2017 Arizona and New Mexico

During spring break (March 12-18) 2017, 4 faculty and 15 ERSC majors explored the deserts of southern Arizona and New Mexico. This was the largest Cassa trip ever!  We took advantage of Aly Thibodeau’s regional experience in AZ where she did her Ph.D. at UA and Rob Dean’s experience in NM where he did his M.S. at UTEP.  Profs. Marcus Key and Ben Edwards contributed color commentary and drove vans.  Students included Kendra Bonsey ’19, Allison Curley ’19, Billy Dougherty ’18, Kyle Fitch '18, David Gerstenfeld ’20, Ivy Gilbert ’18, Amanda Haddock ’19, Billy Irving ’19, Sophia Larson '17, Rachael Moore ’18, Tom O'Donnell ’19, Niomi Phillips ’18, Karuna Sah ’19, Amanda Santilli '17, and Rita Stern ’17.  Highlights included 1) a living cave in Mississippian limestone at Kartchner Caverns State Park, AZ, 2) not climbing on the stunning hoodoos in Chiricahua National Monument, AZ, 3) touring the Freeport-McMoRan open pit copper mine in Safford, AZ, 4) collecting mantle olivine xenocrysts on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, AZ, 5) Kilbourne Hole maar volcano, NM, 6) Cerro de Cristo Rey Cretaceous dinosaur tracksite in Sunland Park, NM, 7) 4.8 ka lava flows in the Valley of Fires Recreation Area near Corrizozo, NM, 8) Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, NM, 9) surfing the gypsum sand dunes at White Sands National Monument, NM, and 10) exploring Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, NM.