Summer Field Geology Programs

Course Information

Field geology courses at the Brauer Field Station are intensive, project-oriented experiences designed to instruct students in the use of basic field methods and equipment, and develop their skills of observation, interpretation, synthesis and graphic presentation of geologic data. Our field camp has a staff-student ratio of 1:8 or less, which provides quality field instruction and supervision plus individual assistance as needed, as well as constructive support and advisement during evening hours when field projects are compiled. See the schedule below for information about course length and credits earned.
Students and faculty are housed at Brauer in “bunk rooms” that each sleep four to ten people. Bathrooms are equipped with hot showers. Other activities such as studying, map preparation, reading, lounging, group discussions, etc., are centered in the dining/classroom area of the building. The room and board fee includes lodging, breakfast, bag lunch and dinner Thursday through Tuesday, plus brunch and dinner on Wednesdays.

As are most geology field camp experiences, this is a mentally and physically challenging program. We are in the field all day, six days a week, hiking through rough terrain.  Students should be in good health and prepared to deal with varying weather conditions. 


The Brauer Field Station is located just South of Albany, N.Y., near the base of the Devonian carbonate Helderberg escarpment, within the Hudson Valley fold and thrust belt. The station, a rustic but modern facility, occupies a natural, mostly wooded, 33-acre site in a rural area, yet the educational, cultural, historical and social amenities of Albany are only 20 minutes away.

Geologic Setting

Portions of such classic areas of North American geology such as the Adirondack, Berkshire and Catskill Mountains; the eastern Mohawk and mid-Hudson River valleys; and the Taconic Range are all located within 50 miles of the field station. The geology of these localities is a cornerstone of the plate tectonic concept.

Precambrian igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks, Paleozoic siliciclastic and carbonate rocks, structurally simple and complex terranes, and widespread Pleistocene deposits highlight the Brauer Field Station area. In addition, the hydrogeology of the Albany area, part of the Hudson-Mohawk drainage basin, is characterized by numerous streams, lakes and wetlands as well as bedrock and glacial aquifers in a variety of geologic settings.

2024 Schedule

  • May 19 - June 8

    GLY 476: Geologic Field Methods, 3 credit hours,
    3 weeks duration
  • May 19 - June 15

    GLY 481: Field Geology, 4 credit hours,
    4 weeks duration
  • May 19 - June 22

    GLY 481: Field Geology, 5 or 6 credit hours,
    5 weeks duration

2024 Details and Prices

GLY 476: Geologic Field Methods
3  weeks

Instruments and methods of basic geologic fieldwork: measurement and description of stratigraphic sections; use of survey instrumentation and GPS; elementary bedrock mapping. Compilation of stratigraphic sections, geologic maps and structural cross-sections. Taught at the Brauer Field Station beginning in late May for three weeks. Prerequisite: GLY 359. Fulfills: LASR. (3 credit hours)


  • May 19 - June 8 for 3 credit hours 

Prerequisites: Sedimentary Geology or Stratigraphy and at least junior year standing
Recommended: Structural Geology 

*Estimated Cost (includes tuition, meals, and lodging):

N.Y. Resident:
For 3 credit hours: $1,900 total 

Out-of-State Resident:
For 3 credit hours: $3,150 total

GLY 481: Field Geology

4 or 5 weeks
Intensive study of field methods and techniques; elementary and detailed mapping. Compilation of stratigraphic sections, geologic maps and structure sections. Offered summers at the Brauer Field Station beginning in late May. Can be taken as a four-week course for four credit hours or as a five-week course for five or six credit hours. Prerequisites: GLY 302, GLY 359, GLY 469, and junior standing. Fulfills: LASR (4 - 6 credit hours).

Dates: May 19 - June 15 (4 credits); May 21 - June 22 (5 or 6 credits)

Prerequisites: Igneous/Metamorphic Petrology, Sedimentary Geology or Stratigraphy, Structural Geology, and at least junior year standing

*Estimated Cost (includes tuition, meals, and lodging):

N.Y. Resident:

For 4 credit hours: $2,520 total 
For 5 credit hours: $3,150 total 
For 6 credit hours: $3,480 total 

Out-of-State Resident:

For 4 credit hours: $4,170 total 
For 5 credit hours: $5,220 total 
For 6 credit hours: $5,960 total 

*Costs are subject to SUNY Board of Trustees or New York state legislative action.


To apply for any of the 2024 summer field courses at Brauer, first download the application form, or you can call the department at 607-753-2815 or email Dr. Gleason to have one mailed to you. Please send the completed Application form and a copy of your undergraduate academic transcripts (does not have to be official) showing all of your geology courses to Dr. Gleason at the address below. In addition, please have a faculty member from your academic institution fill out Page 2 of the Application form with a description of your academic capabilities in geology, your ability to cope with the rigors of fieldwork, and your ability to work with others. Please send all of these materials to Dr. Gleason at the address below:

Dr. Gayle Gleason, Coordinator of Field Geology
Geology Department
SUNY Cortland
P.O. Box 2000
Cortland NY 13045

All applications should be received no later than Feb. 15, 2024. Space is limited. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. Note that we usually receive more applications than we have space for before the Feb. 15 deadline.
Early bird special: Get your complete application to Dr. Gleason by Jan. 31, 2024, and receive a free Rite-in-the-Rain Geological Field notebook when you arrive at field camp.

Jim Kradyna Summer Field Camp Scholarships

The Geology Department at SUNY Cortland will be offering a limited number of scholarships this year to honor the memory of Jim Kradyna. Jim attended the first Brauer Geology Field Camp as a student in 1981 and assisted with our field programs for many years after that. Through the generosity of his family and friends, a fund has been set up to provide scholarships to geology students enrolled in SUNY Cortland’s five-week summer geology course offered at Brauer Field Station. Applicants must:

  1. be planning to enroll in the five week option of GLY 481,
  2. be a geology major (or equivalent) at an accredited 4-year institution, and
  3. have earned a demonstrable record of academic achievement.

The successful candidates will be selected by the SUNY Cortland geology faculty. The scholarships will be used to partially offset tuition costs.

To apply for a Jim Kradyna scholarship simply check the "YES" box on the Field Camp Application form.