Montana State University

ERTH 591-802: Geology of Glacier National Park

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Bozeman, MT
Jul 27-Aug 02, 2013
Credit: 2 graduate
Tuition & Fees: $876.70
Instructor(s): Terrill Paterson

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Course Description

This five-day field trip will explore the incredible geology of Glacier National Park and surroundings in northwest Montana. The goal of this course is to develop an advanced understanding of Glacier National Park’s geology, using the natural outdoor laboratory offered by GNP as our main mode of instruction. We will explore the bedrock stratigraphy that forms the foundation of GNP, the structural evolution of the Lewis thrust sheet, and of course the glacial history of the region (including deglaciation due to contemporary climate change and global warming). Leaving from and returning to Bozeman, this field trip will involve four nights of camping in public campgrounds, so be prepared with your own small tent and compact sleeping gear. Students will be expected to limit their gear for the week to that which will fit in a backpack.

Participants in this field course must be in very good physical and cardiovascular condition. The course will involve hiking on very steep terrain in the mountains of Glacier National Park, including a long hike to an active glacier. Students will be expected to take good field notes, interact during group interpretations, work independently on a field problem, and write a comprehensive report or lesson plan.

Recommended field equipment:
  • Good hiking boots with ankle support
  • Backpack
  • Water bottles or a pack hydration system
  • Rain gear and layers that can be added or shed, depending on fluctuating temperatures in the mountains
  • Field notebook (waterproof paper), pencils, pens, clipboard
  • Hat and sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Small first aid kit
  • Hiking pole (ski pole or Leki walking pole)
  • Tent, sleeping bag and pad, personal overnight camping items
  • Swim trunks and something to protect your feet in water
  • Limited cooking gear (we will restock food on a daily basis)

Time Commitment: 10-12 hrs/day

Meeting Place and Times

Welcome BBQ on Saturday the 27th at 6:00 pm;
SuMTWRF: Depart Sunday mid-morning for Glacier National Park, return Friday Aug. 2nd, mid-day;
Location: Meet van at MSU Strand Union Building, South Entrance


Terrill Paterson. Math Dept; Intercollege Programs for Science Education, Montana State University


Restricted Entry for Science Educators; must be in very good physical and cardiovascular condition; graduate standing.

Tuition and Fees

 Program Fee $337.00
 Computer Fee$6.70

A $30 registration fee is also charged once per semester.

The costs above assume that you are taking only MSU Extended University courses during the semester that the course is offered. If you also registered for courses through the MSU Registrar, the regular MSU fee structure may apply.

A $40 late fee will be assessed if payment is not posted to your account by 3 pm (Mountain Time) of the course start date (or the business day before if the course starts on a weekend or a holiday).

To learn more about tuition and fees, please see the University Business Services' Student Accounts Web page.

Required Books/Materials

  • Course materials will be provided by the instructor on the first day.

For More Information

contact Diana Paterson at or 406-994-5679.

How to Register

Register Online

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