Routine at the Field Station

Daily schedules

A standard field day begins with a wake–up bell at 6:30 a.m., and at 7:00 a.m. breakfast is served. Beginning about 6:30 a.m., lunch makings are available.

On most days we depart for the field promptly at 7:45, and normal return time is 5:30 p.m. All travel is in University-owned radio-equipped 9-passenger Suburbans. Dinner is at 6:30. Most of the field areas in which we work are within a 45–minute drive of the Field Station, and we are typically away from the vehicles until the end of the day.

Work is usually done in small groups of 10–15 students with two or more faculty/staff per group, and student-staff ratios are always maintained at a level of about 7:1 or better to ensure extensive one–on–one teaching.

Faculty are typically available in the Lodge to assist you from about 8:00 p.m until 10:00 or 10:30. A few evening lectures are given, but this time is usually devoted to work on the day’s field work.

Weekend schedules

Saturday: the schedule is a bit different from the rest of the work week. The day ends early, with a typical arrival at the Station around 4:00 p.m., in anticipation of an evening off. Many opt to go to Whitehall to enjoy a movie, bowling, and other typical Montana Saturday night activities. We’re always made to feel welcome. The relaxation begins with the weekly vehicle washing; it is amazing what is recorded on the sides and wheel-wells of a Suburban as it travels in the field!

Sundays: Sundays are official "days off," with no planned course activities except for occasional evening orientation meetings, although it is often a good idea to switch back into "work mode" for the evening.

Possible Sunday recreational activities will be discussed and posted at the Field Station, and maps and recommendations for hikes will be available.

Laundry and meals


Laundry facilities: All students housed on the lower grounds will use the wash house facilities located in the steel building to the north. Students housed on upper grounds will use the wash house facilities in that location.

Washing machines cost $1.25 per load and dryers cost $1.25 for 45 minutes. Clothes lines and clothes pins are available on both upper and lower properties. You will need to purchase your own laundry supplies.

dining hall

Meals: Sunday breakfast and lunch are both available in the morning from 8:00 to around noon. Standard Sunday dinner is at 6:30 p.m.

Monday-Saturday meals are scheduled as follows:

  • Breakfast - 7:00 am
  • Lunch - Field lunch packed before or after breakfast in the lodge.
  • Dinner - 6:30 pm

A bell will be rung about 5-10 minutes before mealtime to alert students to come to the dining hall. Students may be seated after the second bell rings. Breakfast and dinner are served family style. Each person is responsible for taking his/her own dishes and table service to the proper locations after the meal. As in any large group, your promptness at mealtime will help eliminate confusion. On certain occasions like Saturday, dinner may be served at 5:30 pm in order to accommodate those who wish to get an early start to town. These changes will be announced at breakfast and posted on the bulletin board.


Special diets: Accommodations can only be made for vegetarians and persons with allergies or medical conditions. Our vegetarian menu avoids any foods with meat or meat by-products. However, it does include dairy products. If you require a stricter diet you will have to make alternative plans for your meals, at your own expense. You MUST indicate on the Information Form any special dietary needs or vegetarian preference. You will NOT be allowed to change your menu preference once the course has begun.

contact information

department of earth and atmospheric sciences
indiana university
1001 e. 10th st. bloomington in 47405

phone: 812-855-1475


field station address:
633 s. boulder road, cardwell, montana 59721
phone: 406-287-3323