Most of the information about pegmatites is conveyed to geology students in a cursory manner, often leaving most students wondering where they can obtain more information. In most instances, students are not exposed to the intricacies of pegmatite mineralogy, petrology and geochemistry. 

Thus PegCamp was born!

PegCamp was created to increase the general interest in pegmatite-related topics and to inspire and educate future “pegmatologists”. In August 1994, the very first PegCamp was held in Poland, Maine…located in the heart of the Oxford pegmatite field. Maine continued to be the site of PegCamp in 1995 and 1996. In June 1997, it was held for the first time in the world famous San Diego county pegmatite district, California.

PegCamp is an intensive one-week field course emphasizing the mineralogy, internal structure, and evolution of granitic pegmatites.  Students will gain experience in the field examination of pegmatites and related granites including identification of pegmatite minerals, textures and  structures as part of understanding the genesis of pegmatites.

Students are required to complete lab exercises designed to strengthen their understanding of material presented in the lectures. Five to seven pegmatite localities will be visited where the student will be required to complete short field exercises using the concepts discussed in the lectures and lab exercises.

Modeled after field schools and short courses, PegCamp offers participants an opportunity to learn more about pegmatites than what is typically taught in undergraduate classes or discussed in standard textbooks. Modern principles will be taught and discussed in a classroom environment and complemented by related laboratory and field exercises. Nightly lectures on topics of “pegmatology” will be presented and include:

Introduction to the classification and general characteristics of pegmatites
Identification of the rock-forming and accessory minerals of pegmatites

Internal Structure
Pegmatite textures: their origin and their use in the identification of the internal structure of pegmatites

The significance of major and trace element chemistry of pegmatites and their usefulness as indicators of pegmatite fractionation

Regional Zonation and Petrogenesis
Discussions on the regional zonation of pegmatite fields and the petrogenesis of granite-pegmatite systems


  1. Mineral identification
  2. Identification of pegmatite textures
  3. Interpreting geochemical data
  4. Identifying regional trends
Dr. Wise discusses the internal zoning of a pegmatite with PegCamp students .


  1. Field identification of minerals
  2. Field relationships of textures and identifying internal structure of pegmatites
  3. Geochemical characterization utilizing pegmatite mineralogy
  4. Granite-pegmatite relationships

A cumulative final exam will be given on the last day of camp to help evaluate the student’s understanding of the course material.

Session 1 (PegCamp-West) will be held in Southern California in early June.
Session 2 PegCamp-Rockies wil be held in Central Colorado in early July.
Session 3 (PegCamp-East) will take place in Western Maine in early August.
The number of sessions held each year is dependent on student enrollment.

Facilities: Participants will stay in modest, yet comfortable cabins with hot showers.  Rooms will be shared, dormitory-style.  On-site laundry facilities are available. Students will assist in the preparation of meals when necessary.

Cost: The cost of PegCamp is $900.00, which includes meals, accommodations and transportation while in California, Colorado or Maine.  A non-refundable deposit of $200.00 is generally required to reserve a space.

Prerequisites: Participants must be in good physical condition.  Completed courses in mineralogy and petrology are strongly recommended.

Please Note:
PEGCAMP returns in 2007!

For additonal information and application please contact:Dr. Michael WiseDept. of Mineral Sciences, NHB-119National Museum of Natural HistoryP.O. Box 37012Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.  20013-7012Tel (202) 633-1826 Fax (202) 357-2476E-mail [email protected]