Iceland Preparations

The Iceland field-trip crew has been busy preparing for our upcoming trip. Two weeks ago we had a camp stove cook-off. Students came up with recipes, bought the ingredients and cooked everything on the camp stoves.

One of our simpler creations.

One of our simpler creations.

Lighting the stoves proved trickier than expected. Now imagine typical Icelandic weather: driving rain and 30-miles-an-hour winds. We better practice some more …How does this lighter work?

In the end a bunch of very critical tasters agreed that team Lupine’s Cashew Beef Curry won first prize. Cameron’s recipe of salt with tasty salty bits and a bit of salt won first prize for nutritious content: it came out to have about 6000 mg of salt per serving. Better hold off on those bullion cubes, Cam!

Tough judges!

Tough judges!

food_tastingThe following week we set up tents. The weather was again very Icelandic: in the low forties and some sprinkles of rain.

Looks good to me, what do you think?

Looks good to me, what do you think?

Groups practiced setting up tents and checked whether all our tents were complete. Luckily, most of them were.

So, how many of these do we need?

So, how many of these do we need?

Jon explaining some of the finer points of tent setup.

Given the fact that many students had been with us to Utah last year Jon had surprisingly little to do and all the tents went up in no time.

Four happy campers.

Four happy campers.

 

The Perks of Volunteering

Last week I spent an afternoon at a nearby elementary school teaching 3rd graders about rocks. The already knew about the rock cycle, but their hand samples were pretty mediocre – pebble size, maybe. So I loaded up our cart with a couple hundred pounds of rocksĀ  and spent the afternoon teaching those kids on “How to become a rock-detective”. It was fun and I got some cool thank-you letters back. Mackenzie clearly remembered what volcanic bombs look like:volcanic bomb
The students wrote thank you letters and asked follow up questions. Here are a few:

Q: What is your favorite rock?
A: A blue schist from Russian River, CA

Q: On a scale from 1 to 1,000,0000 how much do you like your job?
A: 999,980 (nothing is perfect, but some things come close)

Q: What do you teach those College kids?
A: Lots of stuff: Geology, Physics, Climatology, how to do research and plenty more

Q: How much money do you make?
A: Enough to feed my wife, kids, two dogs, and a cat.

Q: What do you do all day?
A: I teach, do research, visit nosy 3rd graders, spend too much time in meetings.

And, finally, I received an awesome portrait, drawn by an amazing artist.awesome portrait
I must say my new friend Angelo got it right: flannel shirt, rolled up sleeves, beard, glasses, rock cart (note the ripple marks on the sandstone!!) – the works.

:-)