Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Navigation of this Blog


For some reason or another, you have ended up at my blog about Dartmouth College's Undergraduate Field Program for the Earth Sciences. I figured you might want some direction about how best to look through all of our crazy adventures!

On the right side of the screen, you will see the Blog Archive. This is a listing of all my posts, starting with the beginning of the trip at the top of the list and ending the conclusion of the trip at the bottom of the list.

Within each post, I included photos of many of the landscapes as well as people I was with. If you click on the photo, you will make it bigger, which improves your viewing experience!

Just a note, this blog is an account of my experiences as a student in the program. My goal for each post is to be accessible to my audience: 1) to have a brief summary of the day's adventures--where we were and what we were doing--and 2) to include visuals so that the reader can feel incorporated into my travels. I hope to have succeeded in these two avenues.

So, for past students, please reminisce on how much fun you had. For up-and-coming Stretchies, have a blast! You will love it! And to everyone else, enjoy!

Take care,
Class of '16

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Grandest Canyon

Today is the day--the day that we had been building up to. All 14 Stretchies plus Ed, Justin, and Matt decided to hike to the Colorado and back on the Bright Angel Trail: 18 miles long, 1 mile down in elevation. Clearly, we were warned against doing so. Some of our crew decided to one-up the canyon and run down (I did not haha).

Well, we started at 7:15am and I made it down by 10:30. It was so beautiful and the mighty Colorado was roaring (high flow experiment ~35,000cfs). I made it back up by 3pm. It was such an accomplishment and am so thankful to have had the opportunity and to have been in shape to do it.

I decided not to put a new post for the last day, since I feel like the Grand Canyon should be the culmination of the Stretch. But today, we got to go down into a lava tube and walk about 1 mile to the end. Pretty cool stuff!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Red Mountain

Sadly, the Stretch is winding down. We left Flagstaff for the Grand Canyon this morning, with a little exercise stop halfway. We went to Red Mountain, a cinder volcano with an area out the side that blew out (or so we think). Ed basically let us loose to go exploring, which was pretty sweet.

Alas, we made it to the Grand Canyon. I had never seen it before, and a mixture of excitement, wonder, and anxiety filled me. The excitement was a result of seeing the canyon live up to its expectation portrayed through media and stories. The wonder came in comparison to all the other canyons we saw and seeing how this one was SO much larger. What forces and time were at work to create such a canyon. And the anxiety, well, it was in response to my realization that I'm walking to the bottom and back tomorrow: the longest hike I have done in my life.

Let's do it!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

SP Crater

Today, Ed took us up SP Crater, an old cinder cone in the San Francisco Volcanic Field outside of Flagstaff. As we are doing a remote sensing exercise for the area, we messed around with reflectance of materials in the area, including some unusual materials (eyes, scabs, skin, etc). Then we went out and "ground-truthed" areas that we needed to identify in our computer program.

click to make it bigger!

Saturday, 8 November 2014


Today we drove outside of Flagstaff to see Meteor Crater. This was the first recognizable crater on North America and has sparked studies of other craters around the world. Matt taught us a bit and led us through an exercise to determine the size of the meteor.

click to make it bigger!

Thursday, 6 November 2014


Ah, so we explored Proterozoic sedimentary rocks today, catching a glimpse into the past before advanced life colonized the earth. These rocks show us how the pre-Cambrian earth was extreme in environments and climate. Vast colonies of stromatolites are preserved in some of the units as well as evidence for tropical glaciation. Can someone say Snowball Earth?

The sandwiching of glacial sediments between thick carbonate units indicates that there was extensive glaciation at low latitudes. We finally got to see dropstones: clasts that drop through the water column from an ice block and then make a depression in the fine clays. It has been the joke answer for the extent of the Stretch, so it was satisfying to finally see them for real.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Last Mapping Project


These past two days were pretty cool mapping days. By cool, I mean the rocks were awesome, and the structure, well, was a head-scratcher. We caught a glimpse into rocks that were 1,750,000 to 540,000 years old. They date back to pre-Cambrian times and showed it. We all enjoyed seeing dropstones from "Snowball Earth" times, since it had been the joke explanation for every "How did this rock form?" question.

We finished our maps in the evening with the help of Ed, Justin Stroup, Justin Strauss, and Matt.

Click to make me bigger!