Tuesday, February 4, 2014

California Community Colleges Offer a Great Education

Last week I attended my very first geology club meeting at Nevada. The club is called the Mackay Rockhounds, and about 97% of the club are also members of the Mackay Muckers Women's' Mining Team. The club's topic was where to go on a geology field trip.We made a simple list on the the whiteboard. The choices were Lava Beds (me), Yosemite, Great Basin, Big Sur, and about 4-5 other choices. We each had two votes.

I personally voted on Great Basin and Lava Beds. As we were voting however, it came out that several of these women have never been to Yosemite...EVER!!!

Most grew up in Nevada, however they have never made the trek to Yosemite. I first responded as if it was just a joke. Then after a few seconds realized this was not a joke, and these ladies needed a trip to Yosemite. In the end, Yosemite won the vote and rightfully so...everyone MUST see Yosemite within their lifetime.

Photographed by Becca Gonzales-Clayton, 2012

Prior to my life at Nevada, I had a life at Modesto Junior College, where I crossed tracks with three geologists who gave me so much in my education. I went on a trip with Noah Hughes and learned about the geology of the foothills and the Mother Lode. I took a summer course in mapping with Jeff Tolhurst from our sister college in Sonora, and we hiked and mapped a few miles of the Stanislaus National Forest. However, Professor Garry Hayes of Modesto Junior College, I found out was the field trip guru.

I have in just a few years with Professor Hayes visited the geology of California (everywhere), Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. I visited so many national parks, national monuments, forests, state parks, and geologic sites with Professor Hayes, that after hearing these women talk, feel extremely blessed to have had these experiences.

My experiences at MJC in field study was excellent...I have been to a few sites locally here in Reno for sedimentary rock  class, and they were educational, however I am blessed knowing that I have been to Yosemite (many times) and that my education at MJC far exceeds most universities.

I know Nevada has an A-1 Geology Department. I am fortunate to be studying under people like Dr. James Trexler, Dr. John McCormack, Dr. James Carr, Dr. Stacia Gordon, and others.  I also know that for my fellow students at MJC have excellent opportunities to see some beautiful, and unique geology right in their own backyard.

Take advantage!   Go on every trip you can. Twice if possible! You will never forget it. (Plus you make friends for life...pictured here Professor Hayes' Geology major students)...[I truly LOVE these kids]

I am looking forward to taking my peers here at Nevada to Yosemite and showing them some of the fabulous geology that Professor Hayes shared with me on prior trips. I have my notebooks ready to go.

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