The Geography/Meteorology Field Experience  


Purpose of the Field Experience
The purpose of the field experience is to obtain valuable experience, apply skills and knowledge you’ve learned in classes, and to gain exposure to various learning opportunities.  A field experience is a structured experiential learning opportunity on location with a company, organization group, or academic department.  Examples might be a study abroad, undergraduate research, or internship or service learning project.

Completing the VT Geography or Meteorology field experience
Determine which kind of experience that fits best for you.  To find an appropriate experience, gather ideas from the adviser in the geography main office in 115 Major Williams, faculty in the GEOG department, VT career services resources, VT Engage (service learning), or VT Education Abroad for ideas.

There are four ways students may complete the field experience.

A. Study Abroad (For GEOG majors only)-
This credit bearing experience must be at least 3 credits and be part of an approved study abroad program. This could include: any VT 3954 course, any discipline specific VT course taken as part of an approved study abroad, any transfer credit taken from a foreign institution or through a third party as part of an approved study abroad.

B. Undergraduate research-GEOG/MTRG 2994 or GEOG/MTRG 4994
This experience must be supervised by university affiliated faculty or staff and will be graded A-F based on project or work completed. Students must complete the CNRE research proposal form to receive academic credit.

C. Field Experience/Internship or Service Learning-GEOG/MTRG 2964 or GEOG/MTRG 4964.
An internship, as defined by career services, is a one-term work assignment, most often in the summer, but not always. Internships can be full-time or part-time and paid or unpaid. A significant service learning experience may also count toward the requirement. To receive P-F academic credit, students must complete 150 hours of work and also the following documentation:
1. An approved field experience proposal.
2. A learning contract during the first half of the experience.  This should be signed and dated by the employer.
3. A supervisor evaluation at the end of the experience.
4. A student reflection paper at the end of the experience.
This reflection paper which should address the following four items: What did you learn? What was the best part of the experience? What things could have made the experience better? Would you recommend this experience to other students?

All completed documents can be scanned to or hand delivered or mailed to 115 Major Williams Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

See the Field Experience Requirements packet for complete proposal, learning contract, and evaluation forms.

• To receive internship credit through the GEOG department, the internship must be related to the major must be proposed and departmentally approved before beginning the experience (instructions are listed above). Retroactive credit for prior experiences will not be granted.
• Students must have completed at least 12 credits of GEOG/MTRG by the beginning of the experience.
• After departmental approval, credit hours will be added to a student’s schedule. Typically, this is for the term in which the internship is being completed.
• Once credit hours are added to a schedule, students are responsible for any TUITION AND FEES associated with the credit hours.
• Final due dates for employer evaluation and student reflections: May 1 for spring, Aug 1 for summer, and Dec 1 for Fall.
For more information, contact
Maureen Deisinger
Academic Adviser
VT Geography Department
115 Major Williams Hall
PH: (540) 231-6886
FAX: (540) 231-2089