Tuolumne River

Earth Science 35TR - Field Geology (1 unit)

Instructor: Jeff Tolhurst, Ph.D.
Office: Sugar Pine 119 and Fir 6
Office Hours:
Th 8:50-11:20am in Sugar Pine 119 and MW 5:00-6:00 pm in Fir 1 or by appointment
Phone: (209) 588-5235 office (+ msg); (209) 588-5104 (fax)
Email: tolhurstj@yosemite.edu

http://tolhurstj.faculty.gocolumbia.edu/home.htm

Field Trip Forms


                             


                


Facebook Earth Sciences Program Page


Field Geology of the Tuolumne River



Map of the Tuolumne River Watershed


Online Resources:

1. Hetch Hetchy Restoration Study
2. NPS Tuolumne River Plan
3. Restore Hetch Hetchy
4. California Water Science Center: San Joaquin Basin (Tuolumne River)
5
. SFPUC Hetch Hetchy Water System Improvement Program (WSIP)
6. Tuolumne River Trust

7. La Grange Annual Report
8. Upper Tuolumne Hydroanalysis
9. Don Pedro Dam Federal Energy Regulartory Commission (FERC) Scoping Hearing
10.

Suggested Reading:

1.  Water in Environmental Planning, Dunne, Thomas and Luna Leopold, W H Freeman & Co, ISBN-10: 0716700794; ISBN-13: 9780716700791; September 1978.
2.
Lower Tuolumne River Channel and Floodplain Restoration; Koepele, Patrick; Tuolumne River Trust, Modesto, CA 95354; patrick@tuolumne.org; October 1, 2006.


Objectives: Given information on the geomorphologic and hydrologic history and the main geomorphologic/hydrologic processes occurring in the Tuolumne River watershed, you be able to describe and explain the characteristics and behavior of a "healthy" river, what changes have occurred along the river due to human influences, and what the future possible scenarios for the river are.

Procedures: We will meet three times: 1) in class for a pre-meeting (Tuesday, October 24th); and 2 days for the trip (Friday and Saturday, October 27th and 28th). The pre-trip meeting will cover information on what to bring, what to expect, and what to turn in for credit. We will also cover some information on the background of the Tuolumne River. A trip itinerary will be given.

Itinerary

Tuesday October 24th: We will meet in Sugar Pine room 115 for the pre-meeting for the class. Logistics and background information will be discussed to prepare us for the 2 days of field studies.

Friday October 27th
: We will meet in front of the student dormitories at 8 am for some background information and a brief overview of the day. Our first stop will be at the Moccasin Fish Hatchery to learn more about the lifecycle of salmon and how they connect with the geology/hydrology of the Tuolumne River watershed. We will the meet at the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to learn about the history of the dam and water diversion project and hike up part of the trail around the lake. We will next meet at the Early Intake site downstream to observe some of the geomorphology and infrastructure at that location. We will attempt to measure the stream's discharge, Q, at the Early Intake bridge. We will return through the Stanislaus National Forest via Cottonwood Road to observe watershed effects from the 2012 Rim Fire. We will return to campus by 5 pm.

Saturday October 28th
: Our first meeting place will be at the Visitor Center at Don Pedro to observe some of the processes related to the dam construction and reservoir maintenance. We will meet in front of the student dormitories at 8 am for some background information and a brief overview of the day. Will meet at our first stop at the Don Pedro Reservoir Visitor Center where we will get an overview of the dam and hydropower facility. Our next stop will be near La Grange, at the old bridge, along the lower Tuolumne River, below the Don Pedro Reservoir. There we well examine restoration and an old stream gaging station. Our next stop will be in the park in La Grange to observe parts of the old Tuolumne Dredge + use public restrooms. We will then meet at the E Clampus Vitus monument on Hwy J59 to learn about the Tuolumne Gold Dredge in order to understand the effects of dredging along the lower Tuolumne River. After that we will meet at the county park picnic area and, following lunch, we will hike along the river toward the reservoir to observe features associated with floodplain connectivity, dam building, and human effects on rivers. We will also hike to the old Hwy 132 bridge and measure the river's discharge, Q, before leaving this location. We will next meet at the Robert's Ferry Bridge to observe channel restoration work. Our final meeting location will be at the Modesto Reservoir to observe off-stream diversion and storage of Tuolumne River water. I will then collect field notebooks and you will take the quiz. We will return to campus by 5 pm.

What to Bring:

-- clothing for both warm and cold/wet weather
-- food lunch plus snacks for each day
-- sturdy hiking/walking shoes
-- sunscreen/chapstick
-- mosquito repellent
-- sunglasses
-- a hat
-- money in case of emergency needs
-- a learning log (to be turned in for credit)
-- a camera

-- other

What to Expect:

Expect warm as well as cold/possibly wet, rainy conditions along the river.  Temperatures may range from about the mid to low 40's to the mid 70's during the day this time of year.  Who knows what will happen - be prepared for changing conditions since it will be difficult to say what the weather will be like.

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 upper Tuolumne River; 2) Hetch Hetchy and the San Francisco water system; 3) the lower Tuolumne River and human impacts (positive and negative) on the river. 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. There will be a short quiz at the end of the trip assessing your knowledge of concepts covered. Your final grade will be based on:

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

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

  3. your quiz score at the end of the class.
     

Grading Scheme:

A = satisfactory completion of 1-3 above with strong demonstration of understanding of geological/hydrological concepts encountered on the trip as evidenced by quiz score (90-100%). 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 = some portions of field log incomplete; lack of comprehension of geological concepts observed as evidenced by quiz score (80-90%). Also, appropriate conduct and behavior expected of a college-level geology student will be factored into your grade.

C = incomplete field log; poor comprehension of concepts observed as evidenced by quiz score (70-80% correct). Also, appropriate conduct and behavior expected of a college-level geology student will be factored into your grade.

D = attendance on field trip only; no field log turned in; quiz score < 70%. Also, appropriate conduct and behavior expected of a college-level geology student will be factored into your grade.

F = no attendance or left trip early and did not turn any work in; no quiz taken. Also, appropriate conduct and behavior expected of a college-level geology student will be factored into your grade.

Note: I have had to add this statement based on past student behavior: 

No Smoking during field lectures and activities.  If you cannot adhere to this requirement you should not sign up for the course.  Due to past student health issues (asthma and other lung issues) smoking can be dangerous to others around you.

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.