Archive for June 4th, 2010

Wooster Geologists in the Negev

June 4th, 2010

Andrew Retzler (Wooster, Ohio) and Micah Risacher (Westerville, Ohio). Wooster seniors deep in the desert of southern Israel and loving it.

MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL — Andrew Retzler, Micah Risacher and I arrived in southern Israel yesterday evening after a 24-hour journey from Wooster.  (My boots still have Mississippi mud on them, by the way.)  Our primary mission on this trip is to collect data for Andrew and Micah’s Senior Independent Study projects.  Like Megan Innis on the southern USA trip last month, they are studying Late Cretaceous sediments and fossils.  The K/T boundary here is not as dramatic as it is in Alabama (it is far more erosional in the Middle East), but it is still impressive to easily step between the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Eras.

Field area for the Negev team just north of Makhtesh Ramon, Israel.

We are staying in the little desert town of Mitzpe Ramon, which looks a lot like my treasured hometown of Barstow, California.  Mitzpe Ramon is perched on the northern rim of Makhtesh Ramon, a beautiful breached anticlinal erosion structure sometimes called “the Grand Canyon of Israel”.  We are working with my longtime colleague and friend Yoav Avni of the Geological Survey of Israel, who lives in Mitzpe Ramon and is an outstanding expert on Negev geology and geomorphology.  We will also be joined by Stuart Chubb, a PhD student in the geology program at Birkbeck College, London.  He is working on Cretaceous sharks along ancient depth gradients.

Mitzpe Ramon, Israel.

Hot here, of course, but not so bad with the light breezes and quick-cooling evenings.  We are very much looking forward to the adventures ahead of us.

Makhtesh Ramon as seen from the town of Mitzpe Ramon.

Up to Alaska

June 4th, 2010

guest blogger: Stephanie

We arrived in Juno last night a little past 10 PM local time (that’s 2 AM for us…) after a long day of traveling, to be greeted by stuffed bears in the airport (awesome!). After spending a night in the lovely Breakwater Inn, we had an amazing breakfast at Donna’s, swung by the Mendenhall glacier in the Tongass National Forest, and then waited in the airport for Dan Lawson, of CRREL (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory).

The Breakwater Inn

Mount Juneau

The Mendenhall glacier

The "stream" at the hatchery. When spawning time comes, the salmon hatched here return.

Shopping followed, as did lunch and a quick trip to the salmon hatchery. Then it was back to the airport to catch our flight to Gustavus, which provided us with some awesome views of the inlets and mountains in the area.

Our plane!!

A cirque, a basin formed by a glacier, seen from our plane.

Once in Gustavus, we went on into Glacier Bay National Park to the headquarters to plan for the next few days and learn some bear safety tips. Tomorrow, it’s to the field!