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Ethan Oleson in the fieldWhere did you attend field camp?

I attended field camp at Montana State University–Bozeman. We were based out of the Tobacco Roots Mountains at the Indiana University Geologic Field Station (IUGFS).

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

Receiving the J. David Lowell Field Camp Scholarship was life-changing. This scholarship allowed me to go to field camp; it made it much more affordable by cutting the cost in half. I was able to go to field camp without worrying about being in debt.

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

Field camp confirmed my career choice. I am a current M.S. student in geology at the University of Arkansas working toward a Ph.D. to hopefully teach field camp one day. I loved the field experience, the application of years of knowledge culminating in producing maps and understanding of the area and the region at large.

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

Field camp allowed me to get my degree, firstly. Field camp also provided me with an opportunity to pursue my science and feel confident in my convictions and interpretation.

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

Field camp is essential in geoscience instruction. An application or at least an understanding of the concepts, theories, and mechanics of the principles of the Earth and the earth system out in the field provides a well-rounded and rich education. As geoscientists and earth scientists, the Earth, the field is our laboratory.

Why should individuals support field camp opportunities for students?

Support for field camp is essential to providing equitable and equal education for geoscientists. Some fields of geoscience require multiple field camps that are expensive and take place during the summer when students would be working to support themselves. Students should not have to go into personal debt in order to make up for the lost income they would have made while pursuing their education. Supporting students through field camp supports them for the rest of their careers to give back and provide for the field.


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