Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Geotripping on the Colorado Plateau: Archaeology and Geology Summer Field Studies, June 13-29, 2012

There was a constant theme of the images I posted during geo-picture-a-day week: each picture was a locality that we will be visiting on our summer field studies adventure in June of 2012, offered by Modesto Junior College in Central California. I guess it was on my mind, as I had to secure the camp reservations last week...the reservations for groups at the national parks tend to get snapped up quickly.

The class is a hybrid, Geology 174 and Anthropology 174, taught jointly in the field. This is the fifth collaboration between our departments, and will be a two-week expedition that will take us through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. Our route will include Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Mesa Verde, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Great Basin and Yosemite National Parks, and numerous other state parks, national scenic areas, and national monuments.We will be camping out for the duration of the trip, and meals and transportation are provided. The cost will be $650, plus about $150 in school and registration fees.
What will it be like? Imagine yourself on the high plateaus of central Utah hunting for dinosaurs, or on the brink of a 5,000 foot deep canyon in Arizona, or searching for gemstones in the Nevada-Utah desert.  Imagine hunting for Pueblo cliff dwellings in a quiet deserted canyon on the Colorado-Utah border or in New Mexico.  Imagine taking a trip in a time machine to the distant past, when dinosaurs roamed the planet, continental landmasses drifted and collided, and seas covered vast areas of the American west. Imagine a more recent past as we visit two of the oldest continuously occupied villages in the United States.

Obviously, this message is directed mostly to our friends in the central California, but even if you are not from the area, you may be able to travel with us if you can get to Modesto for the start and finish of the trip (and be willing to register for the course; yes, you have to take notes!). You need to be in moderately good health and be ready to put up with rugged and stressful conditions (although no long hikes will be required). It will be hot, cold, wet, dry, windy, sandy and dusty. There may be ghosts, bugs, or other critters. On the other hand, the trip has every possibility of being one of the most spectacular two weeks of your life. If you are interested, check out this informational page, and let us know who you are!


Gaelyn said...

This sounds excellent! Of course I'll be back to work but sure hope to see your group at the North Rim.

Garry Hayes said...

Oh, Gaelyn, alas it is not to be! The group sites were taken on the dates we needed, so we will be on the south rim this year, on the 13th and 14th. It looks like there are only three group sites now, and not on the rim like they used to be.