Geology 171x: Geology Field Studies

(logistical details at bottom of page)

Fall Semester Trips

Geology of the Central Mother LodeDraperies in Black Chasm Cave

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Mother Lode, source of California’s Gold Rush, holds fascinating geologic secrets: abandoned mines, ghost towns, caverns, and unique and unusual rocks and minerals. We will explore the region between Jackson and Columbia, and spend several hours underground in two of California’s unique cave systems.(Fee: $22)

 

 

 

Boulder at PinnaclesGeology of Pinnacles National Monument and the San Andreas Fault

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Will California really fall into the sea? The answer may surprise you! The Pinnacles are the remnants of a volcano that originated near Palmdale in southern California. It is moving north at a rate of 2 inches a year, a fact that we will confirm in Hollister, a town slowly being torn apart by fault motions. The San Andreas fault is one of the most important geological features of the state, and one of the most ominous. Don’t miss it!

 

Spring Semester Trips

Geology of the Southern Mother Lode Fricot gold nugget

March 15, 2014

Mineral hunting (pyrite, mariposite, quartz crystals and more) highlight this trip which will explore the southern Mother Lode between Mariposa and Jamestown.  Other sights include ghost towns, old mines, ancient lava flows, and the California State Mineral Exhibition. (Fee $5.00)

 

El Capitan and Half DomeGeology of Yosemite Valley:

April 12, 2014

One of the world's most famous works of nature, Yosemite Valley is a perfect locale for understanding the work of glaciers, streams, landslides, and the processes producing granite.  Stops include the lower Merced River valley, Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite Falls and Inspiration Point, and if possible, a look at flood and landslide damage.

Important Details for all trips

Each of these field trips is a separate course for academic credit. To enroll, register as you would any other class. If the course is full, you will need an add card from the instructor. When you apply, a per-credit fee is charged, but the trip fee (if applicable) is charged in the MJC Business Office. You are expected to take notes and complete a worksheet for each field trip you attend.

For these day trips, bring a sack lunch, canteen (or small ice chest), notebook, and coat or rain protection if the weather threatens. Rock hammers and cameras are optional. Transportation is provided by the school (private vehicles are not allowed on trips). Each of the two day trips will meet on the north side of the Science Community Center at 7:30 AM. We generally expect to return about 7:30 PM.