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Rayann Rehwinkel in the fieldRayann Rehwinkel was refreshed in her love of geology at field camp after spending the last year stuck inside.

Where did you attend field camp? 

Wasatch-Uinta Field Camp in Park City, Utah

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

Due to COVID-19, I missed a lot of field experiences in my courses prior to field camp. Camp was really my first big field experience creating my own projects. There was definitely a learning curve for most of us in transferring online learning to in-person geology, but the experience and help of all the faculty definitely helped to overcome that.

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

I am extremely grateful for having received this scholarship. Because of it, I was able to attend field camp without having to worry about how I would pay for both camp and my typical living expenses while away from work for 6+ weeks. It also helped me to better prepare for my learning by being able to afford supplies for camp.

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

Field camp, for me, really solidified my passion for geology. After not having had much hands-on or field experience due to COVID-19 moving classes online, it was definitely hard to find the same enjoyment and motivation to learn as I had previously. Being able to have an in-person, immersive experience really brought back that sense of enjoyment. It also showed me that I am capable of pursuing a career in geology and in both learning new things and synthesizing things I have already learned to real-world application.

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

One thing that really stood out to me about my field camp experience was the people I met. Meeting so many people from different places who share the same interest and excitement for geology created a really great atmosphere. I also grew closer to my peers from my own school, too. To me, these connections and friendships were the most memorable part of my experience and will likely lead to new opportunities down the road as we all move into further education and/or careers.

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

I think field camp is really an important part of learning geology. It brought together so many concepts for me from different parts of geology; so it really shows how even though subjects of classes may be separated when we learn them, real geology takes all aspects into account to get the full picture of what’s going on in an area of study. While you may think you understand a concept when reading about it in a textbook, there isn’t really anything equal to seeing the geology firsthand.

Why should individuals support field camp opportunities for students?

I think that it is important to support these opportunities because the experience is so important to synthesizing course materials and preparing one for an actual geoscience career. Because of this, I think it is important that all who want to attend a field camp have an equal opportunity to do so without having to worry about how they will be able to make ends meet.


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