Thursday, July 5, 2012

Learning Geology

Missy Gaddy

Wow!  What a fantastic trip to Arizona.  All of us here at LPSA had a blast and saw some amazing things.  I really liked learning the geology of the sites we visited.  Knowing more about the land made me appreciate those breathtaking landscapes even more.  It was great having all of the scientists on the trip with us; their passion for geology was contagious, and their extensive knowledge of the area inspired me to learn more.  At each of the stops along the trip, they would take out maps and show us things about the topography and how the landscapes were formed.  I didn’t think I liked geology, but I have learned that is a really neat field.  Here is a photo of Dr. Shultz talking to us at SP Crater.

 My favorite day of the trip was the Grand Canyon.  Dr. Burkhart and Dr. Schultz talked to us about the stratigraphy of the canyon – they told us about each of the layers in the canyon walls and what time periods they were formed in.  Dr. Rice also told us about the Mars Rover, Curiosity, which is scheduled to land on Mars in August.  Curiosity is going to land inside Gale Crater, and it will study the stratigraphy of Mars in order to learn more about its geologic history.  Next, we broke out into groups and went on a hike down into the canyon.  My group was named the Flying Lunar Llamas (we’re pictured below).  It was so cool walking down and passing through the layers of the canyon we just learned about.  We had a wonderful time.  If you ever get the chance to go to the Grand Canyon with a geologist, take it!

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