ES 4001Y

Earth Sciences 4001Y: Planetary Surfaces Field School 

Location: Northern Arizona and Southern Utah
Instructor: Gordon Osinski

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.

Click here to view the course syllabus

Fees and Registration:

Prerequisite(s): Earth Sciences 2200A/B, 2250Y.

Extra Information: A ten-day field course typically held in early May, but may be offered at other times of the year depending on weather in international locations, 0.5 course.

Note: Students expecting to graduate in the current year’s Spring Convocation cannot take the course. Students must register prior to the September “Add” deadline for full courses (see Undergraduate Sessional Dates).

Partial cost of the field expenses must be borne by the student, and is payable to the Department prior to the September “Add” deadline. The cost per student will vary depending on travel destination. Fees are non-refundable in the event of a course drop, except in extenuating circumstances.

Photos from the Field