Aryn Vanalstyne of Franklin was one of 12 SUNY Oneonta geology students who recently spent a week-and-a-half in California developing their field mapping skills and putting them to use in the desert and beyond.

According to a media release, the trip was part of the upper-level course Field Geology of Plate Boundaries.

Accompanied by Professor Keith Brunstad, students spent several days mapping geologic layers that have been warped and broken in Rainbow Basin in the Mojave Desert, near Barstow, California. Amid the eroding mountains and expansive views, students practiced recording geologic observations, taking field notes and sketches, creating maps and geologic cross sections and presenting summaries of their findings.

At night, they camped out, slept in tents and cooked their own food.

The last few days of the trip were spent at University of California — Riverside’s Sweeney Granite Mountains Research Station, in the Mojave National Preserve. Students climbed volcanoes, explored lava tubes and visited dry lakes where salt is being mined.

Carly Pitt, of Walton, a senior horticulture sciences major at SUNY Delhi, was selected as one of the student ambassadors for the National Association of Landscape Professionals annual conference, LANDSCAPES held last October in Louisville, Kentucky.

According to a media release, students from landscaping and horticulture college programs from across the country apply for the position and six are selected.

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