Geology of California heads south for the Spring!

ZZYZX – In the hopes of getting more introductory level students out into the field for a multiple day field trip, Dr. Burmeister decided to offer Geology of California (GEOS 61) in the spring semester! Normally offered in the Fall semester, GEOS 61 has been built around a four day field trip through northern California and southern Oregon, visiting places like Lassen Volcano National Park, Lava Beds National Monument, and Crater Lake National Park. Since most of these locations are covered by several meters of snow during the Spring, Dr. Burmeister looked south for a field trip to support his Spring 2013 session of GEOS 61. With the help of Dr. Ty Raterman (Department of Philosophy), Dr. Burmeister developed a new four day trip that starts with a drive over the Sierra Nevada at Carson Pass before heading south through Mono Lake, Long Valley Caldera, and Owens Valley. The trip then spends two days in the vicinity of Death Valley National Park investigating sand dunes, Precambrian rocks, and even goes hunting for trilobite fossils. From Death Valley, the trip swings south through the Mojave Desert where we visit the California State University Research Station at Zzyzx and the famous exposures of Miocene lake beds at Rainbow Basin. The trip was a complete success – great weather, enthusiastic students, and excellent guest lectures by Dr. Raterman made a great experience for all. Of course, the fact that Dr. Burmeister brought along the 12 quart dutch oven (courtesy of the University of Wisconsin) and whipped up a couple of fantastic berry cobblers didn’t hurt morale! Drs Burmesiter & Raterman were assisted by majors Brittany Klemm ('14), Christina Colburn ('13), and Joe Sonnenberg ('14).

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