The Student Field Experience Campaign

The Department of Geology and Geophysics in the College of Letters and Science at UW-Madison, offers a wide range of specialty areas, and is supported by advanced laboratories for study in the general areas of astrobiology, geomicrobiology, mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, geophysics, stratigraphy, sedimentology, paleobiology, paleoceanography, micropaleontology, structural geology, tectonics, hydrogeology, Quaternary geology, and economic geology. Interdisciplinary links among other colleges and departments on campus provide opportunities in geological engineering, limnology, ecology, microbiology, water resources management, soils, water chemistry, chemistry, physics, geomorphology, materials science, and anthropology.

A student field trip group.The UW-Madison Department of Geology and Geophysics has a long tradition of training undergraduates and graduates in the critical skills of field observation, measurement, and interpretation. Most alumni will remember field trips to nearby classic localities along the Wisconsin River, Devils Lake, and the Baraboo Hills. There are also the legendary trips to the Yukon led by Lowell Laudon, the carbonate trips to the Guadalupe Mountains led by Lloyd Pray and more recently by Toni Simo, and structural geology trips to Wyoming and Lake Superior led by Cam Craddock. In recent years, there have been trips to Argentina, the Canary Islands, the Yucatan, and to Yucca Mountain, Yellowstone and Dinosaur National Monument. The museum has also led very popular summer museum expeditions for students, teachers, and others from the Madison community to collect fossils in Wyoming. The Department also sponsors regular course-related field trips to the Black Hills, Badlands, White Lake (Canada), and several Wisconsin locations. There are pictures of many of these field trips and courses on the department web-site

For many years, expenses for course-related field trips were covered by the educational budget provided to the Department by the State of Wisconsin. However, in recent years, decreasing state budgets for educational expenses and increased costs have forced the Department to rely almost exclusively on gift-funds and field trip fees to support educational field experiences. Furthermore, university support for Geology Museum summer fossil collecting expeditions to Wyoming ended in 2005. As a result of these decreases in state support and increasing costs, the Department has been forced to increasingly rely on gift funds to support student field activities.

Campaign Goal
The goal of this five-year campaign is to build a permanent two million dollar endowment to support student field trips, museum field activities, and other field experiences. To reach that goal, a sum of $2.3 million needs to be raised. This will replace lost state funding to sustain current activities and will be the foundation of the long-term endowment to support field experiences for decades to come.

Campaign Progress
Thanks to generous donations and pledges from many dedicated alumni and friends, we are well on our way to achieving the $2.3 million goal. With the generous support of you, our friends and alumni, we are confident that the Department of Geology and Geophysics at UW-Madison can maintain its place among the best in geoscience education and opportunity. Donations to the Student Field Experience Campaign can be designated for Student Field Experiences and/or for Museum Field Activities. Donations to the campaign can be made in several ways, including direct gifts, multi-year pledges, matching gifts, appreciated securities, and estate giving commitments. Donation pledges can be made for a multi-year period.

Gift Levels
Following is a list of gift levels that recognize different contribution amounts (funding level is inclusive of matching corporate grants):

Yukon Level:
Baraboo Hills Level:
Kettle Moraine Level:
White Lake Level:
Van Hise Rock Level:
Westphal Quarry Level:
Parfrey’s Glen Level:

$25 - $99
$100 - $999
$1,000 - $4,999
$5,000 - $9,999
$10,000 - $24,999
$25,000 - $49,999

Estate gifts or deferred gifts of $25,000 and above can be applied to this campaign and also qualify for membership in the Bascom Hill Society.

For more information please contact Anne Lucke at The UW Foundation, PO Box 8860, Madison, WI 53708-8860; phone 608-262-6242;

This page was created 05-08-09.