Arizona Natural History and Astronomy

College Park Scholars - Earth, Life, and
and Science Discovery and the Universe
University of Maryland, College Park

March 16-25, 2007

Tentative Syllabus

Goals: The Spring 2007 offering of GEOL288 is centered on a ten-day field excursion focusing on the field natural history of Arizona to occur from 3/16 through 3/25/07. This trip will highlight the Geology, Astronomy, Archaeology, Botany, and Zoology of various regions of the state. It is governed by a strict itinerary. All participants are expected to adhere to the travel and activity plan developed by the organizers.

Requirements / grades:

  1. Accompany the field trip and take full part in its activities, including the completion of required readings prior to departure. (50% of grade.)

  2. Turn in your installment of the Arizona 07 reaction paper: The course organizers will be preparing a web site describing the intellectual themes of the Spring break excursion. Its centerpiece will be a series of student essays describing our activities and relating them to the major intellectual themes of the trip. Each student will be responsible for a reaction paper addressing each of four major issues in Arizona natural history. These will be roughly the equivalent to a 3 - 5 page printed paper. and will be due on Monday, April 9. (50% of grade.)

  3. A default grade of A will be given for serious competent essays and participation. Lack of serious intent will result in a lower score.

Automatic Fs: Due to the hazards inherent in the field sites we will visit and the logistical complexity of organization, it is imperative that all participants behave responsibly. Serious breaches of this standard, including the use of controlled substances or alcohol or disruptive, destructive, or dangerously irresponsible behavior will result in the perpetrator receiving a big fat disciplinary F for the course.

Required texts: Participants are to be familiar with all reading material prior to our arrival in Phoenix.

  1. Price, L. Greer. An Introduction to Grand Canyon Geology. Grand Canyon Association, Grand Canyon, AZ. (Available through for $9.95. See attachment) ISBN 0-938216-68-6

  2. Houk, Rose and Tony Brown. An Introduction to Grand Canyon Ecology. Grand Canyon Association, Grand Canyon, AZ. ISBN 0-938216-54-6

  3. Coder, Christopher. An Introduction to Grand Canyon Prehistory. Grand Canyon Association, Grand Canyon, AZ. ISBN 0-938216-70-8

    The above items may be ordered as a package for $19.95

  4. Powell, James L. Mysteries of Terra Firma. The Free Press, New York. Chapters 13 Glimpses of the Moon and 14 Moonlighting. ISBN 0-684-87282-X


Field itinerary:

Fri. 3/16 Flagstaff Airports and road cuts Rock types
geologic provinces
Sat. 3/17 Flagstaff Walnut Canyon
Meteor Crater
Lowell Observatory
Solar System origins
impact craters
Native American archaeology
History of Astronomical Research
Sun. 3/18 Mather Campground, Grand Canyon Sunset Crater
Grand Canyon
historical geology
Mon. 3/19 Flagstaff Bright Angel Trail hike, Grand Canyon Rock record
sedimentary structures
introduction to Arizona biomes
Tue. 3/20 Tucson Mogollon Rim
Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Arizona biomes
Arizona geologic provinces
introduction to the Sonoran Biome
Wed. 3/21 Tucson Sonoran Desert Museum
Saguaro NM
Tucson City Park hike
Sonoran biome
Basin and Range Geology
Thu. 3/22 Chiricahua NM Campsite Chiricahuas
Igneous geology
sland biogeography
Fri. 3/23 Chiricahua NM Campsite Chiricahuas
Igneous geology
sland biogeography
Fri. 3/23 Chiricahua NM Campsite Chiricahuas
Igneous geology
sland biogeography
Sat. 3/24 Tucson Kitt Peak National Observatory
Research Astronomy
Sun. 3/25 BWI Airports
Return to Maryland




Contact Information: TBA