Earth & Planetary Sciences

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Owens Valley Eastern Sierra

Earth 131 Eastern Sierra Nevada

 Earth 131 is a five-day/four-night field course to study the geology and geologic history of the Eastern Sierra Nevada, California. The Sierra contains some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere, including the highest point in the contiguous United States. The Sierra is also geologically spectacular; here the rocks reveal the geologic history of the western United States over the last 500 million years. By studying the rocks and the processes that formed them, we will be able to piece together this history. In addition we will see numerous examples of the geologic and hydrologic processes such as earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciers, and rivers that are actively shaping the mountains today.

Earth 131 is a 2-unit academic course which will require your active participation both during the day and in the evening.  You will be expected to take neat and complete field notes, and to prepare for quizzes each morning.  You will also need to know the Geologic Time Scale before you depart on the field trip.


Depart - Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017 at 5:45 a.m. (Luggage leaves the previous day.)
Return -  Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 between 6:00 - 7:00 pm

Cost - $104 plus unit fees

Effective Fall 2016, there is a new procedure for adding an Earth Sciences field course. To add the course, you will be required to:

  1. Sign–up on the Field Course interest list (available from your instructor).

  2. Register for the Field Course via pipeline.

  3. Choose a payment option for the field course fee:

  • Option APAY IN FULL - Add the course directly in Pipeline and pay the total amount due for the unit fee and Field Course fee within 7 days of adding the course.

  • Option B*PAYMENT PLAN - Add the course directly in Pipeline and go to the Cashier's Office to apply for a payment plan. Unit fees will be due in full, as well as all outstanding school balances.  Additionally, one half of the field course fee will be due within 7 days of registration, or you will be dropped for non-payment. 

  • Option C* - SCHOLARSHIP APPLICANT- Apply for a scholarship in the Geology Department to help defer part of the field course cost.  In this case, follow the procedure for Option B above, then fill out a scholarship form and submit it to your instructor. Once the scholarship is awarded, the cashier will be notified of the amount, and your second payment will be reduced by that amount.

You will have 7 days from when you add the course to cover all of the applicable expenses above or make payment arrangements at the Cashier's Office. After that time, if payment or arrangements have not been made, you will be administratively dropped for non-payment.

NOTE: If you are adding within the last 10 days of the course departure date, you MUST provide a receipt that all fees are paid to one of the instructors. If you pay online, you will receive an email receipt to provide the instructor.  Alternatively, if you pay at the Cashier's Office they will provide you a paper receipt to present to your instructor.

Transportation - SBCC bus (no private vehicles).

Food - Meals are prepared in our field kitchen by staff with student help.

Camping - Camping in large undeveloped areas with no or rustic restrooms or shower facilities. Be prepared to adapt.

Scholarship Information - There is a limited amount of scholarship money available to qualified students. Scholarships are based on need and merit. See your instructor if you wish to apply for aid. If you are applying for a scholarship, follow Option C above to sign up for the course. Scholarship applications are DUE: Wed. Sep. 27, 2017.


For more information, click on the following topics:

Field Course Information Sheet
Sign-up Procedure 
Equipment List
Pre-trip Orientation Sheet
Bennett Scholarship Information and Application
Safety Guidelines
Student Conduct Agreement

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