Montana-Yellowstone Geologic Field Guide Database

Facilitating Field-Based Teaching and Learning in Montana and the Yellowstone Region


Field experiences are a central component of the modern geoscience curriculum, and published field guides and road logs are invaluable resources to facilitate the development of teaching and learning in the field. These references are also a primary means by which field-based geologic information is transferred from experienced field researchers to other instructors and the next generation of geoscience students. Despite the importance of published field guides and road logs, most of the publications of this type are part of a "gray literature" that is not widely distributed or even still available.

The Montana-Yellowstone Geologic Field Guide Database is a pilot project for making the field guide literature more accessible and useful to geoscience educators, students, and researchers. While the database is not an exhaustive listing of every published field guide, nor does it provide direct links to the full text of each reference (except for a few unpublished field guides which are reproduced as pdf files), the database is a fully-searchable listing of 50 of the best references for exploring the geology of this fascinating region.

What is the purpose of this site?

This site will help college-level geoscience educators to

  • discover and locate published field guides and road/traverse logs in Montana and Yellowstone National Park, popular locations for many summer field courses conducted by geology departments from across the country
  • summarize the content of published field guides and road/traverse logs, and to efficiently find relevant information by means of a variety of search criteria
  • participate in a community forum that shares information related to geologic field trips in Montana and Yellowstone National Park, including links to geologic field stations, campground information, and field-based exercises

This site will help geoscience faculty and students to

  • more easily locate and assimilate research results published in the field guide literature for their own research in Montana and Yellowstone

Use this resource!

  • Search the Database - This page allows you to search the collection of published logs by topic, geographic location, and geologic province.
  • Top 10 - Want to zero in on the best field trips in Montana and Yellowstone? This is our list of the top ten geology field trips in the area, based on superb geology, scenery, access, and educational value.
  • Exercises - This page contains student exercises based on specific field localities in Montana.
  • Links - This page includes a listing of geology field stations operating in Montana, a directory of geoscience departments holding field courses in Montana, and links to campground information.

Related Resources

Check out the collection of Panoramic Aerial Photographs of Western Montana

This site was written by Kent Ratajeski, with contributions from Maria Warnick (both at the Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University), as part of the DLESE Community Services Project.

Photo Credits

Project icon, top-left corner of page - ??? 2003 Michael L. Umphrey, Montana Heritage Project; Title montage, image on left - Adam Hart-Davis/DHD Multimedia Gallery; Title montage, second image from left - Yvette Bordeaux, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania