Death Valley Geology Trip 2014: Course Overview

2011 Field Trip Group, at Badwater Turtleback  and Arch

More pics from 2011: https://picasaweb.google.com/106627656768673054536/2011DeathValleyGeologyTripSUNYOneonta?authuser=0&feat=directlink 

Table of Contents

Course: Geol 343, Field Geology of Plate Boundaries

Dates of Field Trip: January 3-14, 2014

Course Fee: $375, due to Student Accounts by December 20, 2013

Course Preparation

Flights

Itinerary

On Campus Schedule

Contact Information for Parents

Faculty/Staff info

Campgrounds

Syllabus for Field Geology of Plate Boundaries: Death Valley

Prerequisites:

GEOL 343 Course Description

Course Summary

Course Justification

Specific course objectives

Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes for the Geology Major addressed by this course:

Student Learning Outcomes for the Earth Science Major addressed by this course:

Grades

Rubrics for Course Exercises

Rubric for Geologic Cross Sections

Rubric for Stereonets

Rubric for Fusion Table

College Calendar Spring 2014

Emergency Evacuation/Shelter-in-Place Procedures

Behavioral Guidelines for Students

“In class responsibilities

In the field responsibilities

Check list of Useful Items

Waiver for Use of Photographs

Course: Geol 343, Field Geology of Plate Boundaries

CRN:??

Semester: Spring 2014

Dates of Field Trip: January 3-14, 2014

Course will meet MW, 8-850 am during Spring Semester for tutorials on GIS, cross sections, etc.

Course Fee: $375, due to Student Accounts by December 20, 2013

Course fee is refundable up to January 3, 2014.

Course Preparation

This course entangles all of the course work you have had in the major. You will be identifying rocks and minerals, sedimentary structures, geologic structures, fossils, igneous textures, and geomorphic features. You will be locating yourself on topographic maps, and using GPS. You will develop skills in taking field notes. When you get back to campus, you will be learning how to convert your field data into digital form, and then you will create digital maps and perform analyses with computer applications. You should not expect to know everything before you go. The trip is meant to be a profound hands-on learning experience. There may not be a better environment to learn about geology than Death Valley. There will be numerous tutorials available to you in Fall 2013 to help you brush up for the field excursion, and after we return as well. You should come away from the experience invigorated with new skills and confidence in your geologic abilities! At the very least, however, you should have taken an introductory geology course (100 level GEOL), and Mineralogy (GEOL 242) or Earth Materials (ESCI 215). If you have questions about preparedness for the trip, contact Les Hasbargen, the course instructor (Leslie.Hasbargen@oneonta.edu).

Flights

Students are responsible to arrange and purchase their own plane tickets to Las Vegas, NV

The preferred flights are: Southwest Airlines, Flight 340, departs 6 am from Albany on Jan. 3, and return on Flight 1622/828 on Jan. 14, departs 2:15 pm from Las Vegas (arrive 11:20 pm). See http://www.southwest.com/ to obtain flights. As of Sept. 7, 2013, the cost is $466, and you can take two checked bags, a carry-on and personal item for free. A group of us will leave from Oneonta in vans to Albany Airport on Jan. 3, and students are encouraged to travel as a cohort with this group. Some students living in Oneonta have agreed to let other students on the trip sleep over on Jan 2 and 14 as needed. Contact Les Hasbargen for details (Leslie.Hasbargen@oneonta.edu).

Itinerary

Google Map of field trip locations:

Date

Day

Location

Campground

Activity

1/3/2014

Fri

Day 1

Travel/Resting Springs Tuff/Lake Tecopa

Shoshone Village

Recon

1/4/2014

Sat

Day 2

Split Cone/Mormon Pt/Badwater Arch/ Devil GC/Artists Palette

Furnace Creek

Recon

1/5/2014

Sun

Day 3

Gower Gulch

Furnace Creek

Map

1/6/2014

Mon

Day 4

Gower Gulch

Furnace Creek

Map

1/7/2014

Tue

Day 5

Golden Cyn

Furnace Creek

Map

1/8/2014

Wed

Day 6

Hole in the Wall

Furnace Creek

Map

1/9/2014

Thu

Day 7

Mosaic Cyn/Mesquite Dunes

Desert Pup fish

Furnace Creek

Recon

1/10/2014

Fri

Day 8

Marble Cyn

Stovepipe

Recon/Map

1/11/2014

Sat

Day 9

Ubehebe

Stovepipe

Recon/Map

1/12/2014

Sun

Day 10

Racetrack

Stovepipe

Recon

1/13/2014

Mon

Day 11

Fall Cyn/Titus Cyn

Stovepipe

Recon

1/14/2014

Tue

Day 12

Dante's View/Travel

Recon/travel

On Campus Schedule

Week

Mon

Wed

Jan 15-17

 

Field Notes DUE!!

