Friday, January 10, 2020
To the Unprepared, it is the Place of Death; For Scholars of Earth History, it's a Wonderland. Join us, February 13-17, in Death Valley!
People have lived in this place in small numbers for at least 10,000 years. Four distinct cultures are known, including the Timbisha Shoshone who still live in the region. They were able to live and thrive within the limits imposed by this extreme desert environment. The first Europeans to arrive during the Gold Rush era were not prepared for the conditions, and it was they who conferred the present-day name of the park: Death Valley.
We are privileged to live in a time and place where technology allows us to visit these lands with our basic needs fulfilled, allowing us to appreciate the landscape and story behind the scenery. This is not to minimize the risks involved when the technology (or basic intelligence) fails us. Death Valley continues to be a dangerous place for the unprepared and people get into serious predicaments every year.
Does this sound intriguing, a kind of place that you might like to visit? You could be there in a few weeks, and learn the details of the geologic story of this unique and precious place. I'll be teaching a 2-unit course on the geology Death Valley through Modesto Junior College on Feb. 13-17, 2020. We'll be camping out and spending our days hiking and exploring this fascinating place. If this all sounds interesting, join us! If you live in the Modesto area, we'll have an informational meeting on Thursday, January 30 at 5:30 PM in Science Community Center Room 326. If you can't make the meeting, all the trip information is available at the class website at: http://hayesg.faculty.mjc.edu/Death_Valley_Field_Studies.html. Information on registration for classes at Modesto Junior College can be found at https://www.mjc.edu/.
Come and join us!