Geology of Lassen/Shasta/Lava Beds
Fall 2019

Instructor: Jeff Tolhurst, Ph.D.
Office:
Sugar Pine 119 and Fir 6
Office Hours:
MW
11:15-12:45 pm in Sugar Pine (SUG) 119; MTuW 4:30-5:30 in Fir 1 or by appointment
Phone:
(209) 588-5235 office (+ msg); (209) 588-5104 (fax)
Email:
tolhurstj@yosemite.edu
Course Credit:
2 semester hours
Prerequisites:
None
Day and Time:
Wed 6:00-7:30 pm
Room:
SUG 115 and Field
Text:
Geology by Frank H. T. Rhodes (optional), published by St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY, 10010, www.stmartins.com.

Group Photo 2009 Sunset at Lava Beds National Monument

Field Trip Forms


Objectives: Given information on the geological history as well as the main geologic processes that have occurred, and continue to occur, in Lassen Peak, Mt. Shasta, Medicine Lake, and Lava Beds National Monument, you will be able to describe how these volcanoes have been shaped it into what they are today.

Procedures: We will meet two times: 1) in class (Wednesday, September 11th from 6-7:30 pm in SUG 115); and for the trip (Thursday through Sunday, September 19th-22nd). The pre-trip meeting will cover information on what to bring, what to expect, and what to turn in for credit. You will also create a geocaching account for the trip. We will also cover some information on the geological background of Death Valley to prepare us for the trip. A trip itinerary will be given.  THIS IS A MANDATORY MEETING - IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND YOU MAY NOT BE ALLOWED TO GO ON THE TRIP.

Note: A field trip fee of approximately $25 is requested to offset transportation costs. Additionally, campground fees will be approximately $10 for the three nights and will be collected before we leave Thursday morning.  I will also check to see that you are adequately prepared for the trip.  If you are not prepared, you may be have to be dropped from the course. Finally, with the current government shutdown, there will be some uncertainties and ambiguities along the way. We will make decisions that help the group be safe and as comfortable as possible. Please be willing to adapt to changes...


Park Regulations

  • Reservations MUST be made at least 4 days in advance.
  • Pets must be leashed. Campers are required to clean after pets.
  • Picking up of firewood is not permitted.
  • No firearms or fireworks allowed.
  • Camping is limited to 14 days per calendar year.
  • Camping is generally first-come, first-served.

    Site

    Tent camping only. Animals may frequent the area. All food and litter must be put away. Campers must have Entrance Permit before camping. Available at any contact station.
     


  • Itinerary:

    Pre-meeting Homework: Log onto www.geocaching.com and look at each of the EarthCaches near Lassen Peak, Mt. Shasta, and Lava Beds National Monument. Read each EarthCache and be prepared to answer the questions posed for each before you come on the trip.

    Thursday, Sept. 19th We will meet in front of the dorms on campus so that you may have a place to leave your vehicles for the trip. Loading time will begin at 7:40 am and we will leave shortly thereafter, once all heads have been counted and gear loaded into the college vans. After some Earthcache stops near Mt. Shasta, we should arrive in Lava Beds National Monument by dark. We will set up camp, then go on an evening hike to Schonchin Butte, if time permits.

    Friday, Sept. 20th: After breakfast, we will break camp (all gear packed up) and load into the vans by 8am. We will hike out on the Whitney Butte Trail to reach the Callahan Flow, Lava Beds' youngest lava flow to learn about the differences between aa and pahoehoe. We will return to the Visitor Center, tour some caves, then we will hike the Big Nasty Trail to Mammoth Crater to observe cinder cones, scoria, pumice, and a kipuka. We will then head south toward Medicine Lake. We will camp in either the Medicine Lake area, or we will drive to Lassen Peak Volcanic National Park and camp there.

    Saturday, Sept. 21st: We will head south to Subway Cave and nearby cinder cones, then arrive in Lassen Peak National Volcanic Park and explore more of the features there by the end of the day.

    Sunday, Sept. 22nd: We will pack up and leave by 8:00 am Sunday morning. We will hike through the Bumpass Hell area and also tour the visitor center at the south end of the park before we leave the area. We should arrive back in Sonora, on campus, by 5 pm or so.


