Posted: Monday, May 07, 2001

Lots of help needed to make geology class meaningful

I have just wrapped up another semester of the "Geology of Kachemak Bay" course at the Kenai Peninsula College at both the Homer and Soldotna campuses. Many helping hands are needed for this course, and I would like to extend some grateful thanks. Carol Swartz oversees the administrative work in the Homer, and Barb Christian handles administration for the Soldotna campus.

For our field trip to Grewingk Glacier, Marsha Million and Tom Hopkins of Jakolof Bay Ferry boated the class to Glacier Spit and picked us up in Halibut Cove Lagoon. We especially appreciated the fact that Ranger Roger MacCampbell of Kachemak Bay State Park asked crew leader Josh Duffus and volunteer Charlie Ostler to clear the blowdowns off the Saddle Trail. It would have taken us quite awhile to scramble over all those beetle-killed trees if Josh and Charlie hadn't done such a great job of clearing the trail.

The Kilcher family provided us beach access through the Yule Kilcher homestead for our field trip from McNeil Canyon to Fritz Creek. Tim and Lisa Whip provided beach exit for our weary hikers at the end of this trip. Jean Parker of Otter Beach School and Jeff Middleton assisted with parking for our vehicles at the beginning and end points of this hike.

We were especially fortunate this year to have an added field trip in the Kenai-Soldotna-Sterling area, with geologist Dick Reger, who recently retired from the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. Dick has written the definitive papers on the glacial geology of the Kenai Peninsula, and gave us an excellent tour of the glacial moraines in the central peninsula, which were formed during the last major glaciation 10,000-21,000 years ago.

Finally, thanks go to Anne Wieland for providing a final short field trip to the beach along Kachemak Drive in Homer, where we were able to find plant fossils and observe the bluff erosion processes in vivid detail.

I have been privileged to teach this course in various formats since 1983. It always requires a lot of help to pull it off, and I thank everyone for the all that help. The course is next scheduled to be taught in September 2002. I expect to teach a companion course "Cycles of Nature" in April 2002, and the "Environmental Ethics" course in September.

Ed Berg, Kenai Peninsula College

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