Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

    • Biology Field Trip
    • Biology Field Trip
    • Bio 323 students examining a zooplankton sample collected during a   weekend field trip to Lacawac Sanctuary, Poconos.
    • Vinalhaven, Maine
    • Vinalhaven, Maine
    • The island of Vinalhaven, Maine, has been a student/faculty collaborative research locality for many years. Research projects include dimensions and internal structure of magma chambers and multiple magma sources and processes.

    • Coral Reef Study, South Florida
    • Coral Reef Study, South Florida
    • The F&M Hackman Scholars program supports student/faculty collaborative research for ten weeks each summer. Studies have included monitoring modern coral reef communities (pictured here) and understanding ancient reef systems (following photo).

    • Collecting samples from limestone quarry, York, PA
    • Collecting samples from limestone quarry, York, PA
    • Studies have included monitoring modern coral reef communities (previous photo) and understanding ancient reef systems (shown here).

    • Summer Research, Cold Cave, Pequea, PA
    • Summer Research, Cold Cave, Pequea, PA
    • The Keck Geology Consortium, sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation, runs field excursions in association with each Annual Symposium. Students and faculty from 18 different institutions present their research results each spring.

    • Summer Research, Lancaster County, PA
    • Summer Research, Lancaster County, PA
    • Students and faculty undertake summer field-based research projects that continue throughout the following academic year in the Keck Geology Consortium model for excellence in undergraduate research. Here, geophysical transects are associated with a land use change project.

    • Wave Machine
    • Wave Machine
    • Experimental equipment is used to model and predict natural processes, which are then tested and explored in the field. A faculty member and students are creating large amplitude storm waves in a wave tank during a laboratory exercise. The class then spent a weekend studying coastal processes in Delaware where they compared their models with actual storm deposits.

    • Weekend trip to coastal Delaware
    • Weekend trip to coastal Delaware
    • Students spent a weekend studying coastal processes in Delaware where they compared their experimental models with actual storm deposits.

    • Earth & Environment Field Trip
    • Earth & Environment Field Trip
    • Sediment cores taken through modern salt marsh deposits and coastal inlet sediments.

    • Field Trip to Delaware
    • Field Trip to Delaware
    • Sediment cores illustrate the dynamic processes along shorelines, including beach advancement and regression associated with sea level change and inlet migration.

    • Florida Keys over Spring Break
    • Florida Keys over Spring Break
    • At the Windley Key Fossil Reef State Geological Site.

    • Costa Rica
    • Costa Rica
    • Department of Earth and Environment field excursion to Costa Rica to study environmental and geological processes.

    • At the Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research site, central MA
    • At the Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research site, central MA
    • Measuring fern photosyntheis for a research project on fern responses to light, temperature, and elevated CO2.

    • Forest Ecosystems Class
    • Forest Ecosystems Class
    • Measurements of past carbon sequestration and predictions of future sequestration at Baker Woods, including an analysis of how carbon storage rates at Baker compare to CO2 emissions from F&M energy use.

    • Tropical Field Biology Course in Belize
    • Tropical Field Biology Course in Belize
    • Students performing research on sea grass beds at Spanish Caye, Belize, during a Tropical Field Biology Course.

    • La Milpa Research Station, Belize
    • La Milpa Research Station, Belize
    • Students and instructors of Tropical Field Biology Course, at La Milpa Research Station in the lowland broadleaf rain forest of Orange Walk District, Belize.

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Field Experiences

Field experience is regarded as a fundamental component of teaching and research in a number of the science departments at F&M. In numerous Biology, Geoscience, and Environmental Science courses field work is an integral part of the learning process. Students go on field excursions during scheduled laboratory periods, on weekend trips, or spend weeks in the field on for-credit summer courses, travel courses, or internships for course credit.

In addition, many collaborative research projects are field-based, or have a field component for initial data collection. For example, groundwater or surface water chemistry analysis, stream sampling for invertebrates or sediment load, invasive species documentation, forest ecology, and restoration projects all entail field work. Geological mapping, fossil, mineral, and rock sample examination, and Geographic Information System (GIS) analyses usually begin with field work. Many projects in Astronomy use telescopes at sites remote from F&M, essentially another kind of field work. Scientific shipboard experiments and sample collecting excursions are an additional field-based experience that some faculty and students participate in.

Both the Biology and Earth and Environment departments take students and faculty on extended trips in either for-credit, or non-credit, field-based learning experiences. For example, the Biology Department sponsors a trip to Belize and Earth and Environment has taken students on departmental field excursions to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Grand Canyon, Florida Keys, and Death Valley, among other localities.