TOUCHING THE HEART... INSPIRING THE MIND
Truly great teachers and great courses touch students’ hearts and inspire their minds in ways that remain with them the rest
of their lives. For many geologists, the summer field course is the academic experience that has touched their heart and
inspired them most deeply. It is the cornerstone of the unique cultural foundation of the geosciences community.
Yet nationwide the number of summer field courses has decreased from more than 250 in the 1980’s to fewer than 70 today,
primarily as a casualty of increasing costs. The demise of these programs seriously jeopardizes our nation’s ability to train the
future workforce of geoscientists in the critical skills that are essential for careers in the minerals, energy, and environmental
industries. It is a concern that demands an insightful plan and commitment from Indiana University, given our outstanding
tradition of excellence in field geosciences.
Our response is founded on our unique asset, the Geologic Field Station in the Tobacco Root Mountains of southwest Montana, considered by many to be the finest facility and program of its kind in the world. This invaluable resource empowers us to perceive uncertainties in the future of field programs in geosciences as an exceptional opportunity to develop a bold strategy for broadening the spectrum of our educational activities in Montana.
The Department of Geological Sciences is committed to a long-term strategic plan that will progressively expand the scope and breadth of our instructional mission, and will support this expanded program with the enhancement in infrastructure necessary to facilitate these new initiatives. We have begun this process, aided by an initial commitment of $475,000 from the College of Arts and Sciences and Indiana University to meet the immediate needs for building renovation and new accommodations. This is in addition to the over $150,000 annual program support provided by the College.