Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Trip to the Grandest Geological Locale on Earth

For once I am not discussing a trip I have taken...I am talking about a trip that you can take.
I spend a lot of time on my blog trying to convey the sense of wonder that comes from exploring the wild places of the Earth. I have to say, though, that nothing comes close to the actual experience of being there, seeing the rock, hearing the wind and feeling the heat, watching the night-time skies, and walking within the ruins of villages of people who lived on this land thousands of years ago (and meeting their descendants in the region today).
The Colorado Plateau, encompassing parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah, is one of the grandest geological showplaces on the planet, and at the same time it is an archaeological treasure. Our geology department is combining forces with our anthropology department to offer a unique course on the archaeology and geology of the Colorado Plateau and other spectacular sites in the American West. The course (Geology 174 or Anthropology 174, your choice) will take place on June 13-29, beginning and ending at Modesto Junior College in Central California. The cost will be about $160 for registration (for California residents; out-of-state tuition is higher), and $650 for food, transportation, and camping and entrance fees. The only additional costs would be for laundry, showers, and souvenirs. Although these two courses are directed towards geology and anthropology majors, our travelers will also include teachers, life-long learning participants, and anyone who is fascinated in the geology of this stunning region.

What will you see?

Six states: California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.

Eleven national parks: Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Mesa Verde, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Pecos, Chaco Culture, Great Basin, and Yosemite.

Eleven national monuments and preserves: Mojave, Wupatki, Sunset Crater, Walnut Canyon, El Morro, El Malpais, Kashua-Katuwe, Bandelier, Jemez Caldera, Aztec, and Hovenweep

and many more state and tribal parks including the pueblos of New Mexico (Zuni, Acoma, Taos, and others!

Sound interesting?

If you are in the Modesto region, we will have an organizational meeting on Monday, April 23, at 7:00 at MJC in Science 132 (East Campus). Previous experience in geology, earth science or archaeology is recommended, but not required. You will need to be healthy enough to camp and deal with rugged terrain, although long hikes are not required (opportunities for hikes will be common, however). If you are not able to attend the meeting, please contact me, or our anthropology professor, Susan Kerr, and we will get in touch with the information that you will need.

The trip itinerary and basic information is on the web at (Susan Kerr's page) and at (Garry Hayes' page).


Gaelyn said...

Hope you're coming to the North Rim this summer.

Garry Hayes said...

I'm afraid it is the south rim this time. I promise it will happen one of these days! I miss the North Rim a lot!