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May 14 / Dave Schumaker

Your First Geology Field Trip?

The weekend is almost upon us and that means it’s probably time for a new meme to sweep through the geoblogosphere. Last week, it was Pangea Day and before that it was Tag Clouds (I think we’re burning through Accretionary Wedge ideas at an alarming rate).

What was the first geology trip you ever went on? Where did you go, what were your impressions and most important of all; do you have any photos?

Earlier this evening, I uploaded a set of photos I found in my iPhoto library that documents the first geology trip I ever went on as a student at Riverside Community College, way back in the spring of 2001. It was lead by Dr. Jim Mehegan, one of the best professors I have ever had and who had a huge impact on my academic life. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2004 while kayaking the Colorado River.

The field trip in 2001 was for an introduction to geology class and visited the Eastern Mojave Desert over 3 days. Specific features we would look at were the Pisgah Crater, Cima Volcanic Field, Amboy Crater and the area around Essex/Hole in the Wall. The trip was an absolute blast.

At an old lava flow from Amboy Crater
Looking at Old Lava Flows - 1

About to hike up Amboy Crater
Geology Class at Amboy Crater - 06

First time hunting for fossils! (FYI, I’m the scrawny guy in the white shirt on the left)
Fossil Hunting - 08

Why do they call it Hole in the Wall?
Hole in the Wall and Essex - 19

Welded Tuff
Hole in the Wall and Essex - 24

Hiking to the top of the Kelso Dunes
Kelso Dunes - 13

At the top of the Kelso Dunes
Kelso Dunes - 11

Running down the face of the Kelso Dunes. (The Kelso Dunes are known as “barking dunes” for the sound that is made when air in the pore space of the sand grains is compressed and forced out from beneath the surface)
Kelso Dunes - 18

It’s amazing how young and dorky looking I am back then. Fortunately, a lot has changed in the past 7 years since I first started out in geology.

Dave Schumaker

Then again, maybe nothing has changed.

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  1. Silver Fox / May 15 2008

    Neat photos, and a great idea. I don’t have any photos from any first field trips (I’m not even sure what was the first trip); maybe have some rocks somewhere! I suppose you mean formal field trips?

  2. Peter Polito / May 15 2008

    Three days in Death Valley, it changed my life.

  3. Brian / May 15 2008

    This is a good meme … I’ll have to think about when the actual first trip was and where we went … unfortunately, I don’t have any photos (it was over 10 yrs ago now!). I’ll try and get a post up this weekend.

  4. Chris (goodSchist) / May 16 2008

    Awesome pics. Looks like a good bunch of people too. And quite a range of geological settings – perfect for newbs.

    I’ll see about getting my submission up this weekend. I’ve got a ton of photos from our second year trip to Onekaka (that’s where Vic Uni takes its second year students for a week – and with no exaggeration, one of the best weeks I’ve had).

  5. Dave Schumaker / May 16 2008

    Yeah, it was a fantastic experience. Great people on that trip too.

    Ah yes, I totally know Onekaka. Great area! My picture at the field house in 2005:

  6. DurtGrrl / May 17 2008

    Great idea. I know I don’t have photos scanned (it was way back before digital cameras) in the fall of 1994–wish I could remember where we went–there were so many wonderful field trips. I do know I still have the field books, where I recorded all those great trips. And rocks! tons of them.

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