rock and trail in Death Valley, CA

Death Valley, CA

Geologic Investigations of Active Tectonics and Geomorphic Response

GE 430 / GEOL 610

Dates: TBD in Oxford; January 2-14 in Death Valley*

Credit Hours: 3

Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Gifford and Dr. Brian Platt

Cost: $1,000 plus tuition

Application Deadline: November 10, 2022

*Itinerary subject to change. Students should wait to make travel arrangements until after confirming dates and times with instructors

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  • Design and conduct a research project to investigate recent catastrophic flooding and predict future impacts of significant rainfall events.
  • Explore a variety of geologic formations not easily accessible in Mississippi.
  • View multiple features relevant to both tectonics and geomorphology.
  • Learn the geologic history of Death Valley, as well as how to map and describe landforms.
  • Examine how desert climates impact weathering and sediment deposition.
  • Learn to evaluate erosion as well as timing and magnitude of faulting from slope and scarp angles, and offsetting landforms.
  • View one of the only areas in the continental United States where active geological processes can be studied without dealing with biological cover and large-scale hydrologic-based erosion.

Students will meet on the Oxford campus at dates to be announced by the instructors. Students will travel on their own to Las Vegas January 2, 2023, and then travel together to Death Valley. Students will be in the field January 3-14, 2023.

Students completing a fall course in Geomorphology or Global Tectonics may be most interested, but the course is intended for any student with an interest in Geology and Geological Engineering. To enroll in GE 430 credit students must have completed GEOL 103 or have graduate standing. To enroll in GEOL 610 students must have graduate standing.

Students will make their own travel arrangements to and from Las Vegas and meet with the group and instructor at a time and place pre-determined by the instructor. Students will then travel as a group from Las Vegas to Death Valley and camp at Furnace Creek Campground while in Death Valley.

The Study USA program fee is $1,000. Included in the cost are housing, meals while in Death Valley, transportation to Death Valley from Las Vegas, transportation while in Death Valley, and activities. Tuition, airfare, and personal spending money are excluded from the program fee.