Saddleback College students explore Sierra Nevada geology

Elizabeth Ortiz

Exploring the Eastern Sierra Nevada under $100 and receiving one science unit is as affordable as buying dinner and a movie for two.

Here’s what is offered: three days of travel, food, transportation and tour guide are provided along with receiving extra credit for science class.
Geology instructor Peter Borella has been taking students on approximately six field study trips a year for the past 20 years and explains that is one of the best programs in the country.

“The geology is here in California,” Borella said. “It’s the best deal in town and everyone gets an A,” Borella said.
There is a lot of glacial geology to study in the Sierras, such as volcanic and geothermal activity and along paths, fossils can be found.  

He explained that it’s primitive camping and wherever the group lands at the end of the day before nightfall is where everyone will sleep, tents or no tents.

Around 20 people showed up at the pre-trip meeting to sign a disclaimer, the code of conduct and an insurance release.

“Close to 200 field trips over the years and I can guarantee that there has been remarkably low rates of casualties,” instructor and field trip cook Jim Repka said.

This program is available to all Saddleback College students and many return due to a previous camping experience.

“I went on a two week excursion in the summer and it was a blast.” said geology major Angelica Cruz. “Getting outside the bubble is breathtaking and beautiful.”

Some students are new to science and are going for the first time.

“It’s my first geology class and camping is a lot of fun,” said Jessica Medran, an anthropology major.
These trips are available by checking the geology section of the Saddleback College class listings.

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