Volcanology (GEOS220) with Wintersession Lab in Hawaii

Fall Semester Faculty: Geosciences Professor Besancon

Wintersession Faculty: Geosciences Professors Hawkins and Besancon


The Volcanoes course is a seminar-style course on volcanoes around the world and on other planets and moons that counts for 1.25 units of credit.  The laboratory component of the course will be an outstanding learning experience: a three-week field study of volcanoes and volcanic features, rocks and deposits in Hawaii and California during Wintersession.  The Wintersession trip will involve daily outdoor excursions, some of which will involve hiking over rough terrain to localities accessible only by foot trail.  Students who have taken a Wintersession abroad program previously are not eligible for the lab trip but may take the course and will earn one unit of credit.

Wintersession Trip to Volcanoes in Hawaii and California

Hawaii provides the ideal laboratory because of its persistently active shield (mafic) volcanoes, which provide the opportunity for safe observation of non-explosive eruptions and reasonable weather.  In California we will examine evidence for recent explosive eruptions of silicic magma.  

Fee and Financial Assistance

Attendance on the Wintersession trip requires an additional fee that we estimate to be $2600. In addition, students who receive financial aid during the academic year are eligible for additional financial assistance for this course.See the Wintersession website (http://www.wellesley.edu/ois/wintersession_abroad) or the Office of International Studies for additional details.  

Prerequisites and Registration Instructions

There are two prerequisites.  First, you must have completed GEOS 101, 102, or be taking 106 concurrently.  Second, you must obtain the permission of Professor Besancon before you can be enrolled.  Students wishing to take this class should email Professor Besancon the following information ASAP:

  • Name:
  • Class/Banner ID:
  • Email/Telephone:
  • Major/Minor:
  • Courses taken in Geosciences:

In addition, please answer the following questions in no more than two sentences:

  • Why do you want to take this course?
  • What volcanoes have you visited?
  • What outdoor experiences (hiking, trekking, climbing, boating, etc) have you had?
  • What experience do you have traveling with a group of peers?
  • What international travel experience have you had?
  • Have you participated in a Wintersession trip?

Enrollment will be based on the information provided above.  Shortly after the registration period, we will contact students chosen for the course, as well as students added to a wait list.  Students will be added to the course from the wait list if and when space becomes available (perhaps as late as the end of the drop period in September). 

If you eventually decide to drop the course, please let Professor Besancon know immediately.