CONTACT: Prof. Paul Kelso, 635-2158,, Stephanie Sabatine, 635-6664,


SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. -Lake Superior State University will take high school students on a two-week summer geoscience program that will take them to a variety of important and interesting sites of geologic and Native American significance across the north central United States.

The program particularly seeks participation of Native American high school students, but other minority high school students and students of other backgrounds may apply.

Geological Reasoning And Natives Investigating The Earth (GRANITE), features geology instructors, teachers and Native American experts guiding students on a two-week field trip in July (tentatively July 10-24, 2013). Participants will study, hike, and camp in many beautiful locations from Sault Ste Marie to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Students will learn geology field skills and use computers and other technology to study geologically interesting sites, many with special significance to Native Americans.

Previous GRANITE students visited the Mississippi River; Pipestone, Minn; Bear Butte, SD; Devil's Tower, Wyo.; and the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota. In the Black Hills, students visited the monument to Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore, caves and/or a variety of other interesting sites. All travel expenses, lodging, and meal costs are covered by a grant from National Science Foundation. The 2013 itinerary features many of the same stops.

"The GRANITE experience provides a strong background for participants wishing to enroll in a university-level geoscience program," said Paul Kelso Ph.D., LSSU geology professor and program director. "They learn how their lives and their communities are affected by geology and gain hands-on science experience."

Students camped out in tents for most of the trip, slept under the stars and in a tipi in South Dakota, panned for gold, explored the upper reaches of the mighty Mississippi River and saw a great variety of beautiful country. For some, it piqued their interest in the prospect of studying natural science in college.

"It definitely confirmed my interest in studying geology in college," said Alex Pink, one of the participants. "The trip exceeded my expectations. Every day that I thought was the best day so far was surpassed by the next. I truly cannot express in words the beauty of the landscape that we saw."

Besides Kelso, the GRANITE field trip staff have included by Brimley Schools earth science teacher Chris Whealy, Sault Ste. Marie, MI earth science teacher Sam Frush, educational consultant and earth science teacher Nate Beelen, and LSSU geology students Liz Goetz and Robin Bouschor.

"The students where very hard-working and had positive attitudes," said Whealy. "Even with
the rigorous pace, they always stayed positive. I do believe all involved had a unique experience being exposed to the geology and the native culture of the region."

Applications and more information about the program may be obtained on the web at http:// Students may also contact Kelso at 906-635-2158 or, or Stephanie Sabatine, Native American Center director, 635-6664 or