Students taking geology courses have the opportunity to really “dig in” and experience education in the field.
In 1999, an Ice Age mammoth was discovered six feet underground on Principia campus between Rackham Court and Gehner. The area soon became a paleontologic excavation site, presided over by Geology Department chair Dr. Janis Treworgy (C’76). She describes this unique learning opportunity: “Students get valuable hands-on experience excavating for bones and working in the lab to remove the dirt (matrix) from bones already discovered, sometimes finding more bones in the process.” They also have opportunities to reinforce what they’re learning by teaching others, since, as Treworgy notes, “part of the course involves giving tours to school and adult groups that come to visit.”
In the Local Area
Educational opportunities often occur beyond the classroom. For example, the Environmental Geology class will visit a surface coal mine to observe mining and reclamation techniques, or the Nonrenewable Resources class can visit a working underground coal mine.
Around the World
Periodically, students also have the opportunity to study geology much farther afield on the popular study abroad program in Mongolia, which Treworgy leads. The group travels to various parts of this diverse country to study different geologic features.