The level of hands-on experience our students obtain is unmatched, Thomas said. They develop skills at the undergraduate level that will be attractive to various companies and agencies when they graduate.
Thomas said the map created by his students is part of the states ongoing efforts to make geologic maps of the region at various scales.
The maps are used by many different state and federal agencies and private companies for natural resource development and natural hazards identification and mitigation.
Student mapping like this is usually done as summer thesis work or USGS summer grant projects, Thomas said. As a result of Experience One, Montana Western students are doing this as a structural geology class during the academic year.
Thomas will review and submit a finalized map to the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology soon. The map will be published and available free to the public after the bureau conducts a rigorous peer-review process.