|The Department Spacecraft Missions Ground-Based Research|
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 13 | 14 | 15
Once every few months we’d have a field trip to some region of Arizona. There are all sorts of great memories from that. Everyone loved the field trips. The Pinacates in Mexico was a standard trip. Jay Melosh was the professor that taught us. He taught a planetary surfaces class, and planetary geophysics. But he thought it was important to get the students out of this Department and get them out in the field. There are a lot of things you just can’t teach by sitting in a classroom. I think all of my friends agree that we probably learned more on those field trips than we ever learned in class.
Jay would have assignments where every student would have to prepare a presentation for some stop you’d make along the road, so it would be some mountain or some feature or some fault you’d have to describe. Then you’d have to give handouts to everyone, and then for 15, 20 minutes you’d have to lead the discussion on what was interesting about that feature. Then we’d drive on to the next place.
So we went to the Pinacates in Mexico; we also went to Meteor Crater and also some other things up in near Flagstaff. We did other field trips to a lot of different other places: White Sands, New Mexico; Canyonlands; we went to southwest California where you have a number of playas, dry lakes, and the Blackhawk Landslide.
Almost everything that one could drive to, we went to, over the course of five or six years. We always got big turnouts, because they were fun. You had to actually do science, but on the other hand, you would see a lot of things, and then night would come, you’d break out the beer and sit around the campfire and everyone just had a great time.
A professor who was here at the time, Laurel Wilkening, had organized a trip for us to go to see Meteor Crater, and actually get a tour of the crater, with a professor who was an expert in meteor craters. The idea was, we would go up, camp out in Oak Creek Canyon, and the next day go up to Meteor Crater. Well, Cliff Stoll and Bob Howell, who were both big bicyclists, decided that the thing they would do was actually bicycle to Oak Creek Canyon. They took off a week early, and of course it’s hard to find roads that aren’t freeways that connect parts of the state. They rode back roads, all the way from here to Flagstaff.
The day before they were supposed to arrive—we were going to all meet in this camp in Oak Creek Canyon—it snowed. It snowed in Flagstaff, and they cancelled the tour. But there was no way we could get in touch with these two guys. So all the other students looked at each other and said, “What the heck, let’s go up there anyway.” So we drove up just to meet these guys and rescue them, and camped out overnight and drove back down to Tucson. But that’s the only time I’ve heard of anybody bicycling to Flagstaff.
|Directory | LARS | LPL Library | LPL WebMail | Webmaster|
Department of Planetary Sciences
Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
1629 E. University Blvd.
Tucson AZ 85721
Copyright © 2008 Arizona Board of Regents