Thursday, February 12, 2015

Why it's Nice to Teach in California: It's Field Season All Year!

I'm not sure when or why being in California became a "negative" thing. Sure, we have our urban areas and horrible traffic and air pollution, wildfires, and long droughts. But on the other hand, we have the most diverse set of geological landscapes to be found anywhere on the planet. One can quite seriously work on a tan at the beach, jump in a car and go skiing, and then slide down a sand dune in a desert all in a single day. And for us geologists who teach? We have the longest field season possible! When the last field trip of the fall semester ended, it was mid-November. We had a pleasant warmish day in Pinnacles National Park. Then there was the long, long winter grind. There was that month in December when we got all the rain. Then there was the driest January in our recorded history. And now, in mid-February, it's field season again!
This afternoon I will be taking a class on the road for the next five days, exploring the lands in and around Death Valley National Park. Temperatures are expected to be in the 70s or low 80s. I'm looking forward to being on the road again!
I'm not gloating about those of you who have been inundated in snow. It's not an easy time, and we have our problems of a different nature. The drought is very serious. But I still have to say that I don't understand people who think California isn't a nice place to live. To a geologist, it is paradise!

Web access will be pretty limited, so Geotripper will be back next week...


Jane Strong said...

I agree. California has so much to offer ... the highest mountains, the lowest desert, deserted beaches; tallest trees, dwarfed coniferous forests, oldest trees, etc., all within a day's drive. Who could want more?

Celia Lewis said...

Definitely a wonderland for a geologist. But I must admit I like the variety of weather I experience further north, with more rain. There seems to be more daily spontaneity - i.e., "Oh look, sunshine - quick, let's go for a picnic!" the Sun moves significantly north in summer and then south in winter over the seasons where I live in Vancouver BC. Chacun a son gout. :)