Volcanoes in Joshua Tree National Park                     

Date/Time: Saturday, March 7, 8 am – 5 pm
Meet at: Oasis Visitor Center
Fee: $60 JTNPA/PINE/OSHER members $70 non members
Instructor: Richard Hazlett, Ph.D., Geology, Author, Professor, Pomona College
Hike Level: Moderate

Investigate the natural architecture and origin of Joshua Tree National Park’s fantastic volcanic geology with Richard Hazlett, co-author of Joshua Tree National Park Geology.  Starting in the classroom, participants will be introduced to basic geologic principles and then Hazlett will focus on one of the park’s spectacular features – Malapai Hill.  Possibly the throat of an ancient volcano, Malapai Hill is a basalt tower that stands 400 feet tall in the middle of Pleasant Valley.  It contains magnificent columnar jointed basalt formed by magma that rose 30 miles through the earth before solidifying at the top.  Hazlett will discuss this ancient volcano and how its formation provides a window into the Earth’s mantle.  The class will then travel to Malapai Hill for a field session to experience this iconic example in person.   Participants will learn about differential erosion on the way to the top of Malapai Hill. For those new to geology or experienced geologists, Hazlett will make learning about this complex and unique landscape comprehensible and fun.

Click to download the course outline Volcanoes in JTNP Outline – Sp 2015(approved)

Please review this pdf package that contains pertinent information about your class, the Joshua Tree National Park, camping reservations and lodging in the area around the park:  enrollment attachments.

If you are a member of JTNPA/PINE you will get a $10 discount off every Desert Institute class. If you are not a member you can become one here.

Please take the time to review our General Class Information and Fitness Levels before registering.


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