Camp Davis Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General Information

What is Camp Davis?
How long has the program been operating?
Where is Camp Davis located?
What is the Camp Address?
What is the Camp phone number?
What kind of weather can I expect?
What is the elevation at Camp Davis?

Academic Information

How will I be graded?
Will there be tests?
Who will be teaching my course?
Will my course be held indoors or outdoors?
What textbooks are required?
What is a typical day like at Camp Davis?

Travel Concerns

How does transportation to Camp Davis work?
Do I have to use the provided transportation?
Do students have access to the vans for extra-curricular activities?
Who will be driving?
How much luggage can I bring?

Preparing for Camp

What type of gear should I bring?
Should I bring a laptop?
What kind of cloths should I bring?
Do cell phones work at Camp Davis?
How much spending money should I bring?

Cabin Life

What kind of students usually attend Camp Davis?
What are accommodations like?
Can I request a cabin mate?
What types of food are offered each day?
How do I do my laundry?
What type of extra-curricular activities are available?
Are my family and friends allowed to visit?
Will I have access to computers and email?

Enrollment and Financial Concerns

How much does the Camp Davis program cost?
Is financial aid available?
Do I have to be a U of M student?
How do I enroll?
How do I register for the class?
When is payment due?
Are their any hidden charges or extra fees?

Health Concerns

Are their any health concerns I should know about?
What are the fitness requirements for Camp Davis?
Is a Camp nurse on duty?
How close is the nearest medical facility?


General Information

 What is Camp Davis?
Camp Davis Rocky Mountain Field Station is a research and teaching facility owned and operated by the University of Michigan and managed by the Dept.of Earth & Environmental Science. Each summer Camp Davis offers courses in Geology, Environmental Science and the Humanities. The Camp Davis facility is also open to Academic conferences, Alumni gatherings and guest Universities and Colleges.

 How long has the program been operating?
The University of Michigan has been operating Camp Davis each summer since 1929. Camp Davis initially served the Dept. of Engineering. In 1965 management of the Camp was transferred to the Dept. of Geological Sciences which has recently been renamed the Dept. of Earth & Environmental Science. A detailed history, written by Professor Emeritus Eugene Glysson, can be found here.

 Where is Camp Davis located?
Camp Davis is located approximately 30 miles south of Jackson, Wyoming near the village of Hoback Junction. Situated on 120 acres of University owned property Camp Davis abuts the Hoback River and the Bridger Teton National Forest. Camp Davis’s remote location and relative close proximity to exposed geological features and Grand Teton / Yellowstone National Parks make it an ideal learning environment.

 What is the Camp Address?
Camp Davis mailing address is 13405 South Bryan Flat Rd. Jackson, Wyoming 83001

 What is the Camp phone number?
The Camp Davis business phone # is 307.733.3091 (business and emergencies only)
The Camp Davis student phone # is 307.734.2484 (personal calls)

 What kind of weather can I expect?
Summer temperatures at Camp Davis can rise and fall quite severely throughout the day, ranging from 30° at night to 90° during mid-afternoon. Average summer rainfall is 1.38 inches, making the Jackson Hole area very dry during the summer months. Temps and rainfall may greatly increase on regional field trips to, Yellowstone, Utah and Idaho. Warm clothing is essential.

 What is the elevation at Camp Davis?
The elevation at Camp Davis is 6113 feet above sea level. Field trips throughout the region may require students to be working, hiking and climbing at altitudes between 4000 and 10,000 feet about sea level.

Academic Information

 Who will be teaching my course?
Each course at Camp Davis will be taught by at least one full Professor and GSI. Many courses have multiple Professors and GSI’s throughout the summer. Student to instructor ratios are generally 12:1 providing an intimate and attentive learning process. A full list of Professors is available on our course web sites.

 Will there be tests?
Yes, most courses will receive several quizzes and tests throughout the summer.

 Will my course be held indoors or outdoors?
Each course at Camp Davis will spend some of their time in an indoor lecture setting and a majority of their time in an outdoor field work setting. Camp Davis has Three fully equipped classrooms, computer lab, weather research station, and precipitation collector. Field work will include travel to different areas of interest throughout the west.

