Research Opportunities in Rock Deformation (R.O.R.D.) is a paid REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) internship program that provides laboratory and field-based research experience in rock mechanics and structural geology.

R.O.R.D. is designed to introduce undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds in earth science, geoscience, and engineering to the field of rock deformation, even if they’ve never heard of it before!

Have questions? Email us at

Applications for Summer 2024 are now live! The deadline is February 15th, 2024.


Each cohort of R.O.R.D. students will participate in three sessions over the summer and fall designed to provide extensive training and professional development.

  1. The program begins in June with a 9 day field session in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California where student participants will be introduced to the geological study of deformed rocks.
  2. Immediately following the field session students will travel to their host lab, where they will participate in a six week laboratory session conducting deformation experiments on specimens collected during the field session.
  3. In December we reconvene for a conference session where students have the opportunity to reconnect with their peers and mentors, and present the results of their research projects at the American Geophysical Union international meeting.
RORD is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation NSF-EAR 2050372 (PIs Skemer, Savage, and Hansen).

The site is “hosted” at Washington University in St. Louis, however students will participate through laboratory sessions at one of eleven participating labs. For more information please contact us at

Important Dates for 2024 RORD Program

Applications DueFebruary 15, 2024
Application NotificationMarch 15, 2024
Field SessionJune 7-14, 2024
Lab SessionJune 17 -July 26, 2024
Conference SessionDecember 9-December 13, 2024