This course will use an interdisciplinary approach to studying the unique geologic setting of Central America. This natural bridge between North and South America is influenced by the movement of five tectonic plates which results in extensive earthquake and volcanic activity. As the population increases, additional natural hazards such as hurricanes, droughts, floods, and landslides become more critical. As the region develops economically, the importance of mineral and energy resources, as well as water resources, grows. Development must balance economic needs, safety, and preservation of nature. In this course, we will address the topics of plate tectonics, natural disasters, mineral and energy resources, water resources, and land forms. We will stress the intersection of people and geology. Field experiences to geologic sites will augment the class discussions.
Field ClassCountry: Peru
We will travel by bus to Morro Solar in the Chorrillos district in front of the San Lorenzo island. Here a geology professor from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru will discuss the very interesting sedimentary history. We will then travel to the Andres Del Castillo Museum where we will have a special tour led by the curator. This museum has an excellent collection of crystals from throughout the region. After lunch we will travel to the Gold Museum to observe the historic specimens there. We will be accompanied by students and professors from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru throughout the day.