 How will I be graded?
Each course at Camp Davis must be taken for a letter grade. Students cannot take courses on a pass/fail basis.

 What textbooks are required?
A list of required texts and or course packs will be sent to you via email upon admittance. Most textbooks are included in your course fees. You can also contact your Prof. or camp manager for a list of required material.

 What is a typical day like at Camp Davis?
Every day is quite different, but this is an attempt to give some idea of what ‘typical’ daily activities can be like.

  • 7:00 am Breakfast is served in the Mess Hall, including fresh fruit, breads and pastries, waffles and several hot entrees. Students pack their own bag lunches from the various meats, cheeses, and vegetables provided.
  • 8:00 am Students and instructors meet in the classroom building. At the start of a multi-day project there is usually a two hour lecture to introduce the basic scientific concepts and approach of a new project. If a project is continuing there is usually a 30 minute discussion of that day’s activities and organization. Following the lecture or meeting, class departs to the site of a field project. Some sites are in the Teton National Park, others are in the valley surrounding camp. There is sometimes a hike to remote sites. On several days during the course there are challenging all-day hikes to alpine ecosystems. These can be taken at any pace, recognizing that there will be various levels of fitness and tolerance of high-elevation. There are also two overnight camping trips—one to the Wind River Mountains, and another to Yellowstone National Park.
  • 12:00 pm Lunch, usually eaten in the field, as a break from data collection and observation in the field. The afternoon is usually a continuation of the morning project. Occasionally the afternoon will be spent in camp completing chemical analyses, working on data interpretation, or researching specific topics in the reference library or on the internet.
  • 4:00 pm Day courses end, students shower, check email, fly fish, go river tubing, hiking, jogging, play horseshoes, billiards, volleyball or basketball. Some days it will be necessary to compile research results, work on projects, or study required readings.
  • 6:30 pm Dinner is served. Meals are eaten family style and include a full and varied salad bar, several different entrees, side-dishes and fresh vegetables. Vegetarian entrees are offered every day.
  • 7:00 pm Evenings are a mix between study and play—depending on where the class is with respect to multi-day projects. Some evenings there will be short lectures, data analysis and write-ups in the computer lab, or required reading. Other evenings will be designated as official time-off to either chill-out or participate in extra-curricular activities including, hiking, climbing, swimming at the Hoback River swimming hole, visits to Jackson Hole (25 minutes away), Snake River, Palisades Reservoir, Teton County Rodeo, Teton National Park, Granite Creek Falls, etc.
  • 9:30 pm Evening “Drive-In” movie begins on Johnston Hall hill. Johnson Hall has billiards, Ping-Pong, foosball and other diversions.
  • Off Days Camp Davis is a “total immersion” outdoor experience. We hike, explore, and enjoy breathtaking views on a daily basis. Approximately one day per week is time off. Some students prefer to hang around camp, catch up on sleep and laundry, and enjoy the activities in camp. Others check-out mini-vans and head off on backpacking trips, river rafting, horse-back riding, and shopping expeditions to Jackson Hole. Please feel free to contact the Course Coordinator (Chris Malvica, campdavis@umich.edu) for additional details or for referral to students who have successfully completed the course and can answer any questions you may have.

Travel Concerns

 How does transportation to Camp Davis work?
Students are transported to and from the Camp Davis facility via University-owned minivans. A maximum of six passengers are in each vehicle. In addition, each course will have a cargo van to transport luggage, food and camping gear. Cargo vans will be driven by GSIs (Graduate Student Instructors) or Professors. Each vehicle will be equipped with CB radios to help with communication and instruction along the way. The trip out to Camp and back again will take 3 days and 2 nights. During this time students will be staying at public campgrounds along the route.Food is not provided during the first and last two days of Camp.

 Do I have to use the provided transportation?
Earth 440 and 344 students are required to use the provided Camp Davis transportation. Earth 440 and 344 courses begin with regional field trips prior to their arrival at Camp Davis. All other students may fly into Jackson airport (though it can be very expensive). Required flight arrival dates and times can be obtained by emailing campdavis@umich.edu. Transportation to and from the Jackson airport can be arranged via local taxi or shuttle service. Students may arrive in personal vehicles, though strict rules govern their usage during the summer. 

