Text Box: Newsletter of the Physical Sciences at Solano Community College

New Proposed Field Study Course

As an Earth Science Instructor, I dream of my students leaving our classroom with the quest to see the world around them with a whole new set of eyes. In the classroom, my students can only learn so much before we need to go outdoors. In the field, their appreciation and depth of understanding come to life. They return to class with more interest and more questions than ever before.

First on my plate for department courses is the creation of a one unit Field Study Course to go along with or after the Introductory Physical Geography or Geology Course.

The plan for one of the field courses consists of spending several 3-hour evening sessions working with topographic, geologic and fault maps. We would look at the area’s dam placements and create questions to solve before we travel down the nearby South Fork American River. The river carves canyons providing an excellent way to see an Ophiolite Complex (cross-section of the seafloor).

A plan for a second field course includes studying the East Side of the Sierras. After many hours with maps, we would travel to Mono Lake and Rock Creek to investigate the unique ecosystem and history of the Owens River. In addition, we would also be able to map the volcanic flows of Rock Creek and determine the chronology of the flow events.

The field course location and study will change from spring to fall semesters and year-to-year depending on the conditions.

-Article and Photo
by Danielle Widemann




Astronomy is branching out!

New Classes in Fall ’06:

Students will have the opportunity to learn more about their favorite branch of astronomy!

Astronomy 30 – The Solar System: An introductory study of solar system astronomy, the physics related to that astronomy, the planets and their moons, the sun, solar system debris, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

Astronomy 40 – Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology: An introductory study of stars, galaxies, the universe, and the physics related to these topics. This includes an examination of the facts relating to the sun, stellar lifetimes, supernovae, black holes, and cosmology.

Recent additions:

Astronomy 10 – General Astronomy: New Online sections have been added. An introductory study of the universe, including the properties and evolution of galaxies, stars, pulsars, black holes, quasars, the sun, planets and life in the universe.

Astronomy 20 – Astronomy Laboratory:
Students will gain familiarity with the sky, telescopes, and other astronomical equipment. They will do experiments in physics related to astronomy. Topics will cover the moon, planets, stars, galaxies, and cosmology.

-Philip Petersen