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What is the Chautauqua Program?

Chautauqua Short Courses are an annual series of forums in which scholars at the frontiers of various sciences meet intensively for several days with undergraduate college teachers of science. The series is held at colleges and universities throughout the United States as well as at selected special sites. These forums provide an opportunity for invited scholars to communicate new knowledge, concepts, and techniques directly to college teachers in ways which are immediately beneficial to their teaching. The primary aim is to enable undergraduate teachers in the sciences to keep their teaching current with respect to both content and pedagogy. From year to year, there is an attempt to rotate courses among different regions of the country.

The program is a cooperative enterprise which involves: college teachers (Participants) who take part with the encouragement of their home institutions; the various scholars who teach the courses (Course Directors); and the Regional Field Centers which are responsible for arranging and hosting the short courses.

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 Chautauqua Program Home Page

The Volcanoes and Igneous Landforms of New Mexico 

Date: July 18 – 20, 2012 (approximately 24 contact hours course and field work)

Note:   Short course will be based out of Albuquerque, NM.  Participants will be responsible for their own travel to and from Albuquerque, as well as lodging in Albuquerque.  To reserve your space, a $100 registration fee must be sent in advance to Dr. James P. Barufaldi, Chautauqua Field Director's Office, Austin, TX 78712.  Along with an additional course fee of $350 which will cover ground transportation, entrance fees, course materials and supplies.

 Course Description:New Mexico offers one of the greatest collections of volcanic landforms in the United States.  Though this fact may escape the notice of the typical visitor, geologists and other earth scientists have long trekked to New Mexico to study the volcanic landscape.  From one of the youngest large calderas on the planet, to the easternmost site of recent volcanism on the North American Plate, New Mexico is the perfect outdoor classroom to explore igneous landforms.  Our field trips will begin each day in Albuquerque, where a line of volcanoes dot the skyline on the West Mesa.  During our travels, we will explore lava caves and hike on one of the longest and youngest lava flows in the Western United States.  We will also visit and discuss volcanic necks, hot springs, calderas, and fantastic landscapes carved from massive tuff deposits.  At each location we visit, the formation and significance of the feature will be explained, as well as the geologic and tectonic context in which it exists.  While the focus will be primarily on the physical landscape, we will also examine the relationship that humans have had with this dynamic land from the time of the Paleo-Indians to present day.

For college teachers of: all disciplines. Prerequisites: none.

Guidebook for trip

Exploring Iceland’s Physical Geography and Geomorphology


Situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the island nation of Iceland provides a unique location to study myriad volcanic landforms and geothermal features associated with this divergent plate boundary. Additionally, Iceland’s high latitude makes it a unique location to examine the interplay of glacial, marine, and geological processes. Participants will stay in the geothermally powered city of Reykjavik, exploring the outlying areas by motorcoach. Field trips to Langjokull glacier, the Hekla volcano, the fiorded northwest coast, and hydrogeothermal sites are planned. Optional side trips to the Vestmannaeyjar Islands, with a flight over Surtsey will be available, as well as a variety of tours featuring historical and cultural points of interest.

For college teachers of: geology, geography, earth science, and related disciplines. Prerequisites: Participants should be able to hike moderate distances. Iceland is noted for dramatically variable weather. Beautiful blue skies can quickly give way a rain shower or snow squall. Participants should come prepared for temperatures ranging from below freezing to shirt sleeve conditions.