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MSU Denver

Field Courses Offered

Geology students take a variety of field courses, some in our backyard here in Colorado, some in Utah and the western states next door, and other courses are occasionally offered internationally! See course descriptions below!

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GEL 1510/3510: Geology of Red Rocks and Vicinity

Credits: 1.000 Credit Hour

Students learn about the geologic history of the Front Range area of Colorado, which includes rocks created over a span of about 1.7 billion years. It is encourage that students have an interest in learning about the geology and beauty of the Front Range area. GEL 1510/3510 includes pre-trip lectures, a field trip and a final exam. There are no prerequisites for GEL 1510.

Geology Jim C showing students

GEL 1520/3520: Garden of the Gods – Front Range Geology

Credits: 2.000 Credit Hour

Students learn about he geologic history of the Front Range area, specifically the geology of the Gardens of the Gods area. GEL 1520/3520 includes pre-trip lectures, a field trip and a final exam. There are no prerequisites for GEL 1520.

Jim from Geology Department

GEL 1530/3530 – Geology of the Colorado Plateau

Credits: 2.000 Credit Hour

Prerequisite(s): None; GEL 1010, GEL 1510, GEL 1520 and/or GEL 1560 are recommended

Description: This course examines the geology of the eastern Colorado Plateau, including the geology of the Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, and Southern Canyon lands National Parks. Along with basic concepts of geology, the formations exposed in the eastern Colorado Plateau, including their ages, rock types and origins, are examined. Historical geology and geomorphology come to life in this beautiful, desolate, arid country. Students must be in good physical condition because strenuous hiking is involved, and students must have prior camping experience.

Note: Note: Students cannot take both GEL 1530 and GEL 3530 for credit.

Geology overlook

GEL 1550/3550 – Advanced Geology of the Great Sand Dunes National Monument

Credits: 2.000 Credit Hour

Prerequisite(s): Nine hours of geography or geology or Permission of instructor

Description: This course analyzes the processes and landforms associated with the eolian (wind) and desert environments at the Great Sand Dunes National Monument, located in the San Luis Valley between the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Analysis of the dune fields allows students to identify various type of dunes, as well as damage related to desertification. The relationships of sand source areas, cross-bedding and transport directions are analyzed.

Note: Students cannot take both GEL 1550 and GEL 3550 for credit.

Geology group during instruction

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Phone: 303-615-1177

Email:  [email protected]

Office Location:
Science Building
2nd Floor – #2028
Auraria Campus

Mailing Address: 
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Campus Box 22
P.O. Box 173362
Denver, CO 80217-3362