Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Senior Year Utah State: Geology, Spring Quarter 1981

I graduated from USU in 1981.  Why I was taking a 101 level course my final quarter before graduating could be explained by my fear of collage science and math courses.  I was looking for an easy way to get my math requirements our of the way.  Geology qualified as a physical science credit.
I enjoyed geology.  The new kind of material stimulated my thinking.  I found the study of rocks interesting; particularly geological formations.  I was fascinated in thinking about how the geography around developed; which rocks were older, and how the geology had changed. 
Geological deformation fascinated me.  These included : anticlines (frownie faces in the rock layers); synclines (smiley faces); mono clines (sort of curvy lopsided faces) and faults. 
I also enjoyed studying formations, and how sometimes the oldest rocks got thrust up and the younger rocks pushed down—so a mountain doesn’t always have the young rocks on top and older ones on the bottom. 
I also enjoyed studying erosion and the formation of deltas, alluvial fans, dunes and such things.  The formation of valleys and how rivers and mountain evolve, the falling away of rock through freezing or chemical erosion leaving balanced rocks, pedestals and arches, and the formation of deposits in the sea making atolls, bay bars and lagoons.
We also studied fossils and dinosaurs, which I found less interesting.  We talked about some basic techniques to find oil which was interesting.
One thing I liked about the class was being able to do well in the class with relative ease.  I figured this was because most of the students were newer and not as experienced as I in terms of taking tests and studying effectively.  I sort of let down for the final however.  I figured I didn’t need to study hard and do well because I had done well enough on the other tests to slide through. 
We went on an end of the class field trip.  The professor took us around and we looked at fossils, faults, synclines and other fun things.  We looked at the banks of the old Lake Bonneville on the hill sides, with alluvial fans and benches.  The professor was older, but he enjoyed running and climbing.  He took us up Logan Canyon where we found trilobite fossils in the rock.  It was all good.

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