Volcanology Field School in the Andes


This is a science course designed for science majors, outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers who have a natural science background. Participants of this course in the past include: U.S. based students from a great variety of institutions, and  Ecuador based students.


Dr. Paulo J. Hidalgo – Director, Instructor, volcanologist / igneous petrologist (Currently at Georgia State University)

Bernardo Beate –Volcanologist and Instructor at EPN  (Escuela Politécnica Nacional de Ecuador)

Lisa Duong – Teaching Assistant (Crustal Processes)

We have the support of the Escuela Politécnica de Ecuador and of the Geophysical Institute



Our course schedule and calendar were designed to achieve the course objectives. We focus instruction and practice on the use of surveying instruments and aerial photographs for the purpose of completing small and intermediate-scale geologic maps, structure sections, and stratigraphic sections explosive and effusive volcanic rocks in the continental arc setting of the Andes.

Field work will involve working off-trail in rugged terrain, and includes hikes of considerable length.  Students should be both physically prepared and comfortable with steep terrain. The elevations of the field areas in the Andes are above 12000 ft.  The weather can be cold and very windy.  You will need to be prepared to work in cold, wet weather for long periods.

OUTCOMES. You will be able to:  understand the basic principles of  mineralogy, sedimentation, petrology, and structural geology; identify and classify basic geologic materials, including minerals, rocks, structures, and landforms, and know their basic material properties; collect and describe samples of geologic materials in support of field investigations; create basic types of geologic maps with standard geology symbols, using standard field measurement techniques and equipment; perform basic types of geologic analysis, such as stratigraphic correlation, well-logging, map construction, and cross section construction; critically read scientific research articles;  communicate effectively in written form through words, graphs, and tables; work responsibly as a member of a team; and carry out responsibilities in a professional and ethical manner.








If you have already completed you application and have been accepted in the course you will need to complete the following FOUR forms. I will not keep this information  beyond the extent of our course. I will destroy and erase the information contained in these documents upon the completion of the course. The forms are electronic and if the links do not work it means that I have not given you access yet. I will communicate via email when these documents are available for completion.


Health form, Field trip Liability form, Field trip Policy form, Media Release form


As of today, we will be staying in hotels as we travel to different project areas. If for some reason, hotels were to cancel our reservations or other costs are added that we can not afford, we may need to adjust and switch to tent camping. This is unlikely, and I will let you know if this happens with plenty of anticipation before our trip. For you, it means that you will not need a tent.  If you prefer to download a version of this list click here.

In 2015, two large phreatic (steam) eruptions on the morning of August 14 marked a new phase of volcanic activity. The volcano "remains in a very abnormal situation. In August, 2,100 earthquakes were recorded and emission rates of sulfur dioxide reach approximately 20,000 tonnes per day". The government estimates some 300,000 people are at risk from the volcano in the provinces of Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Napo and Pichincha.


All content © Tersus, 2019. All rights reserved.