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Kurtis C. Burmeister


I am an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois. In this role, I serve as the co-Director of the Wasatch-Uinta Field Camp, assist with regional and international field trips, and occasionally co-advise student research projects. I have been on the faculty of the Wasatch-Uinta Field Camp since 2003 and served as the program’s Director since 2007.

My current primary appointment is at Sacramento State University (CSUS), where I am an Assistant Professor of Field Geology and teach Geologic Field Methods and field-intensive Introductory Geology courses. I moved to CSUS after more than 15 years at the University of Pacific. In addition to teaching and research, I am currently the Executive Secretary of the NAGT-USGS Cooperative Field Training Program, which connects the top students completing field camp each summer with paid USGS internships.

Research: I am a structural geologist and my primary research focuses on the dynamic processes that deform Earth’s lithosphere. I am also very interested in areas of geoscience education associated with 3D visualization as well as how we can use sense of place to help students build meaningful connections between concepts and locations. I am what you might call a “dirty boots” geologist – I love being outdoors and incorporate fieldwork into my research whenever possible. I’m currently working on projects in the Sierra Nevada near Lake Tahoe and the Hudson Valley of upstate New York. In recent years, my work has taken me to western Ireland and southeastern Japan.

Field Safety: I am a passionate advocate for field safety leadership. This interest grew out of my more than two decades of experience leading field-based courses and research activities, overseeing field camps, and routinely supervise extended, multi-state & international field trips for large groups. The WUFC program won the 2013 Geological Society of America–ExxonMobil Field Camp Excellence Award for the health & safety protocols he implemented. I occasionally run traveling Field Safety Leadership workshops to help departments, programs, and universities develop customized field safety protocols, standard operating procedures, and emergency response plans. I am a certified Wilderness First Reponder (NOLS), a certified American Red Cross instructor in First Aid/CPR/AED and Wilderness and Remote First Aid, and is certified in Mental Health First Aid (NCMW).



Research Interests

Tectonics and Structural Geology


University of Illinois, PhD Structural Geology

University of California at Santa Barbara, MA Vertebrate Paleontology

University of California at Santa Barbara, BA Biological Sciences