SUNY Oneonta Geology Students Put Skills to Use During California Field Course

Twelve geology students from SUNY Oneonta recently spent a week-and-a-half in California developing their field mapping skills and putting them to use in the desert and beyond.

The week-and-a-half-long trip was part of the upper-level course Field Geology of Plate Boundaries, and students were accompanied by their professor, Dr. Keith Brunstad. It was an opportunity for students to use what they have learned about geologic mapping in prior coursework in a real-world context and build confidence and experience in that area.

Students spent several days mapping geologic layers that have been warped and broken in Rainbow Basin in the Mojave desert, near Barstow, California. Amid the eroding mountains and expansive views, students practiced recording geologic observations, taking field notes and sketches, creating maps and geologic cross sections, and presenting summaries of their findings.

At night, they camped out, sleeping in tents and cooking their own food.

The last few days of the trip were spent at University of California - Riverside's Sweeney Granite Mountains Research Station, which is located in the Mojave National Preserve. There, students got to climb volcanoes and into lava tubes and visit dry lakes where salt is being mined.

To view these students click here: