Archive for the “Academics” Category

Spring break was last week and just like every other time I have been in Utah, it was awesome.  The first half was spent camping in Capitol Reef National Park for a geology field trip.  A group of geology and geography students and professors hiked around the park for 3 days discussing whatever cool geology we came across.  It was super informal and very relaxing.  Best 2 credits ever.  From there I went to Zion National Park to visit some friends and get some information on a project I am doing for school.  Below are some pictures from Capitol Reef.

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The busiest week of the semester is over.  This is good.  All that remains is a week of 3 exams and then a month of sweet, sweet break time.  So as a mental break before the begining of this past week a few of us went out bouldering.  The place we went is called  Boulder City and it’s in the Falcon Colorado bouldering guide book.  The link above will show you where it’s at, and a proper map or knowledgable local will get you there.  High clearance would be a good idea, dont need 4-wheel drive though.  We spent quite some time on this V3 traverse which was super fun.  Also, that same day, a buddy and I drove up to get some shots of our project research areas near by and spotted some bighorns.  Always great to see some wildlife!  Here are a few pictures from the day…check out my flickr stream under Links to the right for a few more.
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Big Horn Sheep
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View from the bouldering area
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Bryce, sending.

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The countdown for the semester has begun and it cant come soon enough. Projects in all classes are keeping my busy but a few have me out in the field which is nice. A project for Hydrogeology involves doing some tests to the west of the sand dunes near by and the Geomorphology project involves looking at a the upstream section of Terrace Reservoir that has a very active (geomophologically) stream cutting through the sediment at the bottom. Here are some pictures of the areas. Check my flickr stream if you want to see a few more.

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Amy and Dan doing some surveying for the Hydrogeology project

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Point bars, cut banks, chutes, meanders, aeolian process, oh my!

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An ant’s view of some features from shrink/swell

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It’s been a busy couple of weeks since my last post.  The day before Halloween, we hosted a climbing competition here at Adams as part of the Collegiate Climbing Series.  It was a lot of work to get it all set up but it paid off and the comp went great.  Also, its nice to have some fresh new routes on the wall.  Then, on Halloween, we went up to the Geological Society of America conference being held in Denver.  This is basically an enormous hardcore nerdfest (in my personal top 3 of “fests”) jam packed with awesome and interesting talks on a wide variety of subjects focused strictly or loosely around geology.  There were also poster sessions and tons of vendors handing out freebies.  This was the first GSA I have been too but it was similar to the Association of American Geographers conferences which I have been too.  Both are great organizations and I would highly recommend joining them and going to the conferences if you are in a related major.  Not only because you get to nerd out for a few days, but you see new studies and angles of geology and geography that you may not have even knew existed.  Or, maybe you will be inspired to make up discover a discipline like  “4-D paleohydrobiogeomorphology modeling of exoplanets with binary stars”.

The next few weeks are going to be jam packed with so much super awesome amazing rad fun!! sitting in the library working on final projects.  Maybe I can take some artsy fartsy pictures of my bloodshot eyes after 15 cups of coffee and hours of staring at a computer screen doing research.  Graduation….so….close….

But enough doom and gloom.  The weather is getting cold, there is snow on the mountains, and snowboarding season is creeping up.  And of course, the south facing rocks in the valley are always good for some climbing even when its cold out.  Winter training with ASAP is going to be sweet and oh yeah, the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education conference is coming up!

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The first week of school has come and gone and things have settled into school mode for the semester.  It was a crazy transition coming from Zion and then going almost directly back to work at the Adventure Program helping with new student trips.  I am still not fully unpacked but thats also due to the difficulty of fitting so much stuff into such a small place.  I lost a coin toss and landed the small room in the apartment (also, the room has no shelving built in).  I’ve been playing unpacking tetris ever since.  However, the room has a great, possibly redeeming, view of Blanca:

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A trip up to see Leftover Salmon and Yonder Mountain String Band play at Red Rocks last Friday helped ease the back-to-school shock.  Good show, good people, good times.

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Classes this semester seem to be interesting (especially Geomorphology) and the workload will not be too crazy.  Only 2 more semesters left!

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Oddly, for me, exams tend to be the easiest part of finishing a semester.  All of the overlapping projects and such right before the exams are always the most stressful time.  Exams are just tests, like all those other tests throughout the year and you know what to expect.  However, for some teachers this may mean that you don’t know what to expect at all, but the logic remains the same.  Plus, studying is easy.  You sit down, and study.  It’s not like having to do massive amounts of research, weed out the useless information, formulate a well written paper, then construct a visually appealing and concise, yet thorough, presentation.  And yes, the exams are cumulative but so what.  If you haven’t learned the material throughout the semester, you probably aren’t going to learn it studying for the exams.  Studying for finals for me is all about just looking over the semester’s material to remind myself what to expect to be asked about on the final.  And of course, refreshing my memory on some of the concepts and terms.  Happy studying everyone!

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Our presentations for the Chemistry of Sustainability were a few weeks ago.  Heres the video of both of the presentations.  The first is on photovoltaics in the San Luis Valley, and the second is on biofuels.

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The past few weeks have been quite the roller coaster of projects and school work.  Mainly, the laboring clamor uphill part and uncomfortable restraint system.  As the semester winds downs, the workload winds up…and viciously so.  I feel like I’ve be working on paper and presentation one-two-punch combos for each my classes non-stop for the past month (with the exception of Astronomy.  An awesome class I would recommend to anyone, but one that delivers an unrelenting onslaught of homework).  My caffeine intake has gone way up and I haven’t stared at a computer screen for this many hours, or slept so little, since the old days of Counter-Strike in high school (I logged way to many hours on that game…thankfully my current vices are much more productive).  But really, I’ve learned a lot and that sweet, sweet summertime is just around the corner.  Also, this has been the busiest semester at Adams and from the looks of my next two here, it looks like this one will remain the busiest of my Adams State College career.  And thats just fine with me.

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I just presented at the lunchtime talks here at school.  This was part of a chemistry project we had to do and I am very glad to be done with it.  The past two weeks have been non-stop between this chem project, a mountain geography project, and tests.  Now, only two more projects left for the semester.  Then Zion!

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The bioplastic we made was all dried and hardened today.  While this specific plastic’s uses are somewhat limited due to its brittleness and low melting point, it’s still cool to see biodegradable plastic.  Here are some pictures of the sheets we ended up with.
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