Franek Hasiuk, Department of Geological and Atm Sciences

Spring Break Geology Field Course (Geol 306/506, 2 credits)
Paleo-Reefs of West Texas and New Mexico

Spring Break 2013

imgThis fieldtrip would expose students to world-class late Paleozoic and Mesozoic outcrops that have served as the basis for developing our understanding of sedimentary systems and that are important analogs for oil & gas reservoirs. Ample opportunities will exist for students to develop a sense of the scale and variability of depositional environments as well as the diagenetic phenomena that occur post-deposition.


Fieldtrip will be conducted in accordance with industry-standard protocols for field safety.


Campus Portion:

Students will earn 2 credits for the successful completion of the course. Final grade will be based upon the following criteria:

  • 40% of the class grade will be based on safe behavior during the trip
  • 40% will be based on active participation during the trip
  • 10% will be based on participation in the weekly meetings before we leave
    • A 10 minute presentation on a geological topic from the trip
    • A 4-page handout for the field guide
  • 10% will be based on
    • A short presentation to be given in the field at the stop you chose
    • Maintaining a field notebook with accurate descriptions and interpretations of the geology we visit


We will fly from Des Moines to El Paso and rent 15-passenger vans. Accomodations will be in state park campgrounds. The Department will furnish tents to those in need. Airfare, ground transportation, food, entrance fees and camping fees included. Final cost to students: ~$650. Department subsidy is keeping this price low.


Required Equipment List: See Blackboard


Preliminary Schedule:




Travel Day (Instructor, Staff, and Grad Students) Franklin Mts SP


Travel Day (Rest of Group)

Franklin Mts SP


Franklin Mountains
  • Overview of Southwest US Paleozoic History
  • Examine Lower Paleozoic section
  • Drive to Alamogordo (2 hrs)

  • Oliver Lee SP (showers)


    Sacramento Mountains
  • Hike Mississippian Muleshoe Mound
  • Pennsylvanian Phylloid Algae Mounds
  • Oliver Lee SP (showers)


    Orogrande Basin

    Brantly Lake SP (showers)


    Eastern Guadalupe Mountains

    Brantly Lake SP (showers)


    Western Guadalupe Mountains

  • Hike the Permian Reef Trail at McKittrick Canyon
  • Brantly Lake SP (showers)


    Delaware Basin Outcrops
    • Brushy Canyon Turbidites
    • Raider Slide
    • Castile Evaporites

    Guadalupe Mts NP


    Guadalupes Wrap-up and Other Outcrops in the Area
    • Guadalupe Mountains Wrap-up from overlook
    • Pennsylvanian-Permain Unconformity near Hueco Mountains
    • Hueco Mountains outcrops
    • Hueco Tanks hike

    Hueco Tanks SP (showers)


    Travel Day (Whole Group)



    Scholarship information:

    Pickett Student Enrichment Fund (undergraduates)