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Summer Field Course

Summer Quarter 2014  

 BIOL 496/596 or GEOL 496/596

Natural History of the Olympic Peninsula 

Instructors:  Drs. O'Quinn and Thomson and Nigel Davies

Objectives:  A seven-day field trip to the Olympic Peninsula for the purpose of examining the geology and biology of the coastal portion of Washington State.  In this exploration of the Olympic Peninsula we will examine (plate tectonics, beach geology, glaciation, metamorphism and more).  We will explore wave-carved beaches and tide pools, lush temperate rainforests, and alpine meadows extending to the base of glacier covered peaks to observe how geological processes, topography, and maritime influences have combined to create some of the most diverse and productive ecosystems in North America.

Dates:  Field course meets 13 July through 19 July 2014.  We will depart Cheney on Sunday, 13 July at 7:00 am sharp from the parking lot above the EWU stadium, returning there late on 19 July.  Pack a lunch for the first day and have it with you in the van.

Pre-trip Meeting:  A mandatory pre-trip meeting is scheduled for 1 July (Tuesday) at 6:00 pm in the Geology Department (SCI 135) on the Cheney campus.  It is critical (and expected) you attend this very important meeting!

Tentative Itinerary:

Sun, Jul 13     Depart EWU campus at Cheney, WA.  Roadside biology/geology.  Camp near Sequim, WA

Mon, Jul 14     Stop at Olympic N.P. visitor center; explore Hurricane Ridge area.  Camp near Sequim, WA

Tue, Jul 15     Elwha drainage; roadside geology and biology; tide pools.  Camp at Bogachiel State Park near Forks, WA

Wed, Jul 16     Long hike at Ozette, WA;  coastal geology and biology.  Camp at Bogachiel State Park near Forks, WA

Thr, Jul 17     Hike in Hoh Valley, Olympic National Park.  Camp at Ocean City State Park near Hoquiam, WA

Fri, Jul 18     Coastal biology/geology, various hikes.  Camp at Ocean City State Park near Hoquiam, WA

Sat, Jul 19     Return drive to EWU campus at Cheney, WA.  Arrive early evening.

Text:  Roadside Geology of Washington by Alt and Hyndman and Cascade Olympic Natural History by D. Mathews are both required.  We encourage you to order them directly on-line or from your favorite book seller.  Some handouts will be provided. Bring money to purchase maps and trail guides along the way (strongly recommended).

Course Fees:  There is a $218 course fee (in addition to tuition) which pays for university vans used for transportation, camping and park entry fees.  Students must provide their own camping gear and food during the trip.

Equipment:  Students need to provide their own camping gear for the trip (a recommended equipment list is found on the reverse).  We will be camping at mostly state park campgrounds during the entire trip and preparing our meals in the field.  Grocery stops will be limited so plan accordingly.

Expectations: Attend the pre-trip meeting (mandatory.)  Complete a set of pre-trip questions (both biology and geology) due at departure time, maintain a notebook with daily summaries of activities and a road log of the trip that clearly describes each stop with text and sketches, and answer a set of post-trip questions.  **A short research paper is also required, to be completed prior to departure.**  The notebook, term paper and post-trip questions are due after returning from the field experience, no later than 26 July 2013.  Graduate students will make special presentations in the field during the trip.  All park and campground rules shall be observed by all participants in this field trip.

Grading:  Students taking this course for credit in partial fulfillment of their degree program must enroll for a grade.  All other "continuing education" students may take the Pass/Fail option if they so desire, but must complete the field notebook and pre-trip and post-trip questions.  Students must register for the appropriate grade option prior to the field class.

Rigor:  Some extended hiking will be done and it is expected that students will be in very good physical condition.  Students must be able to carry out physical activity at high elevation.  Students with personal medical concerns must notify an instructor before participating in this field trip.

More information:  Call Dr. Thomson in the Department of Geology at (509) 359-2286, or Dr. O'Quinn in the Department of Biology at (509) 359-2339, or consult:

Suggested list of survival equipment:

1.  Outdoor clothing (including a good quality rain jacket, warm jacket, sweater, long pants, hat, gloves, etc. in case of inclement weather).  Daytime temperatures will most likely be pleasant, however, it will get cool and damp at night. Also consider bringing shorts and t-shirts for hiking in warm weather.  Expect variable weather conditions!  Bring a swimsuit in case an opportunity presents itself.

2.  Sturdy lightweight hiking shoes (soft soles recommended) in good condition and extra socks;  tennis shoes and/or sandals for around camp.

3.  Shelter - pair up with someone and share a good quality, lightweight nylon tent with a good rain fly.  Bring a small tarp if your tent doesn't have a rain fly.  Also, don't forget a ground cloth for your tent.  Expect some rain!

4.  Sleeping bag and pad - recall that it may get cool at night.  No cots or huge inflatable mattresses, please!

5.  Food - we will be camping every night and also preparing meals in the field.  Plan your meals ahead of time, preferably using foods items that do not break or spoil.  Also, bring your own snack food for hiking.  Because of space considerations, coolers are NOT allowed.  We recommend packing your foodstuffs in a small, plastic storage box - available at any hardware store.  Pack your lunch for the first day of travel and have it in the vehicle.

6.  Camp stove - again, pair up with someone and share a stove.

7.  Eating utensils - to be both fed and polite!  Include a bowl, knife, spoon, etc.

8.  Personal toiletry items, towel, etc.

9.  Water bottles - bring at least three (3) one-liter water bottles.  We will provide all the water you can drink.

10.  Money - as everyone knows, one can always survive with money!

11.  Sturdy day pack - a roomy day pack to carry your lunch, notebook, water bottles, sweater, etc.  Do not bring a frame backpack!  This is not a backpacking trip, but we will go on extended day hikes.

12.  Notebook, pencils (some colored) and pens.  Texts and handouts.

13.  No rock hammers or plant presses.  We will be visiting state and national parks, therefore, no collecting rocks and plants! 

14.  Miscellaneous: broad-rimmed hat, sun screen, sun glasses and bandana.  Flashlight for around camp at night.

Non-essential items (what the heck, go first class)

1.  Camera and film - buy your film (and extra batteries) ahead of time as it can be very expensive in tourist areas.

2.  Extra bucks for purchase of books, materials and maps along the way.  Always tempting!

3.  Hand lens and binoculars.  Plant, bird, bug and rock field guides.

 Important Note:  Please try to pack all of the above items (except food) in a soft duffel to facilitate packing the gear.  Avoid suitcases or frame backpacks!  Also, keep important or necessary items in your day pack for instant access during travel.  Pack compactly.

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