The UCC geology club was recently granted $1,000 from the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies to help fund a stream table and research into fish habitats. The club plans to use the grant to visit elementary and middle schools to teach younger students about stream environments and their geology.
The club was started during fall term of 2014 when several students felt the desire to learn about and study geology beyond the classroom. One of these students was Cora Seibert who now serves as the geology club’s president.
“My only experience with nature was here in Oregon,” Seibert said. “I’d never really gone camping until I moved to Oregon when I was 20. [And] I’ve learned from Karen’s classes about geology and been so inspired. To have an environment where others can learn is really cool.”
Karen Carroll is the geology professor and the club’s faculty adviser. “The purpose [of the club] was to expose students, anybody, not even science majors, to geology in the Pacific Northwest and beyond so we can understand geology better,” Carroll said.
That message expands into the club’s purpose for the grant. Using the stream table and fish habitat information, the club hopes to inform elementary or middle school students about geology and in the process create enthusiasm for the subject.
“The UCC students get to share their knowledge of geology and also work with children and teach them,” Carroll said.
The club plans to first present the stream table at UCC’s child care center.
The table emulates a real world stream environment by showing how a stream changes over time under effects of erosion. Stream tables are an important aspect of any geology lab, and when the chance to purchase one through a grant arose, the club began to write their proposal.
“We heard about the grant [opportunity], and three club members sat down, wrote the proposal and submitted it,” Carroll said. “The grant was approved through multiple agencies, one of them being the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). We were granted money to buy parts and pay for transportation.”
Besides their community outreach plans, the geology club also serves as a convenient environment for students to study and express their love of nature and the Earth. The club sets up study groups either on campus or at local businesses such as Abby’s where members prepare for upcoming Geology class exams.
The club has also begun a crystal growing experiment where club members test how various chemicals interact with crystals. A field trip to the coast is being planned that will be free to all geology club members. Last term, the club hosted a potluck and movie night, and this term they plan to do the same.
“We watched ‘Dante’s Peak’ [last term], which is a volcano movie,” Carroll said. “We don’t know about this term, but we’re thinking of ‘Supervolcano,’ which actually has a lot of science and is very realistic of what may happen at Yellowstone.” The event will be open to anyone who wishes to attend.
The club typically meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 3:15 p.m. in Science 16. A Facebook page can be found for the club at Facebook.com/groups/uccgeologyclub. Any geology student is welcome to attend, as well as any student who appreciates the world’s environments.
“You don’t have to be a geology student,” Siebert said; “just be a fan of the outdoors.”