General Information


Storage space in the caravan is limited, so it is necessary to restrict each student to:

  • one moderate size suitcase
  • duffle bag or equivalent
  • day pack or backpack

Any additional baggage or items should be mailed directly to the Field Station:

Attention: Your Name
633 S. Boulder Road
Cardwell, MT 59721

Tips for packing your gear

You should have only 2 bags plus a day pack, and they should be packed as follows:

  • One bag containing only what you will need for the first week of the trip. You will begin the course in Rapid City, and from there will be doing field studies in areas of South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana, before actually arriving at the Field Station. This bag will be loaded into the vehicles wherever you join the caravan and will stay with the caravan throughout the first week. You will need field equipment during this time (rock hammer, water bottles, boots, etc.) You will also have your day pack with you.
  • One bag (duffle bag) should contain the remainder of what you wish to have at the Field Station for the duration of the course. This bag will be loaded into a vehicle that will go directly to the Field Station and you will not have access to it during the first week of travel. Space is extremely limited, so any excess luggage you have should be mailed ahead of your arrival directly to the Field Station.

Field Station general information

  • Cellphone reception is limited at camp, but available away from camp.
  • The closest stores to the Field Station are about 15 miles away in the towns of Whitehall and Harrison.
  • Except on weekends, the students spend their evenings at the Field Station.
  • On weekends, no student is allowed to leave the Field Station except for activities approved by the Director.
  • All of the evening work, study and recreation are done in the main lodge or in the classroom/lecture building.
  • Ample showers are available in two bathhouses that are separate from the dormitories.
  • ATM machines are available at various locations during the caravan trips, and on Saturday evening trips to town.
  • Prepaid phone cards are necessary to make outgoing calls on the student phone located in the lodge.

Description: A standard field day begins with a wake–up bell at 6:30 a.m., and at 7:00 a.m. breakfast is served. Beginning about 6:30 a.m., lunch makings are available.

On most days we depart for the field promptly at 7:45, and normal return time is 5:30 p.m. All travel is in University-owned radio-equipped 9-passenger Suburbans. Dinner is at 6:30.

Most of the field areas in which we work are within a 45–minute drive of the Field Station, and we are typically away from the vehicles until the end of the day. Work is usually done in small groups of 10–15 students with two or more faculty/staff per group, and student-staff ratios are always maintained at a level of about 7:1 or better to ensure extensive one–on–one teaching.

Faculty are typically available in the lodge to assist you from about 8:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. A few evening lectures are given, but this time is usually devoted to work on the day's field work.

Sunday schedule

Sunday breakfast and lunch are both available in the morning until around 10:00 a.m. Standard Sunday dinner is at 6:30 p.m. Sundays are official "days off," with no planned course activities except for occasional evening orientation meetings, although it is often a good idea to switch back into "work mode" for the evening. Possible Sunday recreational activities will be discussed and posted at the Field Station, and maps and recommendations for hikes will be available.

Laundry facilities

All students housed on the lower campus will use the wash house facilities located in the steel building to the north. Students housed on upper campus will use the wash house facilities on upper campus.

Students housed on upper campus will use the laundry facilities in the upper campus wash house, and students housed on lower campus will use the laundry facilities in the lower campus wash house. Washing machines cost $1.25 per load and dryers cost $1.25 for 45 minutes. Clothes lines and clothes pins are available on both upper lower campus. You will need to purchase your own laundry supplies.

Firearms & fireworks

Students are not permitted to have firearms or fireworks in their possession at the Field Station or in University vehicles.


Week day meals are scheduled as follows:

  • Breakfast - 7:00 a.m.
  • Lunch - Field lunch packed before or after breakfast in the lodge.
  • Dinner - 6:30 p.m.

A bell will be rung about 5-10 minutes before mealtime to alert students to come to the dining hall. Students may be seated after the second bell rings. Breakfast and dinner are served family style. Each person is responsible for taking his/her own dishes and table service to the proper locations after the meal. As in any large group, your promptness at mealtime will help eliminate confusion. On certain occasions like Saturday, dinner may be served at 5:30 p.m. in order to accommodate those who wish to get an early start to town. These changes will be announced at breakfast and posted on the bulletin board.

The Sunday schedule will normally be as follows:

  • Breakfast: Continental breakfast available 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Lunch: Items available from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Dinner: 6:30 p.m.

Meals & special diets

  • Accommodations can only be made for vegetarians and persons with allergies or medical conditions.
  • Our vegetarian menu avoids any foods with meat or meat by-products. However, it does include dairy products. If you require a stricter diet you will have to make alternative plans for your meals, at your own expense.
  • You must indicate on the information form any special dietary needs or vegetarian preference. You will not be allowed to change your menu preference once the course has begun.

Visitor policy

  • Visitors are welcome at the Field Station, but must have written approval at least two weeks prior to the course start date.
  • Send an email to: or phone (812) 855-1475 for instructions regarding visitors and to obtain the necessary form for approval.