Friday, January 18, 2019

Join the Geotrippers! British Columbia, the Channeled Scablands, the Olympic Peninsula and the North Cascades, June 26-July 10, 2019

What are you going to do this summer? Are there places in the world that you've thought of visiting but never made a plan? Maybe we can be of assistance in fulfilling your dreams! The geology and anthropology departments at Modesto Junior College will be conducting a field course dyad that will explore Washington and British Columbia on June 26-July 10, 2019. Anyone with an interest in geology or anthropology is encouraged to join us (if you want to skip the reading and get to the details, scroll down to the bottom of this post).

Our journey will begin in the Seattle area where we'll get our rental vans (yes, you'll need to find your way to Seattle). We'll then head out to the Olympic Peninsula where we'll explore Olympic National Park (including the iconic view from Hurricane Ridge, above). There will be an opportunity to explore some of the rainforest. Cape Flattery and the Makah Nation will be the anthropology focus on one day.

We'll then take the ferry across the Strait of Georgia to the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island. "Island" barely describes a landmass three hundred miles long. It has been inhabited by humans for thousands of years, and we'll be looking for petroglyphs and other archaeological evidence as we explore the south shore and then work our way north through Duncan to Nanaimo.

From Nanaimo, we'll take a ferry back to the North America mainland at Howe Sound. We will spend several days in the Vancouver area, exploring both the coastal mountains and Fraser River delta, and also the extensive museums in the city.

We'll travel the Sea to the Sky Highway, a spectacular route that leads from Vancouver to Whistler and Pemberton, site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. We'll have a chance to observe active glaciers and potentially active volcanoes, including Mt. Garibaldi and the Black Tusk.
You'll have a chance to figure out how this landscape happened...(below).
 We'll return to the United States by way of the Okanogan Valley and we'll then explore one of the strangest landscapes on Earth, the Grand Coulees and Channeled Scablands. The discovery of evidence for the incredible Spokane Floods of the ice ages is one of the great stories of geology.
We'll wrap up the trip by passing over the Cascade Range at North Cascades National Park with a stop along the potentially active Mt. Baker volcano.

This trip is just the latest of MJC’s unique collaboration of field studies in geology and anthropology, taught by anthropology professor Susan Kerr and geology professor Garry Hayes.

When and How? The group will come together in Renton, Washington (near SeaTac Airport and Seattle) on June 26 and will return to SeaTac mid-day on July 10. We will travel in rental vans, and stay in hotels.

Costs: The trip will cost $1,600, which includes transportation, admission fees, accommodations, and teaching materials. Students will be responsible for getting to and from Seattle, and for meals (many of the hotels offer free breakfasts, and some rooms will have microwaves). There will be the tuition costs for six units of semester credit, and the fees for getting or renewing a passport.

Accommodations: We are staying in a variety of motels and hotels. We are assuming double occupancy for married couples, and double to triple occupancy for singles. We will try to accommodate requests for single rooms for a surcharge, but cannot guarantee it. (The earlier your request, the better the chance for getting extra rooms).

Academics: The field courses are worth three semester units each (total of six). Participants will be expected to keep field notes and to complete worksheets and quizzes during the trip.

There will be an informational meeting on Wednesday January 23rd at 7:00 PM in Science Community Center 326 on the West Campus of MJC. Contact the professors if you cannot attend (hayesg - at - or kerrs - at 

For up-to-date announcements, check out the trip Facebook page at and the MJC Geology information page at

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