Friday, April 19, 2013

Field Course Opportunity: Geology of the Colorado Plateau, June 15-29

(cross-posted from Geotripper, by Garry Hayes)
North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park (yes, Gaelyn, we'll be on the North Rim, hope to see you there!)
There is no place on this planet like the Colorado Plateau. It's hard to find anyplace else on Earth where the crust remained relatively stable for upwards of a billion years, accumulating several miles of horizontal sediments, only to be lifted up rapidly in the last few million. The Colorado River and her tributaries then stripped away much of the sedimentary cover, and cut deep into the underlying metamorphic rocks, which record a violent geologic history of colliding landmasses and mountain-building. The resulting landscape is one of the most beautiful places imaginable.
Angels Landing Trail in Zion National Park, Utah
The plateau country is a training ground for geologists and earth scientists, and has been since the days of John Wesley Powell and Joseph Ives, who were the first to lead research parties into the region (they didn't "discover" the plateau, of course; Native Americans have known the region for thousands of years). If you are curious about learning geology in this incredible region, you might consider joining us as a student (of any age) on our geology field studies course Geology 174, offered under the auspices of Modesto Junior College in Modesto, California.
Goosenecks of the San Juan River, Utah
Our field course will be a grand loop through the plateau country, with investigations of the Mojave National Scenic Preserve, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mesa Verde and Great Basin National Parks, as well as many monuments, including Natural Bridges, Navajo, Hovenweap, Colorado, and state parks like Kodachrome Basin, Goblin Valley, and Berlin-Ichthyosaur. It will be an unforgettable two week trip from June 15-29, beginning and ending in Modesto. Information can be found at my school website at
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado
It's not a comfortable trip...we travel in school vans (which of course are known for their luxuriousness!), we camp every night, and the days can be hot, windy, cold, stormy, and we are out in the middle of anything that happens. But we are staying in beautiful places each night, and there are even showers and laundry available every third day or so! Extensive hiking is not required, but there will be many chances to explore the parks and monuments that we are visiting.
Double Arch in Arches National Park in Utah
Geology 174 is a 3 semester unit course. By end of the course, you will be able to see the landscape the way geologists do: by identifying rocks, minerals and fossils, and interpreting the geological history of an area by working out the sequence of events as exposed in outcrops. If you are a science teacher, you will come home with a collection of photographs that illustrate most of the important principles of geology, and a selection of rocks, minerals and fossils that will make a great classroom teaching tool (legally collected, of course; there are many localities outside of protected parks from which to collect samples).
Canyonlands National Park, Utah
The cost of the trip is $650.00 plus the cost of tuition (Currently $46 per unit for California residents, and $222 per unit for out-of-state residents). The cost includes transportation, food, camp fees, and entrance fees. Participants would want to bring a few dollars along for showers, laundry, and souvenirs.  The food is tasty and plentiful (everyone helps cook and clean!), and the school vans...are vans.

For those of you who live in the Modesto region, we are having an organizational meeting on Monday, April 22 at 7PM in Science 132 of the East Campus at Modesto Junior College. Attendance is not mandatory (and not binding, either), but will be a chance to learn more about the trip and the class. If you can't make it to the meeting, I will send the class materials to you.
Antelope Canyon, Navajo Nation Tribal Park
If you are not in the area, we will be glad to arrange for transportation from nearby airports and train stations (we actually have an Amtrak station in town). Enrollment can be completed online once you are registered with the college ( Please contact me through the class website if you have any questions.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Hope to see you out there, back of beyond!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Memorial Service for Lauren Wright, Death Valley Geologist

(cross posted from
Jim Calzia, Geologist Emeritus, USGS, has asked me to pass on this announcement about a memorial service for Lauren Wright, long time explorer of Death Valley geology, who passed away in February: 
Lauren Albert Wright
March 23, 2013; Shoshone, CA
Picture by Marli Miller
            Lauren A. Wright, 94, of State College, PA, passed away Feb 6, 2013. Professor Wright received his BS and MS in Geology from the University of Southern California, and a PhD from Cal Tech in 1952. He was first employed by the California Division of Mines (now CA Geological Survey) from 1947 to 1961, then accepted the position of Chairman, Dept of Geology and Geophysics, at Penn State University; he retired from Penn State in 1985 after teaching geology for 24 years. In his lifetime, Prof Wright became an internationally-recognized expert on the geology of Death Valley, CA. He is survived by his son Anthony.
You are cordially invited to a Memorial Service for Lauren Wright on March 23, 2013, in Shoshone, CA. The Service will be preceded by a short field trip to see a few of the geologic problems Prof Wright studied during his lifetime. The field trip is scheduled from 10-2PM; the Memorial Service begins at 3PM and is followed by a reception. In addition, Cynthia Keinitz will host an informal campfire service at China Ranch from 8PM.  Please RSVP to Susan Sorrells at villagecentral "at" or (760) 852-4224 for recommendations regarding lodging.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Full Time Geology-Environmental Sciences Teaching Position at Santa Rosa Junior College

From the CCC Registry...