Jan 22-24

Transfer GPS to GIS

 

Jan 29-31

Add strike-dips to GIS

 

Feb 3-5

Add contacts to GIS

 

Feb 10-12

Finish Maps

Maps DUE!!

Feb 17-19

Spring Break

Feb 24-26

Extract topographic profiles

 

Mar 3-5

Add contacts to cross section

 

Mar 10-12

Work on cross sections

 

Mar 17-19

Work on cross sections

 

Mar 24-26

 

Cross Sections DUE!!

Mar 31-Apr 2

Spring Break

Apr 7-9

Read strike dips into Stereonets

 

Apr 14-16

Interpret stereonets

 

Apr 21-23

Create Fusion table

 

Apr 28-30

Add photos to Fusion table

 

May 5-7

Fusion table DUE!!

May 12-14

Course Wrap-up: Show and Tell

Contact Information for Parents

Faculty/Staff info

Leslie Hasbargen

607.287.7435 cell

Lisa Hoffman

 

Keith Brunstad

 

Chris Burgher

Campgrounds

Shoshone Village

Campgrounds - Death Valley National Park

We stay at Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells

Operating Hours & Seasons - Death Valley National Park

This link has phone numbers and alerts for the Park


Syllabus for Field Geology of Plate Boundaries: Death Valley

Credits: 3.0

CRN:

Prerequisites: 

GEOL 242 (Mineralogy) or ESCI 215 (Earth Materials).

 

Instructor: Les Hasbargen

Office: 219 Science 1           Ph. 607-436-2741

Office hours:

Personal web site: http://employees.oneonta.edu/hasbarle/index.html

 

Required Textbook: Rite in the Rain Geology Field Note Book. You can find them online at   http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0011DGJSC, ISBN 978-1-932149-35-7.

 

Optional Textbooks:

If you anticipate field work in your future, I recommend purchasing a copy of Geology in the Field, by Robert Compton (John Wiley and Sons, 1985; ISBN: 0-471-82902-1). This text provides a wealth of standard approaches to geologic data description and collection.

Geology Underfoot in Death Valley and Owens Valley, by Robert P. Sharp and Allan Glazner, Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula; 1997; ISBN 0-87842-362-1, provides general geologic background on many of the sites we will visit.

GEOL 343 Course Description

This course provides the opportunity for students to apply their in class theory to a field study experience. Students will record geologic observations in field notes and sketches; create maps and geologic cross sections; and present summaries of field investigations. Topic, site, and instructor may change upon each offering. Prior trips have visited the active plate margin in the western US, near Palm Springs in southern CA, and Death Valley National Park in eastern CA. The cost of the trip will vary based upon location. May be repeated for up to 9 s.h.

Course Summary

This field course examines the geology and geomorphology in a continental rift setting (Death Valley) in eastern California. The nearly two miles of relief expose spectacular outcrops of rocks ranging from pre-Cambrian to the present. The region presents a rich diversity of landscapes, and includes sand dunes, playas, alluvial fans, gorges, high mountains, exposed fault surfaces, volcanic craters, and large landslides. Students will investigate how the valley formed. They will also decipher connections between modern depositional processes and environments and sedimentary structures that are preserved in the rock record. A minimum of 9 students is needed for the trip to run. Costs will not exceed $1200 per student including air fare, food, lodging, transportation, and tuition. Students will stay in campgrounds. Students must be a major in Earth & Atmospheric Sciences or Environmental Science.

Course Justification

There is a persistent need for trained geoscientists with experience in geologic field investigation. This course will expose students in Geology, Environmental Sciences—Earth Science, and Water Resources to an active plate tectonic boundary in southern California, also known as Death Valley National Park (DVNP). DVNP provides extraordinary learning opportunities for students, exposing numerous faults and folds, a spectrum of rocks including clastic and chemical sedimentary rocks, explosive and effusive volcanic rocks, intrusive igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks. In addition, desert springs associated with groundwater flow, topography, and faults provide superb examples of hydrology.  The landscapes in the area exhibit premier examples of arid region landscape processes and geomorphology, including uplifting mountains, huge landslides, dunes, playas, alluvial fans, and desert pavement. This field course builds on prior course work in lecture and labs and integrates that material with superb field settings. The nearly 100% exposure of rocks and structures in the area offers a view into Earth’s processes and the geologic record of past environments. In addition, the close juxtaposition of eroding mountains, and modern depositional settings for clastic and chemical sediments permits field based projects which couple stratigraphy with processes in a very direct way. Field exercises will require students to identify rocks, characterize processes, and develop skills in collecting and analyzing spatial and geologic information. This course will be a profound learning experience.

