on the examination of a metamorphic core complex, its less deformed cover and contemporaneous basin deposits reflecting the Cretaceous Gondwana breakup and related extension. Additionally, we will study the tectonic controls on the formation and evolution of the Cretaceous-Tertiary basins of the region, and how this has been subsequently folded and faulted. The field programme provides further field training utilizing and developing basic field mapping skills such as the observation, recording and interpretation of folded bedding-cleavage relationships, and furthers structural relationships at varying scales.
  • Field Module 4: Volcanoes: Eruption Styles, Volcano Monitoring and Hazards. Large stratovolcanoes are what come to mind when one typically imagines a volcano. In this module, students will learn how these types of volcanoes are constructed over time, the scale of the different eruption types and their resulting volcanic deposits, the frequency of eruptions, and what happens to these volcanoes when they are not erupting. In addition, students will learn about the associated hazards of the these volcanoes and put their newfound mapping skills and volcanic knowledge to the test in a an eruption simulation exercise.
  • Field Module 5: Independent Research Projects. During field module 5, students will apply the skills acquired during the first four weeks of field camp to group mapping projects of previously unmapped terrain on Banks Peninsula. This is the capstone field camp experience that leads into the initiation of your semester research project during this last field module. Research projects in 2017 could involve volcanology, igneous petrology, geomorphology, paleoclimatology, digital mapping (GIS and 3-D visualisation), geo-archaeology, geologic hazards, engineering geology, and geo-education.
Spring Campus Semester:  February 17th –  June 24th, 2017
Fall Campus Semester:  July 15th –  November 13th, 2016

The field camp experience will transition into a semester at the University of Canterbury. Students will enroll in 4 semester courses (2 Geology courses including a required research methods course, and 2 course of your choosing from the University of Canterbury course catalogue). The research methods course allows the students to conduct a research project based upon data collected during field camp. In addition, students will learn to compile and prepare a professional map and geologic history based on field module 1

What will I study?

Course Breakdown
Programme Details:
Credits/Units: Five course credits transcripted by the Lafayette College.
  1. Geology Field Camp
  2. Geologic Field Research Methods – Geology 356 at the University of Canterbury.
  3. One courses within the Department of Geological Sciences. Glaciology students have the option of taking the graduate level Glacial Geology and Geomorphology.
  4. Two courses of your choosing

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2025 10/01/2024 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.