Some Franklin & Marshall students from the Department of Earth and Environment studied the fields of volcanology, impact cratering and geological history in the American Southwest.
During spring semester, Professor of Geosciences Andrew de Wet and the department’s research lab manager and technician Emily Wilson took 16 students to New Mexico and Arizona to visit numerous geological sites including the mile-wide Meteor Crater and the Grand Canyon.
“To me, the Grand Canyon is the Holy Grail of geology,” de Wet said. “You go there and your mind just opens up because 2 billion years of geologic history is laid out in front of you.”
With the Eagles’ “Take it Easy” as their driving song (yes, they stopped in Winslow, Ariz.), the group traveled in two vans from Albuquerque westward. The trip’s overall theme was based on the professor’s planetary geology class that he broke into three parts.
“We talked about impacts as major geological forces when we went to Meteor Crater; water processes and deposition of sediments at the Grand Canyon; and volcanic processes, which was evident at many stops along the way,” de Wet said. “Water and the human occupation of the American Southwest was a recurring theme we discussed as well.”
View a brief photo essay of their geological journey: