Sunday, May 23, 2010

First week of field camp!

The first week of field camp is now complete. Within one week I have done a 66m of stratigraphic section and about a square mile of mapping, probably more. Then I turned in the final product of my map and two cross sections, projecting what we saw on the surface to the subsurface. There were only a couple of faults and one small/obvious fold, otherwise a bunch of stacked layers, generally dipping in the same direction. I know that doesn’t mean much of anything to anyone.

Basically the strat. section made us walk through three different formations (Manitou Limestone, Harding Sandstone and Fremont Limestone), look at them closely and recognize their diagnostic characteristics, like fossils, colors, unconformities, etc. Then in the field when you see an outcrop you should be able to determine what it is, even though you are just seeing a portion.

So basically we have a topo map and a transparent paper on top, we hike around and look for contacts between formations, bushwacking across mountains and trying to not get lost or confused. Definetly got lost and confused MOST of the time. It was kinda painful. I love the hiking around, hands down I love running around for 10 hours a day, but understanding the geology is way hard and not the most rewarding yet.

Otherwise, I’ve surprisingly not had coffee or alcohol since being here. I’m thinking that I will try to abstain and drink tea and party sober for the summer (until San Antonio). But I’m not going to be crazy about it, I’ll be open to changing my mind for sure if I’m out, but for now I’m holding strong and I feel so healthy. I’ve been running twice this week after work, which is also awesome. I feel like I’m getting super healthy and that is definitely worth it. Especially after being sick for a week (since last Friday), where I couldn’t function well without a sinus headache and a cough. (Thanks B).

Everyone is really nice. The atmosphere is very different from Columbia/Columbia students. Everyone is just as smart it seems, and is on top of their knowledge, but it’s still different. Lots of partying and booze, but that’s normal for field stuff/geology.

Now we’re in CaƱon City, spending our day off. It’s our only day off this week and I was originally hoping to get out to a swimming hole, but I haven’t even been downtown yet so it’s good to be here.

Right now I’m not totally in love with field geology. I know it’s the beginning and I will come a long way and maybe begin enjoying it more, but I don’t see what I’d want to research in the future with these methods. I’m not as stoked on the prospects in earth science as I was a couple of months ago. I don’t think it’s bad, I think that I’m in a more open place, less sure about what I want to do, but I think things will become clear as time passes, there is so much out there to do.

I think I just had such a rough semester, I don’t feel like I’m as good at this as I’d like to be if I were to do it forever. I want to find something that I’m really good at and feel fulfilled with, I’m just too much in the dark right now. It’s a hard lesson to learn.

Also I love being in magical places during my summers. Colorado is gorgeous. Brazil was absolute magic last summer. They have similar exiting feelings, especially while running.


  1. good luck adjusting - you'll get it. take pictures, watch out for grizzlies. today i biked 25 mi in manhattan with some friends, def the farthest i've ever biked. going hiking in harriman for a few days now before heading west to mn.

  2. awwwwwww. It sounds so different, but cool. I want to see your maps!