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One rockin' field trip

It’s been an eventful and exciting home coming week for the Wildcats, but while most of the school stayed

for the festivities, a few individuals from the geography department and several other departments headed out for their own kind of excitement in the The City of Rocks National Reserve.

The outing lasted for two days and nights, wherein the students and faculty enjoyed the geology, biology and history of the reserve.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to learn everything in geography,” Brian Dorsey, trip adviser and head of the geography department, said. “From physical geography to biogeography and historical geography, City of Rocks gives us a unique chance to learn about geomorphology and how landforms are created.”

After setting up camp, the group began to do personal observations of the area’s vast rock formations, which entice nature lovers and professional rock climbers from around the world to visit them.

“What I enjoyed most was just going outside and exploring a different region,” Sam Stout, a senior majoring in geography, said. “Going somewhere I hadn’t been before and just studying the geology of that area was just amazing, I never realized just how unique and how big the rocks were. You see pictures of them but you never really see how massive and unique they are in person.”

The City of Rocks, also known as “the silent city,” is a United States national reserve and state park lying two miles north of the southern central border Idaho shares with Utah. Its historic importance can be dated back to the early 1800’s when it became a key point in the California, Mormon and Oregon Trails.

“The history was pretty interesting,” Senior Drew Hodge said of the trip. “Just a few families coming down and settling that area, it changed the path to California from the Midwest which allowed us to shape the American frontier.”

“What I learned the most about was just all the hard work it took for people to settle in that area,” Stout said. “All the history and all the trials that they went through with different cultures and homesteading and their ability to triumph over it.”

Most of Saturday for the students was spent on hiking paths around famous rock formations while stopping to examine the local rock forms and flora. “It’s the perfect place to study,” Hodge said. “It’s a place where all the different sciences meet—like geology, geography, botany, biology. It’s just an all around beautiful area.”

Not only did the students get to enjoy the scenery but also the joys of camping and meeting new people around a fire. “Good times, good people, just really good company.” said Hodges.

“I love getting to know everyone,” Dorsey said. “We just relax and have fun. You’re as serious as you want to be and we learn just as much from each other as students do from me.”

Students from this class will spend time working on individual reports about what they learned from the trip, which fulfills the needed requirements to earn credit for the class. Field studies like this trip vary from major to major and, depending on prerequisites, can be available for students of all majors. For more information on field studies like this one, please see one of the various department heads at Weber State.


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