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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Student begin to discover when going beyond the classroom

By Casey Holder/reporter 

TCC geology students look out near the top of their hike into the Grand Canyon. NE Campus’ geology mini-course takes students through Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico while providing credit in two geology courses and a camping course.
Photos courtesy Hayden Chasteen

One NE Campus natural sciences professor wants students out of the classroom while earning nine credit hours.

Students still have time to sign up for a geology mini-course that, while taking them through Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico, will also offer credit in Geology Field Methods (GEOL 2407), Environmental Geology (GEOL 1305) and Camping (PHED 1106). The course runs May 3-June 12 with the actual trip scheduled to begin May 28. The trip will cost $750 per student plus registration fees for the classes and must be paid in full by April 30.

“Exposure is what this is about — exposure to as much geology as possible,” said geology associate professor and trip adviser Hayden Chasteen.

Participants in the course should be prepared to get dirty as they are immersed in the field to see the American West in a way that most will never have the opportunity to do, Chasteen said. Every night is spent in a tent, and the group cooks nearly every meal. For some, this is the appeal of the course.

The trip originally was designed by Dr. Clair Ossian, a NE geology professor who developed it from field training programs he did with ARCO Oil. Ossian passed on his supervisory position to Chasteen only because of limitations created by his age.

“I gave it up with great reluctance,” Ossian said. “I can’t chase students up and down mountains so easily.”

Students should be warned, however. This is truly an adventure, Chasteen said. Past excursions have seen everything from snowdrifts to sandstorms. One must be prepared to cast off some of the creature comforts that have become ordinary.

“For most people, cooking is going to McDonald’s or pushing a button on a microwave,” Chasteen said. “Out there, you really have to cook every meal.”

Living, working and traveling with like-minded individuals creates a unique bond, especially when shared in the vast

Two students pose at the Grand Canyon after a long hike. On past excursions, students have encountered everything from snowdrifts to sandstorms. Instructors warn that students should be prepared to cast off expected creature comforts as the entire trip is outdoors. Payment deadline for this year’s trip is April 30.
Photos courtesy Hayden Chasteen

outdoors, said NE math instructional assistant and past participant Bill Harvick.

“I enjoyed most traveling and being with the group,” he said. “I enjoyed the places we saw.”

A number of seminars that cover both basic camping do’s and don’ts as well as give a general foundation in the science are scheduled for participants before the excursion sets off. Participants will even practice setting up and taking down their tents during the third class.

For more information, contact Chasteen at 817-515-6694 or by e-mail at hayden.chasteen@tccd.edu.

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