    What to Bring:

    -- clothing for both very hot and very cold weather
    -- food - three meals a day (click here to see the food suggestions)
    -- cooking/eating utensils
    -- a sleeping bag that will protect you to temperatures as low as 25-30 degrees
    -- air mattress/pad
    -- a tent
    -- flashlight or headlamp
    -- sturdy hiking/walking shoes
    -- sunscreen/chapstick
    -- sunglasses
    -- a hat
    -- toiletries
    -- money for things at the Visitor Centers
    -- a field journal (to be turned in for credit) with pens, colored pencils, erasers, etc.
    -- camera (8 photos minimum required)
    -- any medications you may need

    -- other


    What to Expect:

    Expect cold nights and warm days. The weather is usually nice there this time of year, but it can range from very hot to very windy at times, to very cold at night.  Click here to see the current weather conditions in Lassen Peak Volcanic National Park:  https://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisit/weather.htm. Historically the temperature has gotten down to freezing this time of year and at the same time it has also been in the 100's in the desert. Expect a healthy chunk of time to be spent driving. Shata and Lava Beds are a bit far and it takes some driving time to get there. You will be camping, so expect whatever goes along with that. Also, you should keep your food locked up during the day since we've had problems with varmints while we're gone geologizing...


    What to Turn in for Credit:

    In order to assess your learning, I'll ask you to keep a learning log for the trip. You will be expected to turn this in to me at the end of the trip. This log should document the things you would like to learn before the trip as well as why you are taking the class. You should also enter into your log the things you learned about: 1) the geologic history of the Shasta/Lassen./Lava Beds/Medicine Lake/Cascades area; 2) extrusive igneous processes; 3) subduction; 4) volcanic processes; and 5) tectonic processes (faulting and folding). Your notes will be used to answer each of the questions at the EarthCaches we visit in the area. You will be asked to make an entry at each stop on the trip as well as add an additional entry at the end of each day, reflecting on what happened during the day. A final summary of what you learned on the trip will be required for full credit. All work will be due (in my mailbox) on Tuesday,October 7th, by 6:00 pm in my faculty mailbox in the Manzanita building. To summarize, the learning log should include:

    1. A description of your background with a PHOTOGRAPH of yourself

    2. A field log entry at each stop along the trip of observations and new material learned

    3. An entry in your field log at the end of each day reflecting on what your overall impressions of the day were.

    4. A 4-5 page summary of the trip including what you learned about: 1) the region's geologic history; 2) volcanic processes; 3) subduction; 4) extrusive igneous processes; and 5) tectonic processes (faulting and folding).


    Grading Scheme:

    A = Satisfactory completion of 1-4 above with strong demonstration of understanding of geological concepts encountered on the trip. Also, appropriate conduct and behavior expected of a college-level geology student will be factored into your grade.   (Click here to read the Student Code of Conduct from the Columbia College Catalog)

    B = Field log incomplete; lack of comprehension of geological concepts observed. Also, appropriate conduct and behavior expected of a college-level geology student will be factored into your grade. (Click here to read the Student Code of Conduct from the Columbia College Catalog)

    C = No field log; poor comprehension of geological concepts observed. Also, appropriate conduct and behavior expected of a college-level geology student will be factored into your grade. (Click here to read the Student Code of Conduct from the Columbia College Catalog)

    D = Attendance on field trip only; no field log turned in. Also, appropriate conduct and behavior expected of a college-level geology student will be factored into your grade. (Click here to read the Student Code of Conduct from the Columbia College Catalog)

    F = No attendance or left trip early and did not turn any work in. Also, appropriate conduct and behavior expected of a college-level geology student will be factored into your grade. (Click here to read the Student Code of Conduct from the Columbia College Catalog)


    Note: I have had to add these statements based on past student behaviors: 

    1) All campgrounds we stay in ask for quiet after dark.  If you (individually or  in a group at the campground) have to be asked to be quiet after 9 pm your grade will be dropped.  If you have to be asked again your grade will turn to an "F" and you will fail the course;

    2) NO SMOKING during field lectures and activities.  If you cannot adhere to this requirement you should not sign up for - or drop - the course.  I'm serious about this - you can't smoke in class, so don't smoke on my field trips.

    That having been said, I hope we all have a good trip! Feel free to contact me at the phone number or email address above if you have any questions before or after we leave.


    Expectations:

    Each student must turn in: 1) a field notebook; and 2) a summary paper to earn a passing grade in order to obtain credit for the course. Also, future field trips depend on us - our behavior and conduct should allow future geology students to enjoy what we get to. So please consider the rights of others, within our group as well as from other groups, on this trip (i.e. in terms of cleanliness, noise levels, seating, etc.). No alcohol or drugs are permitted on the trip. Please be ready to go each morning with a sack lunch in hand no later than 8:00 am. Our objective is to learn as much about geology of the Cascades in California as we can in the time permitted.

    I hope we all have a good trip! Feel free to contact me at the number or email address above if you have any questions before or after we leave.


    Additional Background Readings:

    1) Overview of the Geology of Mount Shasta by Bill Hirt

    2) Geologic Overview of the Medicine Lake volcano, California

    3) Geology of the Lassen Volcanic Area

    4) Shasta/Lava Beds/Lassen Powerpoint (from class)