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Visit three Nevada rivers on Earth Science Week field trip


Submitted by UNR

The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (NBMG) annual Earth Science Week field trip is back. It will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16. The public fi­eld trip is educational, family oriented and free.

The national theme for Earth Science Week—taking place across the country between Oct. 10-16 this year—is “Water Today and for the Future.”

To celebrate the watery theme, NBMG, which is a public service unit in the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno and the State’s geological survey, is inviting the public to join them for “A Tale of Three Rivers and the Rapidly Evolving Landscapes of Western Nevada.”

The field trip will tour three rivers in western Nevada to learn about how the rivers have influenced the region’s geology. It will feature stops along the Walker, Carson and Truckee Rivers, as well as the Wabuska Geothermal Plant and an open pit copper mine in Yerington.

The tour will be led by several NBMG geologists, including Bridget Ayling, an associate professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering and Director of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy.

“Nevada’s high desert environment is an ideal location to learn about water and the hydrologic cycle,” Ayling said. “In western Nevada near Reno, we can see the beginning and end of several major river systems that begin as snowmelt from the Sierra winter snowpack and terminate in desert lakes. These hydrologic systems provide western Nevada water for drinking, agriculture, and recreation, as well as hosting important ecological niches for flora and fauna.”

People who want to attend the field trip must sign up online and sign a waiver that can be found on the bureau’s website. A paper copy should be printed, signed and submitted prior to the field trip or brought to the field trip starting point.

NBMG will be monitoring for any new developments with COVID state mandates and act as necessary. Due to the pandemic, the bureau encourages everyone on the trip to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status and to socially distance.

Participants should bring their own mask, water, lunch, sunscreen, hat, sanitizer, first-aid kit, walking stick, gloves, camera, binoculars, bag or bucket for collecting samples and safety glasses if they plan to use a rock hammer.

The day’s activity will involve hiking and climbing around rocks, so outdoor clothing and sturdy shoes or hiking boots are necessary. Bathroom breaks with developed facilities will be available during the trip.

Earth Science Week was started in October 1998 by the American Geosciences Institute to help the public learn more about geosciences. Each year around Earth Science Week, NBMG plans a field trip to provide the community with an opportunity to engage in and learn about local geology.

Last year’s theme was “Earth Materials in Our Lives,” and the bureau created a virtual field trip to continue the programming despite the coronavirus pandemic.

To learn more about the stops featured on the tour and for updates on COVID-19 protocols, visit the bureau’s website.

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