This post was written by Kathleen Miller, a geology senior. This was her experience taking Geology 4113 Depositional Systems and Stratigraphy. Field trips are an integral part of the geology curriculum and you can support them now during the Thousands Strong campaign, click here to donate. All donations are being matched one-to-one!
Hello! My name is Kathleen and I am a senior geology major at The ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics. I am currently taking Depositional Systems and Stratigraphy, an upper level course in the geology program, and recently experienced the four-day field trip associated with the course. I had such a great experience having the opportunity to take this field trip! The professor for the class, Dr. Lynn Soreghan, does an amazing job organizing this trip, and not only makes it fun and interesting, but also packing it full of useful and relevant information and activities.
For this field trip we went to several locations in southern New Mexico and Northern Texas, including white sands national monument, several stops in the Sacramento Mountains, spent a day hiking a Permian reef in the Guadalupe Mountains, along with several other stops associated with the reef system, and finally stopping at Carlsbad Caverns before returning to Norman. The field trip is organized so that we get to experience traveling through time in a sense as we go from the Sacramento Mountains and hike through the Permian reef. I personally thought this was one of the most interesting and exciting things I have experienced thus far during my time at OU. It was so cool and inspiring to be able to hike up an ancient Permian reef and experience this magnificent system up close and in person. It was exciting to be able to see in person in the field the things we are learning about in lecture. During the trip we were required to keep a field notebook of all the stops we made and information we were given, which was also great practice for field camp. We also spent a day working on creating a stratigraphic column from a road cut section in La Luz Canyon. The field trip was also great because of the team building and camaraderie that was developed with my classmates, many of which I will be working with during our six-week summer field camp. This has been great for building those relationships with my peers and improve team work skills. The trip was very busy and physically trying, but well worth it and one of the best experiences I have had the opportunity to experience while at the University of Oklahoma.
Taking this trip has greatly enhanced my experience here at the University of Oklahoma, and has significantly benefited my studies in pursuit of my degree. Being able to go out into the field and get hands on learning has been essential to helping me develop a better understanding of not only the course material for this particular class, but also for the geologic sciences as a whole. I am very grateful that The ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics has made this field trip possible, I believe without these field trips, our programs would be lacking in essential hands on experiences needed for students to excel in their degree programs and beyond.