This Saturday seven Sierra Nevada College Geology Club Students pilled into a car to go hike points of Mount Rose to collect minerals and crystals.Secretary of the geology club Joe Paolini said, “Everyone who participated today was really involved.”
Students look mostly for double terminated crystals. This is when the end of a crystal grows in such a way that it forms flat faces that intercept one another on a certain axis depending on the mineral. Crystals that form a terminated point on both ends are referred to as doubly terminated. We found multiple specimens exhibiting this geological anomaly. Once the more experienced hunters determine when the group had arrived the students scatted with their hunting hats on. They sifted through the top layer of dirt in the surrounding areas looking for their crystals.
“Jai found quite a few crystals in this one particular area” Paolini said, “So everyone just went over to dig the patch up.”
Jai Odyssea, president of the club, said, “There’s probably a pocket”. The students flocked the patch. “The north eastern corner of the Tahoe basin is a fascinating area geologically,” said Odyssea, “There are multiple different rock types from different eras of activity meeting in this area which often is a sign for metamorphic activity”.
There are three types of rocks, Sedimentary, which are formed from particles of sand, shells, pebbles, and other fragments of material, Igneous, which are formed when magma (molten rock deep within the earth) cools and hardens, and Metamorphic, which are formed under the surface of the earth from the metamorphosis (change) that occurs due to intense heat and pressure.
Paolini said, “Because there are multiple different types of rock meeting in this area it is more likely for minerals to be coming up through the earth’s crust. Which indicates that rocks have undergone metamorphose in its form”.
The crystals and minerals that were found in abundance on this trip were smoky quartz, feldspar, and epidote. Smoky quartz is a grey translucent-opaque variety of quartz. The smoky color results from free silicon, formed from the silicon dioxide by natural irradiation. It terminates into six faces so it shapes in a hexagonal form.Feldspar constitutes approximately 60% or the earths crust, it forms directly from cooling magma. Its crystals are typically colorless/pale in color. Epidote is a monoclinic crystal system, which means its vectors are of unequal length and size. It usually takes on a pistachio-forest green tint but can be found in grey, brown, or nearly black.
“The examples of feldspar that we collected had phenomenal examples of cleavage” student Grant Long said.
Cleavage is the tendency of a mineral to break along flat planar surfaces as determined by the structure of the mineral. Student Mona Ramirez found a terminated smokey quartz point with a greenish hue. Paolini and Odyssea speculate that it is an inclusion of the epidote they were finding in the area inside of the smoky quartz.
Odyssea said, “We scouted an area near incline creek with interesting rock formations. You’ll find quartz everywhere you go in the Tahoe Basin.”
Sierra Nevada Student tend to wander a fair amount but usually with their eyes focused on the lake. These students have a knack to appreciate the things that are usually over looked and stepped. Between the leaders knowledge, support of Science Professor Andy Rost, geographical location, and student passion the club will make great trips this school years
By Joie Rhein
BY NATALIE CLARK POSTLES
The canyon is filled with smoke making it a struggle, dangerous even, for anyone in the area to breathe. As the King Fire burns just up from the South Fork of the American River, Sierra Nevada College students enrolled in the Outdoor Adventure Leadership (ODAL) intro class prepare to begin their whitewater rafting guide course just outside of Coloma, California.
It is Saturday, Sept. 20, and the ODAL class is a day behind schedule. The class arrived a few hours ago due to the high levels of air toxicity in the area, and the question on everyone’s mind is simple: Will we be river rafting today? Or will we turn around and go home because of the low air quality?
Water was released from the dam late Saturday morning shortly after our arrival on the river, later than the normal Friday release. Whether this is due to the fire or other causes is still unknown, but the SNC students continue on with their preparation to raft down the South Fork, many for the first time ever. We had quite the range of experience on our trip, ranging from students with little to no experience to others that had worked previous summers as whitewater guides, making it a beneficial teaching and learning experience for students of all levels.
As we got closer to embarking on our trip down the river one of the guides, and ODAL professor Daryl Teittinen prepared for what was about to come: level two, three, and on our final day three plus rapids. Easy enough for any beginner, yet entertaining enough for anyone with a bit of experience and an awesome opportunity to help fellow students learn. The SNC class came within 15-30 miles of from the fire, a comfortable distance; with the winds blowing the smoke from the fire in opposite direction and out of the canyon not only making the trip more enjoyable, but possible.
As said by Lynn Noel in her book Voyages: Canada’s Heritage Rivers, “the first river you paddle runs through the rest of your life. It bubbles up in pools and eddies to remind you who you are.” While many of us were questioning if the trip would even happen, we pulled through, and many people left with a trip that will “run through” the rest of their lives, whether it was their first or not.
BY CALHOUN BOONE
The weekend of Oct. 10 -12, the Sierra Nevada College 201 Outdoor Adventure Leadership, ODAL, class went on a field expedition to the Carson River where they hiked for three days over the terrain of a popular white water rafting run.
“As an avid whitewater rafter myself, it was awesome to hike the river bed of a river that I have rafted with my family before, and to see the skeleton of the river bottom with very little water in it,” said one ODAL student.
The Carson River is undammed above the section that the ODAL class hiked, so there was very little water left from last season, making it shallow and easy to travel across by foot.
The trip consisted of 21 river miles that the class traveled with only the guidance of a series of topographic maps. Because the ODAL 201 Leadership course focuses primarily on individual leadership skills, ODAL Program Director Rosie Hackett, left it up to the class to map out their own route while she sat back and followed her student’s lead.
“There was no distinct trail to follow and nothing to show us which way to go other than the river and our maps, so it was awesome to get to practice our map reading skills and really helped all of us as students gain competence in our toolbox of outdoor skills,” said ODAL student Jake McIntyre.
In March of every year, students are encouraged to apply for the position of Wilderness Orientation (WO, pronounced:Whoa) leader. While many applicants are Interdisciplinary Studies majors with either a concentration or minor in Outdoor Adventure Leadership (ODAL), openings are not limited to this degree. Wilderness Orientation is a hands-on opportunity for students to showcase their competency as outdoor leaders while fostering relationships with incoming students.
WO leaders offer a great experience to new students every fall before school officially begins. While the new students undergo an exciting adventure, student leaders grow and learn as well. Not only do the leaders mature into their own style, but they also have the opportunity to create intentional communities within Sierra Nevada College.
I’ve always been passionate about nature: how it works and how to be a part of it. Brought up by outdoor enthusiasts, I innately knew nature’s rhythms from the beginning. My parents, who owned a popular rafting company in Mount Shasta, Calif. bestowed me with an everlasting appreciation for the one thing that always brings me joy and has taught me how to live simply – the wilderness.
Sierra Nevada College student Aaron Vanderpool and Andy Rost, associate professor at SNC, began using software such as Google Earth to learn how to model watersheds.The team got a grant for $9,000 from NASA to carry out the project. The faculty was given $5,000 in grant money, and the student was given $4,000.
Have you ever caught yourself glaring with envy at paddle boarders who seem to glide effortlessly across the lake? Thanks to a joint collaboration between Outdoor Adventure Leadership (ODAL) Instructor Daryl Teittinen and Dean of Students Will Hoida, students can now rent paddle boards, financed by the student activities fund, to use for fun in their spare time from the gear room free of charge.