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Explore Earth and Environmental Science in Western Wisconsin

Society is facing significant environmental challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and contamination, resource depletion, major changes in global energy production, and the long-term ecological impact of population growth. Scientists are actively working on improving these challenges, and you can be a part of the solution! Join us for an exciting week of exploring various aspects of earth and environmental science.

We will explore:

  • Geologic history of the Upper Midwest
  • Groundwater systems and drinking water
  • Impact of glaciers on our landscape
  • Metallic and non-metallic mineral resources
  • Environmental sustainability and the Green Revolution
  • Analytical techniques in Earth Science
  • How Earth Science impacts our day-to-day life
  • University opportunities and exciting careers in Earth Sciences
An instructor stands and talks to students as they sit on rocks near aa body of water

Course Details

Dates: June 23-28, 2024

Details: Participants will arrive at UW-Eau Claire on Sunday, June 23 at 5pm to check into dorms. Two teaching assistants will stay in the dorms with participants as chaperones. We will provide dinner and a meet & greet Sunday evening. Field experiences will take place during the day Monday, June 24 through Friday, June 28. The program will end on Friday, June 28 at 2pm. Participants are responsible for finding transportation to/from UWEC on June 23 and June 28. Additional details about the program will be communicated with participants after acceptance.

Example of schedule from 2023 offering



Field trip to Big Falls (Fall Creek, WI) and Irvine Park (Chippewa Falls, WI) to evaluate rock formations, explore how water interacts with rocks to change landscape. Hands-on economic minerals activity and lab experience.

Evening Activity: Dinner and games at downtown arcade


Field trip to Devil’s Punchbowl, Covia sand mine, and Cardinal Glass (Menomonie, WI) to see how sand is used in industry. Seminar with UWEC alumna, Anna Breckman, environmental consultant at Cedar Corps.

Evening Activity: Movie night at dorms


Field trip to Wissota Dam, a hydroelectric dam on the Chippewa River (Chippewa Falls, WI). Field trip to Sonnentag geothermal installation project. Career panel with geologists and environmental scientists.

Evening Activity: Board games at dorms


Installation of miniature groundwater well in Putnam Park (UWEC Campus). Field trip to the Eau Claire Municipal Water Treatment Plant. Water Quality Measurements in the Chippewa River in Riverview Park (after a swim break!).

Evening Activity: Live music and food truck dinner at Phoenix Park downtown

5 Tour and activities in UWEC geochemical laboratory, analytical techniques for answer different earth science-related questions.
Students wearing waders stand in a stream of water while others nearby work on the shore

Eligibility and Application Information

We are no longer accepting applications for summer 2024.

If you have any questions about this program or the application, please email Sarah Vitale.

Program Instructors

Meet the UWEC geology faculty and students who are part of the GEOPAths program.

We want to hear from you

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