DENVER –Dr Burmeister & his colleagues at the Wasatch-Uinta Geological Summer Field Camp were recently selected as the single awardee for the 2013 Geological Society of America/ExxonMobil Field Camp Excellence Award – a recently established but very hotly contested annual award.
The success of the Wasatch-Uinta Field Camp stretches back 46 years and more than 2600 students. To build and maintain the high level program that has been recognized by this award requires an ever-changing cast of faculty and teaching assistants largely recruited from the consortium schools (University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota-Duluth, and Michigan State University). The challenge of finding individuals with the right combination of teaching ability in the field, stamina, and personality for 3- or 6-week appointments is exceeded only by the challenge of the logistics of moving annual groups of 40 to 70 students and a dozen staff 5 to 40 miles out of Park City, UT, 6 days a week and – most importantly – bringing them all back safely at the end of the day.
It is hard to overstate the impact and importance of this capstone course for the development of future geoscientists. This summer, Nikki Mainwaring ('13) will be the first geology student from the University of the Pacific to attend the widely respected Wasatch-Uinta field camp! As a graduate of this program, Nikki will join a large community professional geoscientists that are extremely proud of the camp's distinguished past and look forward to a bright future. Dr Burmeister (through his position as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Geology at the University of Illinois) has been a member of the faculty at the camp since 2003 and has served as the program's co-Director since 2007. The Wasatch-Uinta camp has an enviable safety record but intends to spend the bulk of the associated $10,000 award on safety improvements - replacing old equipment and obtaining new items to help us respond in the future to possible problems.