NAGT > Teaching Resources > Teaching in the Field > Field Trip Examples > GeoJourney


Dr. Joe Elkins and Nikki Elkins
Bowling Green State University

Intended Audience: Undergraduate students in any major

Itinerary: There is a sample trip itinerary on the program website.


Starting and ending at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, GeoJourney is a field experience that covers much of the continental United States in a 14,500 mile loop that hits 24 states and 30 National Parks.


GeoJourney is a field trip/camping trip/road trip across the United States to many national parks and monuments for a full semester of college credit. GeoJourney offers students the opportunity to study geology, American Indian studies, and environmental studies in an outdoor environment. During the day, students carry out field investigations in a variety of environments, including day hikes and geologic mapping projects at high elevation. At night, campfire lectures and discussions, reading assignments, and written exams enhance the educational experience. The program is offered through Bowling Green State University and students receive 16 semester credits for successful completion of the program.


The GeoJourney experience lasts for nine weeks, typically from mid-August through mid-October. The typical group is around 30 students and trip leaders. Since this is a credit-carrying experience, there are program fees and tuition costs. Participants may be undergraduates from any major and no previous field experience is required.


Examples - Build regional networks. Teach fundamentals of petrology through regional examples. Demonstrate connections between faulting and metamorphism. Instruct participants in the use of questions on a field trip.


How was trip designed to meet the goals?

Notes and Tips:

Examples - Get a key to the gate. Get permission from property owner. Are there special safety concerns for this site or trip? Info for costs, financing, and logistics.

Assessment and Evaluation:

Participants are evaluated using tests (which include field material), special projects, and field notebooks (which are picked up and graded at random intervals, without warning).


Elkins, J.T. and N. Lyle-Elkins (2004). GeoJourney: An Interdisciplinary Expeditionary Field Trip Across the United States. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 36, No. 5, p. 553.

Lyle-Elkins, N. and J.T. Elkins (2004). Assessment of the Effectiveness of Interdisciplinary Expeditionary Field Trips on Student Misconceptions in Geosciences. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 36, No. 5, p. 554.

Elkins, J.T. and N. Lyle-Elkins (2004). The Development of Portable Audio/Visual Systems for Instructional Use During Travel Times to Field Stops. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 36, No. 5, p. 554.

Elkins, J.T. and N.M.L. Elkins (2006). Improving Student Learning During Travel Time on Field Trips Using an innovative, Portable Audio/Video System. Journal of Geoscience Education, 54(2), 147.

Elkins, J.T. and N.M.L. Elkins (2006). iTool or iToy?: The use of iPods on a Field-Based Introductory Geology Course. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 38, No. 7, p. 219.