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travels in geology

Travels in Geology: Western Nebraska's geoheritage gems

Western Nebraska does not usually appear on lists of travel destinations, yet this region has a historical and cultural significance as vast as its landscape. For more than 500,000 westbound pioneers who tenaciously crossed the continent along the Oregon, California and Mormon trails, this region — where the flat plains give way to a rugged terrain of sculpted badlands and rocky bluffs — heralded their arrival in the West.

24 Oct 2013

Writing on the Rocks

Visitors to White Sands should plan on making a slight detour to the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, an hour’s drive from the national monument. This scenic basalt ridge between White Sands and the White Mountains contains one of the greatest concentrations of petroglyphs anywhere in the Southwest. More than 21,000 petroglyphs of geometric and abstract shapes, faces and animals were etched into the dark rocks by the Jornada Mogollon people, who lived in this area between A.D. 1000 and 1400. 

 
24 Sep 2013

Getting There and Getting Around New Mexico

White Sands National Monument is located in south-central New Mexico. To get there, fly into Albuquerque or El Paso, rent a car and drive 360 kilometers south on Interstate 25 from Albuquerque or 160 kilometers north from El Paso. The closest town to White Sands is Las Cruces, which has plenty of hotels, restaurants and attractions, including a natural history museum and a historic Spanish village. 

 
24 Sep 2013

Missile testing

White Sands National Monument is surrounded by military installations, with the White Sands Missile Range to the north and Holloman Air Force Base to the east. Occasionally, the national monument and U.S. Highway 70 between Alamogordo and Las Cruces are closed due to missile testing. 

 
24 Sep 2013

Travels in Geology: Exotic dunes and atomic bombs in New Mexico's White Sands

The Desert Southwest is famous for out-of-this-world landscapes — some places look like the moon, others like Mars — but New Mexico’s White Sands National Monument, at the very northern end of the Chihuahuan Desert, offers an otherworldly backdrop like no other

24 Sep 2013

Travels in Geology: Journeying through Cuba's geology and culture

It’s not every day that you get the chance to go to Cuba, so when I found out that the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) was offering an organized trip there in March 2013, I jumped at the opportunity. The excursion — nearly two weeks of exploration of our southern neighbor’s geology and culture — did not disappoint.

28 Jul 2013

Getting there and getting around in Cuba

Because of the U.S. embargo against Cuba, U.S. citizens must go through a travel agency licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department that provides “people-to-people” travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens. Because booking with this type of travel agency is required, the U.S. State Department’s website on visiting Cuba is a great place to start: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1097.html.

28 Jul 2013

Getting There and Getting Around Spain

Two airports serve Tenerife, which is a 2.5-hour plane ride away from Spain’s capital, Madrid. Most inter-island flights, plus those from mainland Spain, arrive at Tenerife Norte (Los Rodeos), 11 kilometers from Santa Cruz, the island’s largest city. Nearly all international flights (even those on Ryanair) arrive at the larger Tenerife Sur airport (Reina Sofía), located about 60 kilometers south of Santa Cruz.  Although there are established bus routes across the island, the most convenient way to explore it is by car. A number of local and international agencies have depots at both airports.

24 Jul 2013

Mass wasting

Like all volcanic islands, Tenerife represents a balance between constructional and erosional forces. Over millions of years, repeated eruptions of magma pile up, slowly building the shield volcanoes. Occasionally, however, this long-term construction is punctuated by destruction in the form of massive, lightning-fast landslides.

 
24 Jul 2013

Travels in Geology: The Canary Islands: Touring the "Hawaii of Europe"

I was standing on top of the world. No matter which direction I looked, steep cinder slopes dropped away sharply, merging with the thick white billows of sea fog below. A chilly wind swirled around me. In the distance, the dark peaks of other great mountains poked above the clouds, and I glimpsed shining patches of deep blue sea.

24 Jul 2013

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