David T. Allison
Associate Professor of Geology
Department of Earth Sciences
Phone (251) 460-6381
Ext. 7574
Fax (251) 461-1487 


Estimated Cost

 USA (6 credit hours) tuition:

In-state: $1,662 (6 hr. @ $277/hr.)

Out-of-state: $3,324 (6 hr. @ $554/hr.) 
 Course Fee (including deposit): $1600 
TOTAL (in-state):  $3,262

NOTE: all students must present proof of insurance coverage for May - June 2016 by April 1, 2016 (turn in with fee).


   Course Prerequisites
Igneous & Met. Petrology (GY303) ,  Sed. Petrology (GY402), Structural Geology (GY403), First Aid (HS170 or Red Cross equivalent); or permission of instructor

Other Requirements

1.      Proof of Medical Insurance for May-June 2015 (photocopied Medical ID card is sufficient)

2.      Students must sign a liability release for access to Murchison Ranch while in Texas (forms turned into Instructor)

3.      See GY480 course syallabus for detailed equipment/tools list


Important 2016 Dates 

Deadline for $200 deposit: March 1, 2016
Deadline for $1400 remainder of fee: April 1, 2016

Mobile to Cheaha State Park, AL: May 9, 2016

Mobile to Stephen F. Austin S.P., TX: May 18, 2016

Arrive at  Inks Lake S.P.,TX : May 19

Arrive at Palo Duro S.P. TX: May 28
Arrive at Rio Bravo, Pilar,  NM: May 29

Arrive at AustingHaus Motel, Taos Ski Valley, NM: June 4

Depart for Red Rocks Canyon S.P. OK: June 8

Depart for Hot Springs National Park, AR: June 9

Vans arrive back in Mobile: June 10
All projects due by: June 7


Accommodations & Camping

May 9-15, 2016

Cheaha State Park, AL

(tent camping)


May 16, 2016: Break in Mobile AL

May 18, 2016: Stephen F. Austin State Park, TX


May 20 - May 27, 2016:
Inks Lake State Park, Texas
(tent camping)  (Images)

Meals @ Inks Lake (Dinner on week-days): Hoover Valley Cafe

May 27, 2016: Caprock Canyon State Park, TX (tent camping) (Images)

May 28- June 3, 2016: Rio Bravo  Campground @ Orilla Verde Recreation Site (BLM) NM (tent camping)

Meals @ Rio Bravo (Dinner on weekdays):

June 4 - June 7
Austing Haus B&B and Columbine Inn, Taos Ski Valley (Includes 3 meals per day)

  June 8: depart Taos Ski Valley for Red Rock Canyon S.P. OK (tent camping)

June 9: depart for Hot Springs National Park, AR (tent camping)

June 10: depart for Mobile, AL

Optional post-GY480 Trip: June 8- June 15
North Rim Grand Canyon National Park 
 (tent camping site)

Google links to Campsites

(use Google Earth to load files)

Field Geology Gear Links

REI  Outfitters: Camping Gear, GPS, Backpacks, Outdoor Clothing

Campmor Outfitters: Camping Gear, Outdoor Clothing, Lanterns, Headlamps

Forestry Suppliers, Inc.: Good source for rock picks, GPS, Drafting supplies, Pocket transit, Notebooks, First Aid kits, Insect repellents.

Textbook (Compton, 1985, Geology in the Field)

Pocket Transit (Brunton Compass; Azimuth International is best)

Field Notebook (select Transit style)

Rock Pick (Rock hammer)

GPS (Same type used by Earth Sciences Dept)

Mountain Press Publishing: source of Roadside Geology book series. Informative reading for those long van rides, and a reference for regional geology information useful in written reports.

NOTE: the above gear sources are not endorsed by the University of South Alabama or the instructor. These are simply sources discovered by the instructor or previous students that have had good value and service. Students may find better “bang for the buck” at other sites.

GY480 Guidelines and Forms


1. Geologic Map and Cross-section Requirements.

2. Total Station checklist.

3. 1:12,000 Geologic Mapping checklist.

4. Lithologic description checklist.

5. Equal-area stereographic net and Counting net.

6. Van passenger list.

7. Murchison Release Form

8. GY480 Enrollment Checklist


See the course syllabus  for equipment requirements and an outline of course projects: GY480 Course Syllabus


Check out the GY480 Field Geology Virtual Tour for a preview of the Geology

*Deposits and fees are payable to the Department of Earth Sciences

Please contact me at for more information!


Web page maintained by:
David Allison

University of South Alabama

Department of Earth Sciences

                       Last modified: 1/6/2016