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USGS Geocamp


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Registration for the 2019 USGS Geocamp has closed

*To keep updated on USGS GeoCamp news, and to receive updates on when 2020 enrollment begins, complete our interest form below*
The United States Geological Survey and the West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey have teamed up with West Virginia University to initiate the Appalachian Geoscience GeoCamp in summer 2019. Students from across the country and who are moving into grades 9 through 12 in the fall 2019 academic year will explore concepts and skills related to the earth sciences, including orienteering, topographic and geologic mapping, forest ecology and more. The GeoCamp experience will go far beyond indoor lessons and lectures by putting learning into the field alongside experts, to create hands-on experiences that allow students to explore possible future interests and careers. 



    The Appalachian GeoScience GeoCamp is designed to engage high school students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through outdoor recreation and adventure-based activities. Participants will engage in the discovery of natural science, with a strong emphasis on observational, surveying and mapping skills and methods. The GeoCamp will give participants tools to better understand the world they live in, and will seek to ignite interest in GeoSTEM career paths.

    Activities & Instruction 

    This 8 day, 7-night summer adventure will be sited at WVU's Outdoor Education Center and on the campus of West Virginia University, with lodging in yurts and campus student housing. The forests, rivers, caves and terrain around Morgantown provide a perfect environment for exploration and learning while immersed in nature. The GeoCamp will take a non-traditional approach by integrating field-based earth science and mapping lessons with outdoor adventures. St udents will learn about the natural world all around them while physically engaging in some of the following tentative activities
    • Rock Climbing at Cooper's Rock State Forest
      • Topic - Understanding Rocks
    • Zip-Lining at the WVU Outdoor Ed. Center
      • Topic - BioBlitz & Identifying Invasive Species
    • Rafting down the Cheat River
      • Topic - Geologic Structure Analysis 
    • Caving at Lauren Caverns
      • Topic - Exploration and Formation Processes
    • Cycling down the Mon River Rail Trail
      • Topic - Geologic Framework Mapping
    • Hiking at Cooper's Rock State Forest
      • Topic - Orienteering on Topographic Maps
    • Travel Day to Seneca Rocks
      • Topic - Sightseeing & Structure in Motion 
    • High & Low Rope Activities
      • Topic - Recreation & Fun!
    • Many of the activities above may include specific policies and procedures that may limit or bar participation. To review Adventure WV polices & procedures, and to review Essential Eligibility Criteria (EEC) - visit our website below:


    Teaching Methods: 

      Students will learn about earth science while immersed in natural Appalachian environments through guided field surveys, guest lectures and field trips centered around the WVU University Forest near Morgantown, WV. The GeoCamp will be facilitated by WVU’s Adventure West Virginia Program. In addition, the students will have guest field activities led by participating guest scientists from the USGS and the West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey. We will provide the students with the best available opportunities to learn through hands-on experience and exposure to different activities such as rock climbing, whitewater rafting or caving, with a specific geoscience and mapping focus.  

      Note: This is a cell phone restricted program
       - What does this mean? During certain segments of our camp, participants will be asked to either stow away their phones, or limit their access. Certain program areas also have little to no cell phone coverage. With that said, participants will be given time to connect and call parents on a daily basis. Instructors will provide further instruction while at camp on when cell phones can and cannot be used. 


      Lodging & Accommodations: 

      The USGS Appalachian Geocamp will operate mostly within the north-central region of West Virginia. Day trips will be taken to various other locations, but the majority of activities and outdoor programs happen just outside Morgantown, WV. 

      Two main locations will be used for lodging and accommodations. The first two nights will be spent on the WVU Evansdale Campus. For the remainder of the camp, our primary location will be the WVU Outdoor Education Center. Participants will stay in Yurt Bunkhouses. Each Bunkhouse has an open floor plan, and can sleep up to 12 people per yurt. Participants will find that each yurt is equipped with a center communal area that consists of multiple Adirondack chairs and tables. Each yurt is located within a very short walk of most Outdoor Education Center facilities. Bathrooms, showers, picnic areas and fire rings are also located within within feet of these yurt facilities. Participants are responsible for their own linens while staying at the WVU Outdoor Education Center. 


      Appalachian Geoscience Camp Contact:

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