Death Valley spring break trip lets students use their skills
Sixteen Geology and Earth Science majors journeyed to Death Valley to develop geologic field mapping skills. Led by their professor, Dr. Les Hasbargen, the students gathered at the lowest dry point on the North American continent at Badwater, hiked into deep narrow canyons and over colorful badland divides in Golden Canyon and Gower Gulch, and explored a deep crater left by a violent volcanic eruption at Ubehebe Crater.
The capstone course required the students to describe the rocks and types of environments in which they formed, and to map out how plate tectonic activity has shifted, tilted, broken and deformed those rocks. The students camped in tents and experienced a rare flash flood which came through camp early one morning. The rising waters drenched some gear.
It was an eventful, mostly sunny and hot experience in one of the driest places in North America!