Santa Rosa Junior College is seeking an individual with demonstrated instructional skills to join an outstanding team of faculty and instructional administrators to provide high quality services to our district, our community, and most importantly to our students. This is a full-time, regular contract position, located at the Petaluma Campus, beginning Fall Semester, August 2013. Appointment is contingent upon funding and Board approval.


The Earth and Space Sciences Department of Santa Rosa Junior College is seeking an interdisciplinary instructor to teach in the Earth Sciences at the Petaluma Campus. This position requires teaching in at least two of the Earth Sciences disciplines (environmental science, geography, geology, meteorology and/or oceanography), with a preference that at least one of the two disciplines be environmental science, geography or geology. A typical assignment might include lecture and lab courses, and both day and evening classes; specific assignments will vary depending upon department needs and instructor expertise. The new faculty member will be joining one other Earth and Space Sciences faculty member at the Petaluma campus, and will be expected to support the department on this campus, in addition to department-wide responsibilities on both campuses.

Details below the jump...

Subaru/GSA Minority Scholarships Announced

From the Geological Society of America:

We are pleased to announce that Subaru of America, Inc., in partnership with GSA, has funded a scholarship program to encourage minority undergraduate students to continue their studies in the geosciences.

The Subaru Minority Student Scholarship Program provides $1,000 to one student at an accredited university or college in each of the six North-American GSA regional Sections as nominated by the GSA Campus Representatives. The funds are to be used to purchase text books, pay college fees, or attend GSA field trips or conferences.

In addition to the cash award, a complimentary student membership for 2014 will be granted. Meeting registration for this year’s GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado will also be provided where a student awards reception will be held.

We are asking our Campus Reps to nominate one (1) minority student whom they believe will benefit and be encouraged to continue their studies in the geosciences by receiving this award.

Student Requirements for Nomination:

Be a U.S. citizen and a member of a minority group (a ‘minority’ is described by the U.S. Census Bureau as being of Hispanic or Latino, African-American or Black, Asian, American-Indian, Alaskan Native, or Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander ethnicity/race);

Has taken at least two (2) introductory (first year) geoscience courses;

Be enrolled in additional geoscience courses in the upcoming academic year; and

Be a current undergraduate student member of GSA. Please find information on our membership assistance program here.

Campus Rep Responsibilities and Timeline

Verify with the student that he/she is a member of a minority group as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Verify that the student has completed two introductory geoscience courses and is enrolled in geosciences classes for the upcoming academic year.

Complete and return the nomination form (from the GSA campus representative) via email to no later than 8 March 2013.

Nominations will be forwarded to the GSA Diversity in the Geosciences Committee for review.

All awards will be announced by 1 June 2013.

We hope you take advantage of this opportunity for your minority students, sponsored by Subaru of America, Inc.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions that you may have.

Diane Lorenz-Olsen
Grants, Awards, and Recognition
The Geological Society of America
3300 Penrose Place, Boulder, CO 80301 
 (303) 357-1028

Upcoming National NAGT Award Deadlines

 From National: 

Upcoming NAGT Award Deadlines

NAGT supports both educators and students through a variety of awards for teaching and learning in the geosciences.
Awards with upcoming deadlines include:
  • NAGT Scholarships for Field Study
    Each year, NAGT makes several $500 awards to undergraduate students to facilitate their study of field geoscience. These awards, previously given to students who attend a traditional summer field camp, are now available for students attending field-based courses at any time of year.
    Application Deadline: February 14Application Information:
Other awards programs have deadlines in April, May, and June. You can find full information about all of NAGT's awards programs on the website:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Assistant Professor in Geology position at Palomar College in Southern California

Details can be found by following the link:

From the announcement:

"The Assistant Professor, Geology will be primarily responsible for teaching a variety of courses in the discipline of geology. Specifically, these courses may include physical geology lecture and lab, historical geology lecture and lab, regional field studies, and other courses within the geology program. The position also requires administration and ongoing development of a strong geology program.

The Earth, Space, and Aviation Sciences department is a large, multi-disciplinary department that includes programs in geology, geography, oceanography, astronomy, and aviation. The geology program offers an Associate degree with a history of graduating majors who transfer to a variety of institutions and are successful professionals in geology-related fields. A degree program in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a strong and growing part of the department. The Geology, Geography, and Oceanography programs have a long-standing history of offering local field trips and regional field studies programs. The department celebrated the recent opening of a new planetarium to serve the college and North San Diego County communities.

The Assistant Professor will primarily teach geology lecture, lab, and field courses and perform the following duties related to the program, department, and college. The position will administer and promote quality educational programs, including Associate degrees, thereby producing students who are well-equipped for geology-related careers or degree programs at transfer universities leading to geology-related professions. Related duties include the following:

1. Updating course curricula and instructional materials.
2. Hiring, overseeing, and evaluating adjunct instructors for geology course offerings.
3. Developing, maintaining, and updating student learning outcomes for geology courses.
4. Overseeing directed studies activities for geology majors.

The Assistant Professor will also work cooperatively to support programs within the Department of Earth, Space, and Aviation Sciences. In addition to the teaching responsibilities, other duties include maintaining regular office hours, curriculum and program development, development and assessment of student learning outcomes, full participation in department activities, and participation in college governance."