 

The course will take place mostly on the field trip, which will run in January, with scheduled weekly meetings during Spring semester. After returning, students will generate finished maps and cross sections, geologic descriptions, stratigraphic sections, stereonets, reports, and the like. Such items are routinely required for any geologic field investigation.

 

Specific course objectives

Students will:

·         develop skills in recording geologic observations in field settings;

·         learn how to relate sedimentary features and structures to depositional environments and surface processes;

·         learn how to map rock units;

·         learn how to identify and map faults and folds;

·         develop skills in graphical presentations of geologic data, including cross sections and map views; and

·         recognize relationships between tectonic activity and landscape form

Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes for the Geology Major addressed by this course:

·         Students will demonstrate their ability to describe and identify geologic materials. (GEOL-SLO #1)

·         Students will demonstrate their understanding of how rocks, sediments, and soils form. (GEOL-SLO #2)

·         Students will demonstrate comprehension of the role of deep time in Earth history. (GEOL-SLO #3)

·         Students will demonstrate understanding of processes that occur on and within the Earth and interactions among Earth’s systems. (GEOL-SLO #5)

·         Students will demonstrate their ability to collect and analyze geologic information in field and laboratory settings. (GEOL-SLO #6)

·         Students will demonstrate their ability to apply scientific reasoning and technology to solve geologic problems. (GEOL-SLO #8)

·         Students will demonstrate their ability to work collaboratively to solve geologic problems (GEOL-SLO #9)

·         Students will utilize scientific methods to design and execute research projects that include collection, analysis and interpretation of data. (GEOL-SLO #10)

·         Students will demonstrate their ability to communicate scientific and technical information effectively through appropriate oral, visual and written presentation. (GEOL-SLO #11)

Student Learning Outcomes for the Earth Science Major addressed by this course:

·         Students will demonstrate understanding of the governing concepts related to all components of the Earth system (meteorology, geology, oceanography, astronomy) and the relationships that link them. (ES-SLO #1)

·         Students will demonstrate understanding of the structure of Earth’s interior and the processes that operate within and on the Earth’s surface, including a working knowledge of plate tectonics and natural hazards. (ES-SLO #4)

·         Students will demonstrate their ability to describe and identify geologic materials and interpret the processes by which these materials form. (ES-SLO #5)

·         Students will utilize scientific methods to design and execute research projects or solve problems that include collection, analysis and interpretation of data. (ES-SLO #7)

·         Students will demonstrate their ability to communicate scientific and technical information effectively through appropriate oral, visual and written presentation. (ES-SLO #8)

Grades

Students will be evaluated based on participation (5%) on the field trip, field notes (25%), maps (25%), geologic cross sections (%15), stereonets (%15), and Fusion table (15%).

Participation on the field trip, which includes asking questions in the field, assisting with tent set-up and tear down, doing dishes at the camp, helping with food preparation, cleaning up the camping area, and assisting with packing up camping gear.

Field notes must include a record for each stop, including date, time, location (GPS location), purpose for stop, verbal descriptions, sketches, discussion, discoveries and comments on key themes at the stop.

Geologic maps portray the kinds of rocks and nature of geologic structures at a location. Each map must have a descriptive title with place and content of map, author, date, scale, north indicator, and lithologic legend. The finished geologic map (the desk copy) should have lithologic contacts, folds, faults, and rock orientation symbols clearly delineated. Lithologic units must be color-coded in the map and on the legend (desk copy only). The legend must include a description of the rock unit. Unconformities must be noted. Rock units in the legend must be in correct stratigraphic order, with youngest on top. Students are encouraged to transfer their map data to a GIS format, but paper maps with legible writing and neatly drawn features will not receive less credit.

Geologic cross sections are created from geologic maps, and portray the three-dimensional character of rock relationships. The geologic cross sections must have a descriptive title, author, date, vertical exaggeration, horizontal and vertical scales, topography, labeled ends of cross section that are keyed to a cross section line on the map, correctly located fold axes and faults, neatly sketched (or computed) bedding surfaces and formation contacts, if present.

Stereonets provide an ensemble view of how structures are aligned. Each stereonet will need a descriptive title, date, and author.

