Since 1993, the David and Cary Cassa Fund, created by Mary Rose Cassa ’76 in honor of her parents, has helped students and faculty take earth science-focused trips to locales as varied as Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Glacier national parks as well as the British Isles and Iceland.
This year, 13 students, two faculty members and John Pohl ’78, P’06 spent spring break scrambling over and under rocks, hiking to a volcano’s mouth and touring some of most renowned cultural landmarks in Sicily.
“[John Pohl] and I have been talking about a trip for the past couple of years,” said Ben Edwards, associate professor and chair of earth sciences. Pohl decided that the opportunity to accompany niece Leslie Milliman ’14 on the trip seemed especially fortuitous.
The trip began in the foothills of Siracusa, where the group saw remnants of a Greek amphitheatre and a Roman coliseum. The group also hiked the Hyblean Plateau, hunted for fossils at Capo Milazzo, toured the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, climbed the still-active volcano, Mount Etna, and discovered the purported home of the mythical monster the Cyclops.
“The trip was a great mix of geology, archaeology and culture,” said geology major Everett Lasher '11. “We [also] experienced firsthand the late-night dining habits of the Sicilians; their love of the eight-course, four-hour lunch breaks; and the fast-paced city driving that seemed to make Professor Edwards nervous.”
Text by Michelle Simmons
Photos by Ben Edwards