ES 4001Y

Earth Sciences 4001Y: Planetary Surfaces Field School 

Field study of the geology and biology of various Moon/Mars analogue sites in North America. The main focus of the course will be an 11-day residential field experience examining various localities in northern Arizona and southern Utah, to take place in late April/early May. This region of the southwestern United States is a world-renowned environment for comparative planetology; the Apollo astronauts were trained there in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Field stops will focus on meteorite impact cratering (e.g., Meteor Crater, AZ; Upheaval Dome crater, UT), volcanism (e.g., Sunset Crater volcanic field, AZ), and canyon and valley formation (e.g., Canyonlands National Park, UT). Many of the locations to be visited are considered world-class terrestrial analogues for the Moon and Mars, such as Meteor Crater: the best-preserved meteorite impact crater on Earth. The goal of this course is to provide students with an interdisciplinary field studies experience with an emphasis on comparative planetology through the study of terrestrial analogues. Terrestrial analogues are places on Earth that approximate the geological and environmental conditions on the Moon, Mars and other planetary bodies, either at the present-day or in the past. This course will introduce students from a wide range of backgrounds to various aspects of planetary science, with an emphasis on planetary surface processes. The topics of astrobiology and planetary materials will also be integrated into this field program. Cross-listed with the Planetary Science 9605 graduate course.

 

Photos from the Field