Sheridan College is making classrooms and residence halls available to students and faculty from Northern Illinois University for the next week.
The students are here to study geology in the Big Horn Mountains.
The group - which includes 12 university students, one graduate-level teaching assistant and two faculty - are taking a six-week course on geological field techniques. The summer course includes trips through the Badlands of South Dakota and mountains of northern Wyoming. Geology professor Dr. Mark Fischer said the course teaches students how to make geological maps. He said students are taken into the mountains to make observations and collect data about the orientation of rock layers. They use the information to create a map.
Groups from the university have made the two-day trip to Sheridan - more than 1,000 miles - since the late 1990s. Sheridan College officials say geological-focused groups from other universities, including Illinois State, have been coming to northeast Wyoming for decades. The group will also visit Cody and Yellowstone before returning to Illinois in late June.
The professor added he enjoys Sheridan for a variety of reasons, including the fact that he is a distant relative of the Coffeens, early-day pioneers here.