Google Fusion tables are spatial databases that provide map views, filters, and diagrams, and allow easy sharing of your data to the world. The Fusion table is built on GPS locations for your strike dip data, and can also render contacts (that is, it can plot points, lines, and areas). You will learn how to link your pictures and images of stereonets to locations in a map, with a clickable pop up windows with information about the site.

Late work will be marked down exponentially, with a decay rate of -0.25 per day, up to a limit of 5 days, at which point your grade ceases to decay, but the damage is done, so to speak. The equation is: G(t) = G0 e-where G(t) is your grade after it has decayed over time, G0 is your grade if you submit your work on time,  is the decay rate, e is Napier’s constant (~2.71828), and t is time in days. The table below shows the value of a report up to five days past due:

Days Late

Value of report

0

100%

1.0

78%

2.0

61%

3.0

47%

4.0

37%

5.0

29%

Note even if you are 5 days or more late, you will still get something for the exercise, and this is often the difference between a passing or failing mark for the course. Do the work in the time allotted! You won’t regret it! If you don’t make the deadline, it’s still worth it to hand them in.

Rubrics for Course Exercises

A rubric identifies key parts of an exercise which will be evaluated, or ranked, based on a scale from 0 = no credit to 4 = excellent. What does each rank mean? This will vary based on what is being evaluated. In general:

0 = No Credit. This applies to an effort that would not receive a passing mark (below D-). There might be information provided, but the information is seriously flawed and the method of portraying that information (graphs, charts, maps, etc) obscures the true nature of the subject material.

1 = Poor. This applies to an effort that would receive a passing mark in the D range, and while passing, still has significant problems. Some necessary information is conveyed, but is missing pertinent details. The method of portrayal (graphs, charts, maps, etc.) is sloppy, and lacks definition and order. The analysis of the data, if one is asked for, is shallow and cursory.

2 = Fair. This applies to an effort that would receive a mark in the C range. The effort provides necessary and sufficient content to characterize the information, but it lacks a thorough analysis of the data, may not provide complete background information and needs improvement. Organization and portrayal of the information (graphs, charts, maps, etc.) could be improved.

3 = Good. This applies to an effort that would receive a mark in the B range.  The effort provides necessary content in a meaningful context, an adequate analysis in a clear fashion, and a useful portrayal of information (graphs, charts, maps, etc.).

4 = Excellent. This applies to an effort that would receive a mark in the A range. The effort displays clear, concise, accurate information that is organized and presented well, portrays the information clearly (graphs, charts, maps, etc), and provides a thorough and insightful analysis of the results.

Rubric for Field Notes

Weight (%)

Criteria

10

Date, time, location (GPS coordinates)

20

Purpose and Description of stop

40

Detailed notes of observations

30

Sketches

 

Rubric for Geologic Maps

Weight (%)

Criteria

5

Lithologic contacts

5

Faults

40

Rock Orientation symbols, correctly plotted

15

Legend: Color-coded for lithologic units; all geologic symbols need a symbol (fault, strike-dip, contact, etc)

30

Verbal description of lithologic units in legend

5

Title, author, date, references for data sources, north arrow, scale

 

Rubric for Geologic Cross Sections

Weight (%)

Criteria

5

Title (Location and Content of Section), author, date

5

Properly labeled axes, with directional indicators, keyed to a map

70

Properly located folds and faults and layers

5

Properly labeled layers on the cross section

5

Statement of vertical exaggeration

5

Overall appearance and clarity of the cross section

5

Legend for layers

 

 Rubric for Stereonets

Weight (%)

Criteria

5

Title (Location and Type of Feature), author, date

85

Plot of poles to planes

10

Identification of fold axes, compressive direction, general interpretation

 

Rubric for Fusion Table

Weight (%)

Criteria

5

Title (Location and Table Content), author, date, titles of visualizations

40

All strike-dips located for all field sites

40

Columns for rock type, strike, dip, latitude, longitude, formation name, bed thickness, fossils present, current indicators, sedimentary structures

5

Photos and stereonets linked to locations

5

Info window presents pertinent features only

5

Visualizations (additional tabs based on columnar data)

 

The rubric score will be re-scaled to the University curve according the following ranges: A: 100-87.5%, B:  87.5-62.5%, C: 62.5-37.5%, D: 37.5-8.3%, E: < 8.3%. The equation to rescale is Gradeuniversity = 0.3801 x Graderubric + 56.386, which yields a score as a percentage for the final grade assignments given by the standard University curve given below.

