Earth Science 6: Mountains, Boots & Backpacks!
An 8-day, field course (Sep 17-24, 2017) to investigate earthquakes,
volcanoes and related geologic, geomorphic, and hydrologic processes in
the beautiful and dramatic Owens Valley, Sierra Nevada, Mammoth
Mountain, and Mono Lake area. Earth-science problems and processes are
approached through hands-on, problem-solving, data-gathering, and
field-based studies using the natural landscape as an outdoor
classroom. Satisfies both the Area C, Science, Mathematics and
Technology and Writing General Education Requirements. Every day is
spent outside and includes 1-2 hours of hiking; lodging is at UC
research stations in the shadows of the majestic Sierra Nevada and
White Mountains. This class focuses on understanding Earth processes in
the field. It is a wonderful class and you will learn a lot!
Employers tell us that the three most important things they look for
in recent graduates are the ability to think, interpret data, and communicate.
This class will help you develop those skills.
Dr. Bradley Hacker firstname.lastname@example.org
Office hours: anytime. Please come and talk to me when you want help--I do care about your education.
Note, however, that I conduct field research during the summer, and so am at UCSB
erratically during that time.
Are in the field (see below).
The class is physically rigorous, with 1-4 hr hiking each day, and one all-day hike.
There is no backpacking; we will be back in the dorm/lodge every night and we will carry only daypacks during the day. We will get up every morning at 7 AM, go to the field at 8 AM, and return sometime in the late afternoon to evening to do more work.
There are lectures most evenings.
Climate change, glacial responses, and glacial deposits
Active faulting and seismic hazards
Stream dynamics and discharge
Volcanoes, volcanic hazards, volcanic processes
Hydrology, lakes and water supply
Evolution of life
Plate tectonics and deformation of Earth
Subduction zones and magma generation
Metamorphism, natural resources and ore deposits
Letter grades will be assigned according to total points earned:
The course syllabus and reading material will be distributed in the field.
- Field notebook: 60%.
- Class participation: 10%.
- Writing assignments: 30%.
Logistics; Read carefully
All your equipment (see list below) must be packed in a few easily handleable bags and
brought to the Webb Hall loading dock (south side, toward the ocean) 30 minutes before departure:
8:30 AM Sunday Sep 17.
If you want to bring your stuff a day or two early, you can store it in the "Tectonic Workroom",
which is the room immediately to your right when you enter Webb Hall from the loading dock.
We will leave for the field from the Department loading dock at 9:00 AM Sunday Sep 17 at the latest.
It is about a 7 hour drive to our Bishop with
a couple of stops at sites of geologic interest on the drive north.
Bring a lunch to eat on this first day.
We will return to campus by the evening of
Each day we will have breakfast early, make a portable lunch, spend the entire day in the field,
and spend most of the evening working, including discussing topics in preparation for the next day.
At our field station
the temperature averages a high of 71 F and a low of 37 F that time of year. In 2017 the temperature dropped to 18 F at night.
Things you will need to pack and bring to class
'Camp' Equipment (we stay in a dorm/lodge)
- sleeping bag (a liner/sheet is optional)
- special foods (e.g., a few Clif bars just in case)
- casual shoes
- camera etc.
- flashlight or headlamp
- soap, shampoo, towel
- laptop computer
- USB drive/memory stick/jump drive
- warm clothing (T may drop below freezing)
- shorts and light shirts (T may get very hot)
- water bottles or camelback
- hiking boots (well broken in)
- clips/rubber bands/tape to hold paper down in the field
- pencils, erasers
- colored pencils: yellow, red, green, blue, purple, orange, brown
- see-through plastic metric ruler
- geology hammer (optional)
- geology handlens (optional; we will bring some)