Earth & Planetary Sciences

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Field Courses

EARTH 131: Geologic Field Studies - Eastern Sierra Nevada

October 8 - 12, 2014

Earth 131 is a five-day/four-night field course to study the geology and geologic history of the Eastern Sierra Nevada, California. The Sierra contains some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere, including the highest point in the contiguous United States. The Sierra is also geologically spectacular; here the rocks reveal the geologic history of the western United States over the last 500 million years. By studying the rocks and the processes that formed them, we will be able to piece together this history. In addition we will see numerous examples of the geologic and hydrologic processes such as earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciers, and rivers that are actively shaping the mountains today.

 group in front of tall outcrop

  

EARTH 132 - Geologic Field Studies in Death Valley

April 15-19, 2015

Earth 132 is a five-day/four-night field course to study the geology and geologic history of the Death Valley region.  Death Valley contains some of the most spectacular vistas anywhere including places where both the highest and lowest spots in the contiguous United States can be seen simultaneously.  Death Valley is also geologically spectacular.  Here the rocks reveal the geologic history of the western United States over the last two billion years.  By studying the rocks and the processes that formed them, you will be able to piece together this history.   In addition, you will see numerous examples of the geologic and hydrologic processes that are actively shaping Death Valley today.

dunes

 On this trip, you will travel approximately 1200 miles.  The trip will take you eastward through the Mojave Desert, then you will enter the southern end of Death Valley, explore Death Valley in its entirety, cross the Panamint Mountains, and visit the mining town of Darwin before returning to Santa Barbara.

 

EARTH 133 - Geologic Field Seminar of the Colorado Plateau

May 23 - June 6, 2015

Earth 133 - Geologic Field Seminar of the Colorado Plateau is a fifteen-day excursion of the National Parks of northern Arizona, Colorado, and Utah: Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon Dam, Four Corners, Navajo, Monument Valley, Natural Bridges. Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Escalante Petrified Forest, Bryce, Zion, and much, much more! This course is designed as an "honors level" field experience where principles and concepts learned in first year geology classes can be applied and interpreted in the field.

 Group on CP

 

Instruction follows a seminar format wherein each student is responsible for researching, developing, and presenting to the class a topic relevant to the parks we visit. Students are required to keep a field notebook, take morning quizzes, and actively participate in geologic discussions, critiques, and arguments. This is truly a unique opportunity for you to visit, interpret, and understand some of the outstanding geologic sites of this world.

  

EARTH 134 - Geologic Field Studies of the Western Sierra Nevada

Not offered in 2015. Check back next year!

Earth 134 - Geologic Field Studies of the Western Sierra Nevada is an eight-day/seven-night field course to learn about the geology and geologic history of the Western Sierra Nevada, California. On this field course, you will study the spectacular scenery of Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks, plus a few selected sites from the Eastern Sierra Nevada. The goal of your visit to these geologic sites is to understand the processes that have shaped them including earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciers and rivers.

The course involves camping out seven nights, some light hiking, taking notes at daily lecture stops, taking quizzes, and helping with the preparation of meals and with other camp duties.

Boulders

Requirements

This course is introductory in nature--no pre-requisites or concurrent enrollment are required. Students interested in the earth sciences are encouraged to participate.

Cost : $200

• Plus $46 unit fee. (2.5 units x $46 for California residents.)

• Out-of-state and international students pay additional fees.

Includes: Transportation, meals, and field guidebook.

Not included: Camping equipment (warm sleeping bag, sleeping pad and small tent--borrow or rent if you do not own these items), lunch on the first day, personal items and expenses, $30 for shower stops, SBCC registration fees. No textbook is required for the field course. You may wish to bring some spending money for books, maps, junk food, batteries, etc.

 

EARTH 137 & 138 - Introductory Field Geology & Geologic Field Camp

Earth 137: June 8 - June 26, 2015

Earth 137 - Introductory Field Geology is a 3.2 unit course offered in second half of summer session 1.  The first two weeks in Santa Barbara, and the last few days in the White-Inyo Mountains, near Bishop.  This course introduces the student to the tools and techniques for geologic mapping in the field.  No previous field mapping experience is required.  Techniques covered include:  Introductory Field Mapping with Brunton Compass and Tape, Stratigraphic Mapping Sections, Interpretation of Topographic Maps, Geologic Maps, Geologic Cross Sections.  The course is offered both in the lab and in the field.  Homework assignments are required.

Earth 138: July 6 - July 24, 2015

Earth 138 - Geologic Field Camp is a 4.3 unit course with the first two weeks in the field and the last few days in Santa Barbara, writing up your final projects.  This course, during summer session 2, requires a previous mapping course (Earth 137 is acceptable) or consent of the instructor.  Geologic Mapping is done at a field camp near Mt. Abel at an elevation of 6200 feet, in the Cuyama Badlands, and the Ridge Basin near Gorman.  It is an intense field-mapping course using various geologic surveying tools and techniques learned in Earth 137.

 

Geology student in the field 

 

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