Krystal and other students digital mapping on Mt. Bencorrah, Clonbur, Ireland.
Geology major, Krystal Pennuto (Tulane '11), traveled to Ireland for the James Madison University field course in the summer of 2010. The field course consisted of 3 weeks of structural geology, 1 week of glacial mapping, and 2 weeks of hydrology or sedimentology depending on the track chosen by the student. More general information on the field course can be found on the JMU website (http://www.jmu.edu/geology/fieldcourse/).
The first five weeks of the field course were spent in Clonbur, Ireland. The first two structural projects were with partners; the second project was completed by digital mapping.
The third project was the independent mapping project, before returning to groups for the non-structural projects. On nights and weekends during these first five weeks, the students were able to befriend the locals in the small town of Clonbur. Living in a small Irish town for five weeks helped introduce the students to Irish culture.
The weekend after the fifth project, the group traveled to Northern Ireland and studied the Antrim Coast (Giant's Causeway, the White Rocks, etc.). After this trip, the students moved to Doolin for their final project. As part of the sedimentology group, Krystal studied the cliffs along the coast near Doolin. After turning in their final projects, the students were taken to the Cliffs of Moher.
Ammonoid fossil located in Northern Ireland.
Krystal enjoyed this six-week experience so much that after returning, she applied to be a teacher's assistant for the 2011 field course. Krystal will be returning to Ireland in June as a TA for the course.
After her field course experience, Krystal suggests looking for field courses early (the application for JMU's is due in November). She also suggests taking a chance and spending some extra money on a course that strikes your interest rather than choosing a field course based mainly on the cost.
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