Rock on: Geology students travel to Death Valley


Geology and Geology Honors students visit Death Valley. Printed with permission of Nancy Chen

Celine Park

As the third of three separate trips this year, Geology and Geology Honors students traveled to Death Valley National Park from March 1-3 to further their knowledge about earth science.

“The trip definitely helped me learn about geology because I was able to see the things in real life,” Geology student Lexie Warlick ’21 said. “In class, it’s just pictures, so it was nice to connect what we see in class with actual geological features.”

The group departed campus March 1 by bus. On their way to Death Valley, participants visited Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, as well as a section of the San Andres Fault. These sites allowed students to observe the Californian landscape and the ecological changes in the area, science teacher Nancy Chen said.

After arriving in Death Valley, the group visited Mesquite Sand Dunes, Dante’s View, Salt Creek and Zabriskie Point.

Along with Chen, science teacher Blaise Eitner, Transportation and Equipment Coordinator Miguel Acevedo and Head Librarian Shannon Acedo chaperoned geology fieldtrips.
Chen said these annual excursions allow her students to make new friendships.

“My students form relationships with other peers that they may not connect with in their everyday life at Harvard-Westlake,” Chen said. “High school is not only about academics, but also about the relationships that you form with your peers and teachers.”

Geology student Alexandra du Manoir ’21 said that her favorite part of the trip was the journey itself.

“My favorite part of the trip was during the bus rides [to Death Valley]. We spent a lot of time on the bus, which would seem boring but I actually really liked,” du Manoir said. “We got to get to know everyone, and it was a good time to build closer friendships with people I didn’t really know.”