 

Percent

Grade

Percent

Grade

Percent

Grade

Percent

Grade

93-100

A

87-89.9

B+

77-79.9

C+

67-69.9

D+

90-92.9

A-

83-86.9

B

73-76.9

C

63-66.9

D

< 60

E

80-82.9

B-

70-72.9

C-

60-62.9

D-

College Calendar Spring 2014

January 12-14

Sunday-Tuesday

New Student Arrival & Orientation

January 15

Wednesday

Classes Begin

February 14

Friday

College Closes After Last Class

February 24

Monday

Classes Resume

March 28

Friday

College Closes After Last Class

April 7

Monday

Classes Resume

May 7

Wednesday

Study Day

May 8-14

Thursday-Wednesday

Finals

May 17

Saturday

Commencement

 

Emergency Evacuation/Shelter-in-Place Procedures

In the event of an emergency evacuation (i.e. fire or other emergency), classes meeting in Science I are directed to reassemble at Chase Gymnasium so that all persons can be accounted for.  Complete details of the College’s emergency evacuation, shelter-in-place, and other emergency procedures can be found at http://www.oneonta.edu/security .

Behavioral Guidelines for Students

The following list provides a baseline of what is expected from students in this course (quoted section from the list of Student Responsibilities approved by SUNY Oneonta).

“In class responsibilities

Students will:

·  Attend all classes and arrive punctually.

·  If unavoidably late for a class, enter quietly and unobtrusively, and behave in other required ways to minimize distraction.

·  Remain alert and attentive during lectures, discussions, and other class/lab activities.

·  Avoid unnecessary conversation during lectures, discussions, and other class/lab activities.

·  Contribute to class experiences by asking relevant questions, offering relevant examples or views, adequately answering questions posed by others, engaging in critical and independent thought, and challenging both the instructor and the curriculum materials assigned for the course.

·  Demonstrate courtesy and respect in dealing with instructors and classmates.

·  Recognize and seek to understand diverse points-of-view.”

In the field responsibilities

Students will:

·   Assemble all materials they need to conduct field investigations and bring these items with them (this list will be supplied at the start of the semester)

·   Participate in group camping activities, such as setting up and taking down tents, preparing food and cleaning up after meals

·   Be respectful of fellow students on the trip and of other campers in the campground

·   Maintain quiet time from 10 pm to 6 am in the campground (or according to the local campground guidelines)

·   Obey all state, federal and local laws pertaining to drug and alcohol use, trespassing, and social behavior.

·   Any student violating the above principles will be dismissed from the field trip. The student assumes all costs associated with travel back to campus upon dismissal from the trip.

End of Syllabus


Check list of Useful Items

_____Hat—preferably wide brim to shade the ears/neck

_____Sunglasses

_____Hiking shoes

_____Sunscreen

_____Warm jacket

_____Gloves

_____Rain jacket

_____Undergarments

_____Long johns

_____Long-sleeved and short-sleeved shirt

_____Several pair of socks

_____A pair of long pants and shorts

_____Toiletries (check with airlines for permissible container sizes)

_____Towel

_____Flipflops or shower sandals

_____Sleeping bag (to 25°F) and small pillow

_____Sleeping mattress

_____Flashlight/headlamp

_____Eating utensils (fork, spoon, knife, plate/bowl, cup)

_____Water bottle (just make sure it’s plane transport friendly; or buy water bottles in CA)

_____Camera (optional, but really helpful!)

_____Field book (with water resistant paper, such as Rite in the Rain)

_____*Compass with azimuth and inclinometer

_____Hand lens (see Geo-Tools for geology hardware: http://www.geo-tools.com/index.htm )

_____*Rock hammer (protective eye wear/goggles are a good idea)

_____Calculator

_____Whistle (in case you get lost)

_____Clipboard and/or map case (you can make your own with a clear plastic cover)

_____Pencils (mechanical pencils, or wood pencils with sharpener)

_____Pens and Permanent Marker

_____Protractor/6” ruler

_____*GPS unit

_____Charger for cell phone/electronic devices

_____Medium size duffel bag for clothes, sleeping bag, mattress, and personal items (choose a size within airline guidelines)

_____Day pack for lunch/snack items, pockets for water bottles, room for rain jacket, misc. tools

_____*Hard hat for caving

 

* Indicates item can be checked out from Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Department


Waiver for Use of Photographs

 

Please initial the statements below and sign and date this form at the bottom, if you agree to the terms.

 

 

_____I understand that photographs will be taken of me during the course of this class field trip (Geol 343, Field Geology of Plate Boundaries).

 

 

_____I grant permission to Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Department and SUNY Oneonta for the photographs to be used for educational and promotional purposes.

 

 

 

___________________________________                  

Name (Please Print)

 

 

 

___________________________________                              ____________________

Signature                                                                                     Date


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