 Do students have access to the vans for extra-curricular activities?
Absolutely. Students may use the minivans during free days and scheduled evenings. Professors and GSIs will determine which days vans can be used. Please keep trips within a 30 mile perimeter of Camp.

 Who will be driving?
All students, GSIs and Professors with clean driving records and valid licenses are required to help drive. Driver Safety is extremely important and anyone with excessive moving violations or drunk driving offenses will be prohibited from driving (driving records will be checked). Students and GSIs will also be responsible for fueling and cleaning the vehicles throughout the summer.

 How much luggage can I bring?
Students are asked to bring a reasonable amount of luggage. 1 backpack, one duffel bag, 1 sleeping bag and one tent. A complete list of required and recommended gear for your specific course can be found below.

 EARTH-116 Gear Guide
 EARTH-450 Gear Guide
 EARTH-440 Gear Guide
 ENG-317/AMC-301 Gear Guide
 EARTH-202/344 Gear Guide

Please refrain from bringing bikes or large “boom boxes”.

Preparing for Camp

 What type of gear should I bring?
Students will be spending part of their time camping at various locations throughout the west so a small backpack, sleeping bag and small tent and at least two 32 oz. water bottles or hydrating bladders are necessary. A complete list of required and optional gear can be found above.

 What kind of clothes should I bring?
Temperatures can rise and fall severely, and rain and snow storms while infrequent (Yes, it sometimes snows during the summer) happen very quickly. Students are encouraged to dress in layers, peeling off jackets and sweaters as the day progresses. Old sneakers are perfect for rocky lake and river bottoms and will help to prevent cuts and scraps while swimming. Students should also bring a set of “Town Clothes” for evenings out. A complete list of recommended clothes can be found above.

 How much spending money should I bring?
The amount of money you bring really depends on the length of your stay. Activities like fishing, white water rafting, horseback riding, and mountain sliding are not included in your course fees. Generally students can get by with between $200 and $300.

 Do cell phones work at Camp Davis?
Most cell phones do not function at Camp Davis. Because Camp is located within a deep valley reception is very weak at best. Some newer model phones have received successful reception in the past. Cell phones do work well within the town of Jackson and on select mountain tops. A student phone is available at Camp.

 Should I bring a laptop?
You may bring a laptop if you wish, but wireless internet service is not guaranteed. Numerous desktop computers are available for web surfing and email. If you decide to bring your laptop, please understand that the University of Michigan is not responsible for its theft or damage.

Cabin Life

 What kind of students usually attend Camp Davis?
The Camp Davis student body closely mirrors the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Contrary to popular belief, most students are not geology or even science majors. Male to Female ratios are generally 50/50, and guest students from other Universities usually make up ¼ of the total enrollments.

 What are accommodations like?
4 Students sleep in each 14’ x 14’ rustic cabin, built in 1929. Ceilings and walls are paneled with Douglas Fir tongue and groove, and all beds are singles. Cold running water, electric outlets are provided in each structure. Bathroom facilities with hot showers are located in separate buildings.

 Can I request a cabin mate?
Yes. Students generally are assigned cabin mates prior to departure, but special requests can be made and are usually fulfilled.

 How do I do my laundry?
Four onsite washing machines are provided free of charge and clothes are line dried. Because of the relative low humidity, drying time is extremely quick. Laundry detergent is not provided. Clothes can also be washed in town at one of several locations.

 What types of food are offered each day?
The food at Camp Davis is excellent. Three meals are offered each day. Breakfast, consisting of a hot entrée, potato, meat, fresh fruit and waffles is served each morning at 7:00 am. A varied selection of lunch meats, cheeses, breads, fruits and vegetables are provided and students bag their own lunches each morning. Dinner is served each evening at 6:30 pm. Several entrees, including vegetarian offerings, are served each evening family style in large and colorful mess hall. Students with special dietary requirements can usually be accommodated.

 Will I have access to computers and email?
Yes, a computer lab with numerous computers is available for use 24/7. These computers each have high speed internet connections.

 What type of extra-curricular activities are available?
Camp Davis offers a myriad of extra-curricular activities. An onsite recreational hall includes a large fireplace, library, ping-pong, billiards, foosball and gaming tables. Volleyball, horse shoe pits, and a half court basketball court are also available. In addition the abutting Bridger Teton National Forest and Hoback River afford endless hiking, and fishing possibilities. Nearby National Parks and the Snake River offer white water rafting, hiking, and camping opportunities. Visit here for more detailed information.

