Field Teaching Activities

Throughout the field course, the various teaching activities are scaffolded and organized for first- and second-year students to practice key skills while developing content knowledge in geoscience, hydrology, ecology, and geomorphology. The field course syllabus demonstrates the ways in which the field activities build on each other to allow students to get the necessary skills practice to


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Walker Lake Area Glacial Geomorphology
Sarah Hall, College of the Atlantic; Calla Schmidt, University of San Francisco; Becca Walker, Mt. SAC
Students visit Walker Lake (Eastern Sierras) to identify and map glacial geomorphic features. From their field and remote observations of the landscape, they subsequently make interpretations about formation ...

Mono Lake North Geomorphic Mapping
Sarah Hall, College of the Atlantic; Calla Schmidt, University of San Francisco; Becca Walker, Mt. SAC
In this activity students observe Mono Lake North in the field and via remote imagery to identify fluvial geomorphic features. With these observations and data collected in the field students create annotated ...

McGee Creek Geomorphic History
Sarah Hall, College of the Atlantic; Calla Schmidt, University of San Francisco; Becca Walker, Mt. SAC
At the McGee Creek field site, students observe geomorphic features that provide evidence for at least 2 processes (one tectonic and one climatic) influencing this landscape as well as ongoing modification of this ...

Poleta Stratigraphy
Sarah Hall, College of the Atlantic; Calla Schmidt, University of San Francisco; Becca Walker, Mt. SAC
Based on field observations at Little Poleta, students identify and describe sedimentary rock units and measure the thicknesses of 5 different stratigraphic units. They then establish the field site's major ...

Botany Field Observations
Sarah R. Hall, College of the Atlantic Calla Schmidt, University of San Francisco John Paul, University of San Francisco Becca Walker, Mt. San Antonio College
Plants form the link between the abiotic features of landscape (rock, soils, water, etc.) and the biotic world. California has a very rich and complex flora, making species identification sometimes very difficult. ...

Botanical Transect Mapping
Sarah Hall, College of the Atlantic; Calla Schmidt, University of San Francisco; Becca Walker, Mt. SAC
Students gain experience "reading" landscapes using geologic, hydrological, and botanical/ecological techniques. They learn two simple and widely used methods for quantitatively measuring the density of ...

Field Presentation
Sarah Hall, College of the Atlantic; Calla Schmidt, University of San Francisco; Becca Walker, Mt. SAC
During the E-STEM Field Course, each student was responsible for a field presentation related to a geology, geomorphology, hydrology, and/or ecology topic specific to the Sierras or Owens Valley. Depending on the ...

Poleta Bedrock Geologic Mapping
Sarah Hall, College of the Atlantic; Calla Schmidt, University of San Francisco; Becca Walker, Mt. SAC
Students produce a bedrock geologic map of the Little Poleta field area from which they write a short interpretation of the paleoenvironment and geologic history of the region.

Panum Crater Geomorphic Mapping
Sarah Hall, College of the Atlantic; Calla Schmidt, University of San Francisco; Becca Walker, Mt. SAC
Based upon field observations and aerial imagery, students generate a geomorphic map of Panum Crater and use their field data to make an interpretation of the eruptive history of Panum Crater.

Sediment Transport
Calla Schmidt, University of San Francisco Sarah R. Hall, College of the Atlantic Becca Walker, Mt. San Antonio College
In this exercise, students gain experience observing streams. They practice measuring stream discharge, sediment sampling, and channel surveying, and using their field data, they make predictions about bed mobility.


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