Geology 191: Colorado Plateau Field Studies - May 21-31, 2020

La Sal Mtns through ArchInterested in geology and the earth sciences? Fascinated by archaeology of the southwest? Interested in teaching the sciences? What to do about it? Summer is the training ground for learning geology and the earth sciences in the field. MJC offers a unique mix of field courses that will give you excellent preparation for advancement towards a university degree, or towards a science teaching credential. Or maybe you are just plain interested in knowing more about the Earth!

Imagine hunting for Pueblo cliff dwellings in a quiet deserted canyon in Colorado or New Mexico. Imagine taking a trip in a time machine to the distant past, when dinosaurs roamed the planet, continental landmasses drifted and collided, and seas covered vast areas of the American west. Imagine rising above the deserts to explore some of the highest and most spectacular mountains in North America. If this picture is appealing, consider one of MJC's most unique summer offerings: Geology 191: The Geology of the Colorado Plateau. The course will be taught as a dyad with Anthropology 191: The Archaeology of the Colorado Plateau.

We will spend eleven days on the road, staying in motels each night. The cost of the trip will be $1,600.00, which includes lodging, transportation, and teaching materials (Registration fees are extra/students will find their own way to Albuquerque). We will have several organizational meetings, the first of which will be on Wednesday, January 22, at 7:00 PM at MJC in Science Community Center Room 326 (West Campus). Previous experience in geology or earth science is highly recommended, but not required (be ready to have a crash course in basic principles before we leave).

If you are interested, fill out this form and email or snail-mail it to Garry Hayes at or Modesto Junior College, 435 College Ave., Modesto CA 95350

Syllabus & Documents (these will be updated during spring semester


Schedule and Tentative Localities (May 21-31, 2020):


Thursday, May 21:  Meeting in Albuquerque, NM

Students, teachers, and volunteers will arrange their own transportation to Albequerque area

Meeting at 6:30pm at hotel.


Friday, May 22:            Acoma (Sky City), El Morro, El Malpais Loop  NM

Acoma Sky City Cultural Center and Haaku Museum, Acoma Pueblo Tour, El Morro National Monument, El Malpais National Monument

Saturday, May 23:        Albuquerque to Santa Fe NM

Sandia Mountains, Kashua- Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, Pecos National Historical Park


Sunday, May 24:          Taos/Arroyo Seco  NM

Bandelier National Monument, Valles Caldera National Preserve


Monday, May 25:          Alamosa/Monte Vista CO

Taos Pueblo Tour, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Alligators?


Tuesday, May 26:         Montrose/Gunnison CO

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Monarch Pass, Rocky Mountain Range


Wednesday, May 27:    Mesa Verde National Park CO

Ouray, Idarado Mine, Silverton, Durango


Thursday, May 28 :       Mesa Verde National Park, CO

Mesa Verde National Park


Friday, May 29 :           Mesa Verde to Bloomfield NM

Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, Castle Rock, Sand Canyon, Shiprock


Saturday, May 30:        Bloomfield to Albuquerque NM

Chaco Canyon NP, Jemez Pueblo

Sunday, May 31:          Flying/driving Home


Instructor: Garry Hayes