 Are my family and friends allowed to visit?
Your parents and accompanying siblings are welcome to visit the Camp Davis facility during the summer. We can provide information on nearby accommodations, restaurants and camping. Friends and siblings not accompanied by your parents are strictly prohibited from visiting Camp Davis.

Enrollment and Financial Concerns

 How much does the Camp Davis program cost?
Fees for the Camp Davis program Spring/Summer of 2013 are as follows.

 EARTH-116  (5 credits) $1025
 EARTH-450  (5 credits) $1025
 EARTH-344  (3 credits) $575
 EARTH-440/441  (5/6 credits) $1025
 AMC 301/English 317  (3 credits) $675

Tuition for each course varies according to the amount of credits offered. Guest students will be charged at an upper division rate. Please visit the U of M Registrar's web site for current up to date tuition costs. Please note that the above fee costs DO NOT cover tuition.

 Are their any hidden charges or extra fees?
No, course fees include everything you’ll need to attend camp. Textbooks are included for all E&ES courses. Amcult 301/English 317 course packs are NOT included. Extra field notebooks can be purchased at Camp Davis for a small fee.

 Is financial aid available?
Yes, through the generous donations of Alumni, departmental fin-aid is available for most students on a need and merit bases. Unfortunately international and guest students are ineligible. To apply, fill out part III on the online Camp Davis application. Please be sure to submit this application on or before April 1st, 2014. Applicants must have a current FAFSA and/or Applicant Data Form (ADF) on file with the financial aid office to be eligible.

 Do I have to be a U of M student?
No, any student, 18 years and older, accepted into or currently attending an accredited college or university is welcome. Guest students make up approximately ¼ of our student body each summer, and are encouraged to apply. Guest student applications can be found at the end of the Course Info Pack. Please be sure that your home institution excepts credit from the University of Michigan before enrolling. Once a course has been successfully completed, a U of M credit transfer form can be found here.

 How do I enroll?
Simply fill out and submit the online application. You'll be notified of acceptance within 7 to 10 days, via email.

 How do I register for the class?
Once your application has been processed and you receive an acceptance confirmation, we'll enter your permission to register for the course. Summer 2014 registration begins in March. If you’re currently attending classes at U of M, you will register for the course through Wolverine Access like you normally do. If you’re a guest student or you’ve been accepted to U of M but have not yet received your Wolverine Access username and password the Earth & Environmental Science dept. will handle the registration process for you. All holds must be off your student account in order to register.

 When is payment due?
Tuition and fee payments are due on or before June 30, 2014. You'll be billed via email. As you may be at Camp Davis during this tuition/fee billing, please arrange for a friend or family member to send in this payment.

Health Concerns

 Are their any health concerns I should know about?
Yes, Because of Camp Davis’s altitude and low humidity some students experience minor symptoms of altitude sickness. These symptoms including headache, nausea, dizziness and general malaise. Symptoms are usually not severe and pass once students have become acclimated. It is extremely important to consume plenty of water during your stay, as the possibility of dehydration is greatly increased. Please email campdavis@umich.edu with any questions you might have.

 What are the fitness requirements for Camp Davis?
Camp Davis courses can be physically challenging and it is important that you are prepared for a rigorous field experience. You will be conducting field exercises, including considerable hiking off trails and at high elevations. The field days are often long and your performance will be limited if you cannot cover the field project areas. Students in reasonably good physical condition are able to complete the course without difficulty. Students in poor physical health or condition will have a difficult time completing the course. If you have a history of cardiac or pulmonary problems, physical, emotional, or mental disabilities please consult your physician before considering attending camp. A physicians permission may be required prior to acceptance. These courses are physically demanding and may not be right for everyone. Health insurance is required.

 Is a Camp nurse on duty?
No, All GSIs and several staff members are trained in Basic Life Saving techniques, including basic first aid, patient stabilization and CPR.

 How close is the nearest medical facility?
The nearest hospital and is located in Jackson, Wyoming. Approximately 30 miles away.