Saturday, June 26, 2010

Denver Airport- Field Camp DONE

I'm sitting in the Denver airport waiting for my flight to Bozeman, MT to begin my Yellowstone REU. The past three weeks have been intense and long and also rushed so there is a lot to catch up on, maybe I will go in reverse order.

I had my friend from camp cut my hair last night. I really wanted to shave my head, it's the only time I'd ever be up for it. But I didn't have the proper equiptment. Instead, I had her cut it in a way that I wanted, it definitely needs to be fixed up a bit but it is super cute. I have a photo on facebook.

Last night we also received prank awards, and I got a first-aid award because 2 weeks ago I used my Wilderness First Aid skills to wrap up a guys ankle in the field. I ended up using an ace bandage, a towel, my shirt, my hat and duct tape. Yup, that's what they prep us for. Anyway, everyone was really grossed out that I put my had on his foot as a splint so that followed me the past three weeks.

Otherwise, we drove all the way from Dyer, NV through UT back to Canon City, CO in a day and a half. It was a marathon, and rough, but it was also gorgeous and a treat to drive by Great Basin National Park again.

The past two weeks we were based out of Dyer, NV where we each were in pairs and got to map our own square kilometer. These were mainly miocene tuffs and they had never been mapped before. We got to figure out the stratigraphy (rock units), name them and then map them. There were 8 groups and all of our maps fit into a piece of a bigger puzzle. Then for the past 7 years the field camp has been doing the same thing and all of those areas fit into an even larger map. I thought it was super cool to be able to do an actual project. My partner and I did a great job in the end and got solid grades.

I got the golden hammer. So, there is an individual award given out every year to the best all around field camper. This means that they were consistently solid in mapping and helped with camp life. The award is the coveted golden hammer (picture to come). I was pumped, I definitely worked hard, learned a lot and did my best to keep positive and help out. It totally paid off.

Before we were in Nevada, we were in Utah for a week. We went to Capitol Reef National Park for a few days and looked at the stratigraphy there, learned it in detail and then did a small mapping project. Then we went to the Henry Mountains and did a couple day mapping project. It is absolutely awesome and beautiful there.

Also in the past three weeks: I got my first stitches out, I went on my first motorcycle ride, and I saw my first tornado. :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

END OF FIRST HALF (of field camp)

June 6
My first course in field camp is done! Geology 560 was a three week course where we were based out of Canon City, CO and mapped for two weeks by hand and one week on the computer. It was super challenging in the beginning but now that it’s over it was a great experience. I did well and learned a lot.

The big updates for the week are:

I sliced my finger with my knife while cutting an avocado and had to go into the emergency room to get four stitches. It’s on my left middle finger, between that finger and my pointer finger, right on the knuckle. Now I have to wear a splint during the day to not bend my knuckle. It’s my first stitches experience. They shot me up with lidocaine which was a local anesthetic, it felt like intense pressure and numb, then I watched the nurse practitioner put in the stitches and it was gross but cool.

We are getting Japanese food tonight, our last night in Canon City. We leave for Utah early on Sunday morning. I’m not sure what the internet access will be like, I don’t even know what we are doing in Utah, other than the ambiguous “day projects” and “moving every night”. I will definitely update when I get the chance.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mid week Update

It’s Tuesday. Starting yesterday we are using toughbook laptops that we are able to take into the field and have them survive. They can fall down mountains, be rained on, you name it and still function. We are now mapping with these mini laptops on ArcGIS. It’s a whole new monster but it will be cool to learn the program better. We know how to look at contacts, outcrops and structure in the field now, it’s just a new manner in recording it. It takes getting used to because you have things that you know are there, and ideas about what is there. By hand it’s much easier to play around with your ideas on paper, look at it, erase. On the computer it’s more of a pain.

So Doug (new professor) let us know what the next weeks will look like. Basically, the camp is split into two courses. The first one ends with this week and is 3 weeks long. We learned to map based out of CaƱon City, CO. On Sunday we will begin the next 3 week long course. That one will take us through Utah for a week with day trips and day projects, camping out at night. The last two weeks we will be in Dyer, NV camping and mapping around there with the computers. Then we will drive back across NV and UT to CO and pick up our stuff and disperse. That’s when I will be catching a flight up to Montana to begin my REU in Yellowstone. So I’m not sure how much internet I’ll be getting after this week since Utah and Nevada are much less stable conditions.

It’s gotten really hot and still is super dry here. Today my partner and I ran out of water towards the end of the day and had to be thirsty as we walked back to the vans. The views have been spectacular though. I keep forgetting to bring my camera to the field. I’m usually forcing my partner to hike to the top of the mountains to look at the views. They usually don’t mind. There are a lot of cacti and everyone gets pricked, stuck and poked. I’ve done pretty well. I like to think it’s because I had so much experience in NV avoiding them. Also we have had a lot of snake sightings. Some rattlers and some non-venomous.

The stars at night are finally beautiful because the full moon doesn’t show up early. I’ve definitely been an early to bed type because I hate getting up in the morning. Luckily my cabin-mates are the same.

I bought Basin and Range by John McPhee and am getting through it pretty quickly. I also bought a practice GRE book that I opened last night only to close very quickly because everyone around me was telling me the answers and not letting me think. I’d say that I’m looking forward to having more alone time, but I don’t mind being with people a lot. There is a lot of space out here at least to kind of get alone time. But even then, it’s really obvious when someone goes off on their own so I feel like it’s not as anonymous and personal as I’d like.

That being said, the only reason I really want to get off sometimes is because everyone is in complaining or gossip mode at this point. Both of those suck and aren’t my bag. I don’t think I do much complaining other than at the fact that others complain too much. I don’t gossip as much either because I don’t really know people as well.

That’s it for now. Overall I am very tan on my arms/shoulders/face/neck. I am hiking pretty well and am still in relatively good spirits. I can’t believe how much I lined up for myself this summer but I’m almost done with the first section. I’m glad to have the service to keep in touch with everyone.