They say experience is the best teacher. But if that is the case, what implications does that venerated axiom have about a college education? The earth sciences department at Palomar College intends to combine the best of both worlds on this year’s field trip.
The science department at Palomar is preparing for its annual field trip. Led by Professors Patty Deen and Sean Figg, this excursion is a four-day crash course in Southern California’s coastal geology.
On March 14, participating students will meet at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla where they will embark on the excursion along the California coast. The first night, students will camp at Newport State Beach, the second in the Santa Monica Mountains, and the third at Crystal Cove State Beach in Carpinteria.
The trip will be focusing on subjects such as coastal processes and landforms, coastal sediment resource management, oceanographic climate, geologic development of the Continental Borderland and Transverse Ranges, formation and development of oil and gas resources, geologic hazards and human impacts in the coastal zone.
Expounding on the type of content the trip will include, one of the organizers of the trip, Deen said “We’ll hit a lot of geological topics, and it crosses over into geography. We’ll talk about ocean currents and climate, Santa Ana conditions … So it’s really a crossover of a huge variety of topics.”
Deen said this trip allows the students to learn in a different way.
“A lot of the things that, in class you kind of touch on. We’re going to see examples in our own backyard, and really get a chance to go in-depth on some of these topics,” she said.
In addition to the educational experience, this field trip is also good for college credit, she added. Students who take and successfully complete the trip will earn one full unit of credit, applicable as either a geography class, or a geology class. The choice is up to the student’s discretion.
The class is taught at an introductory level, however, the students who will find it the most beneficial are those who have had an earth science class, or are currently enrolled in an earth science, geography or geology course.
Even those who have or have not taken an oceanography or marine biology class should find this trip particularly educational, she said. However, Deen made it quite clear that this class can benefit anyone with a passion for earth science. “If they’re interested in coming, come on and enjoy it,” she said.
For those interested, there is an initial fee of $46 that covers the student’s registration. Beyond that, students attending must arrange their own transportation. This means carpooling is a requirement. As camping is involved, students must provide their own camping equipment. In addition, all camping fees, parking fees, and transportation fees are paid for by the student.
The official deadline to enroll for the trip was Feb. 27, however, any students that missed the deadline, yet are still interested can contact Patty Deen (email@example.com) or Sean Figg (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss the possibility of inclusion in the field trip.