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Lauren Breederland in the field
Lauren Breederland’s field camp experience showed her how much she loves fieldwork and inspired her to make it a part of her future studies and career path.

Where did you attend field camp? 

I attended field camp at the Wheaton College Science Station in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

How did COVID-19 affect your experience of field camp?

Our field camp became a ‘COVID bubble’ of our own. This meant we avoided high-traffic areas to the best of our ability, and we did not go into town. For the most part, however, we were able to participate in almost all of the normal field camp activities, which I am very thankful for!

What did receiving the J. David Lowell Field Camp Scholarship mean to you?

Receiving the J. David Lowell field camp scholarship meant that I was able to attend field camp without as much of the financial burden that is caused by taking a summer-long course, and paying for field camp instead of spending the summer working to earn money. I am very thankful to have received the field camp scholarship, as it lifted a lot of financial pressure for me and my family.

What did that experience teach you about the geosciences, yourself, and your future career?

Over the course of my summer field camp, I learned so much about what it looks like to conduct field geology, how to use a Brunton compass effectively, how to place myself on a topographic map, and how to create a geologic map by interpreting the rock outcrops in the field area. I also learned how to create a measured section, a weathered section, and cross-sections of roadcuts and outcrops across the Black Hills. From my field camp experience, I learned that I like doing fieldwork! I would like to have a component of fieldwork in my future career. As I am currently applying to graduate schools, I am looking for advisors who incorporate an aspect of fieldwork into their research.

What opportunities did attending field camp provide that you wouldn’t have had otherwise?

By attending field camp, I was able to learn field geology in the Black Hills of South Dakota. This was a new state and area for me, so it was a really cool experience! We were also able to go on a week-long field trip to Wyoming where we got to visit Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, as well as Devil’s Tower National Monument on a separate trip. It was such a special and unique experience to have as a class! We got to see so many cool natural features of God’s creation and have fun exploring together as a class!

In your opinion, how important is field camp for geoscience students?

After experiencing field camp myself, I believe that it is very important for geoscience students to experience field camp! My classmates and I were able to learn a lot about what we might want in a future career through our experience.

Why should individuals support field camp opportunities for students?

Field camp is expensive and time-consuming for students to attend over the summer. However, it is extremely important for students to experience a summer field camp during college. In order to make it more affordable to attend field camp, students like me are so thankful when individuals financially support field camp scholarships!


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