Italy Summer Field Geology

Program Dates: May 12, 2024 - June 23, 2024

This capstone field geology course focuses on mapping and data collection to investigate the tectonic history of the Northern Apennines, Italy. Classical field geologic methods will be used to investigate several case studies of large scale tectonic processes. In addition to field mapping, students will map alongside Italian students for a project in the middle of the field course, which will provide an opportunity to learn some Italian and to meet some Italian peers. There will be several days off from geology where students will have time to explore Italian art and culture and see some of the visually stunning cities and towns of the Northern Apennines. Students will have an opportunity to become immersed in Italian culture by staying in small towns that are not major tourist destinations.



Pitigliano - medieval town in Tuscany made out of tuff (volcanic rock)

Coldigioco - geological observatory in the Marche region - we will stay in the town which is run by a geological consortium

Costacciaro - town in Umbria where we will stay with a group of Italian students for a mapping project done in tandem with Italian students from the University of Perugia

Perugia - ancient medieval town in Umbria, where the University of Perugia is located

Minucciano - small town in the Alpi Apuane of Tuscany

Porto Azzurro - town on the island of Elba, located in Tuscany



Course Prefix

Course Name



GES 4835

Summer Field Geology


Jamie Levine, Gabe Casale, Cole Edwards

Faculty Leaders

Dr. Jamie S. Levine

Professor of Structure, Tectonics, and Metamorphic Petrology

Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Levine joined the faculty at Appalachian State University in the fall of 2012 after a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Whitman College.  She is best described as a structural petrologist, who combines approaches from structural geology and metamorphic petrology to investigate the interactions between deformation and metamorphism. Dr. Levine conducts field work on scales from centimeters to kilometers in conjunction with detailed microstructural and mineral chemistry analysis.  Her recent work has focused on the role of strain in promoting partial melting in migmatites, and positive feedbacks that exist between partial melting reactions and deformation.


Dr. Gabriele M. Casale

Professor of Structural Geology

Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Casale joined the Geology Department in 2011. His research interests are in the complex interplay between contemporaneous shortening and extension in active mountain belts from a field structural geology perspective. His research is centered around the structural geology and tectonic evolution of the southern Appalachians, and the Eocene-present tectonic evolution of the Adria continental block as it is consumed beneath Eurasia and the Apennines.

He is currently constructing 2D geometric interpretations across the External Dinarides in Croatia and Bosnia to quantify the minimum amount of shortening that has taken place along the Eastern margin of Adria during mountain building in the Dinaric foreland, as well as investigating the timing and nature of mid-crustal exhumation in the Dinaric hinterland. On the Western margin of Adria, he is investigating the role of fluids in fabric development along low angle normal faults developed in the wake of the easterly migrating Apenninic subduction zone.

Dr. Casale is also a 2018 Board of Governors Teaching Excellence Award winner.


Dr. Cole Edwards

Associate Professor of Carbonate Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Edwards jointed the Geology department in 2016. His research focuses on the interaction between the biosphere and environment and their evolution throughout Earth history, as recorded in the sedimentary record. He seeks to find new ways of integrating sedimentological, geochemical proxies of paleoenvironmental conditions, and paleontological data to better understand key intervals in Earth history. His research interests involve several sub-disciplines of geologic study, such as sedimentology, diagenesis, isotope geochemistry, chemostratigraphy, and paleoclimatology.

Much of Dr. Edwards’s research focuses on carbonate rocks, which form through interaction of biological and geological systems. Geochemical data extracted from carbonate sediments can be used to reconstruct environmental conditions of ancient seas and climates to provide information about likely influences on the biosphere. His more recent research uses this approach to study the potential causes of the Late Devonian mass extinction by measuring isotopic data from Devonian carbonate rocks from the Great Basin region (Nevada and Utah) as well as across the world (e.g., Belgium, Vietnam, Mongolia).

Dr. Hannah Riegel

Visiting Lecturer

Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University

Dr. Riegel's current research looks at fluid source and flow in low angle normal faults and their impact on earthquake-triggering slip. This is done using a combination of geochemistry, structural geology, and MATLAB modeling. Other research includes developing a virtual reality tool for learning strike and dip with collaborators at Montana University and Pennsylvania State University. Before joining Georgia State, Dr. Riegel was a Visiting Assistant Professor and Field Camp Director at Appalachian State University.

Program Cost: $5020

Program cost includes most meals, lodging, in-country transportation.  All fees associated with tourist site visits and activities.

Please note - Students are responsible for the total program cost upon submiting the application and deposit. Refunds are contingent upon meeting the minimum enrollment of the program. If a student decides to withdraw before departure, that student may be eligible for a refund if the program has met minimum enrollment and is therefore viable. 

Non-billable costs are estimates only and will be affected by personal spending habits, currency fluctuations, etc. Prices listed in USD unless otherwise noted.  Students are encouraged to start planning for their study abroad program costs well in advance. 

Payment Schedule





 Upon receipt of application

Remaining balance due




Estimated Additional Expenses 


Undergraduate Tuition - Resident

$153/credit hour

Undergraduate Tuition - Non-resident

$173/credit hour





Spending money


Appalachian reserves the right to cancel or alter the program format or to change costs in case of conditions beyond the university's control.  Further details about Appalachian's withdrawal/cancellation policy can be found at this link.


Application Process

  1. In order to apply for this program, you will need to contact one of the program leaders and provide your Banner ID and email address. Program leaders may request additional information or a meeting to discuss the details of the program and your interest.
  2. When permission to apply for the program is granted, you will receive an email from your program leader with instructions to apply.
  3. Apply to the program following the instructions from the program leader.
  4. Print, sign and drop off your application at the Office of International Education and Development at Plemmons Student Union (PSU), Suite 321 ( 3rd floor), 263 Locust Street Boone, NC 28608. Your application will be considered complete when you have submitted your digital application, paid the $300 deposit, and dropped off your printed and signed application. The fee cannot be paid until it appears on your student account. Please note that it may take 2–3 business days for it to post to your account. You will receive an email with Instructions for paying the deposit fee. Instructions can also be found in the application.