Students and teachers participating in the research and rehabilitation of one of the most dynamic and important watersheds in North America.
Global Travel Alliance invites you to participate in a student learning expedition of a lifetime.
Goal of Expedition:
Students and teachers understand the geologic history and modern complexities of managing one of the most dynamic and important watersheds in North America— the Colorado River. Work along side scientists and river guides collecting long term data furthering scientific and cultural understanding of the ecosystem.
Overview: Students will spend 5-6 days (dependent on final group leader decision) exploring the Grand Canyon from the south rim down to the Colorado River. Student studies include ecosystem function of the terrestrial and aquatic environment, birds and other wildlife. Students spend three days and two nights on the Colorado River camping, learning about Leave No Trace protocols and assisting Grand Canyon National Park citizen science studies.
Daily activities include hiking, floating the Colorado River, Glen Canyon Dam tour and examining the water issues of the American southwest, swimming and kayaking on Lake Powell, and evening astronomy program.
For more information contact:
Paul Belanger. Global Travel Alliance
"The Grand Canyon fills me with awe. It is beyond comparison—beyond description; absolutely unparalleled throughout the wide world... Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. Do nothing to mar its grandeur, sublimity and loveliness. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is to keep it for your children, your children's children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see."
President Theodore Roosevelt
The Grand Canyon
Located in Arizona, the Grand Canyon is a mile deep and close to 18 miles wide. Most geologist believe that the canyon was formed through erosion in large part by the Colorado River which flows through the canyon. The canyon is 277 miles long and it harbors over 1500 plants, 355 birds, 47 reptiles, 9 amphibians and 17 fish species. When viewing the Grand Canyon from any of the vistas on the north or south rims, at no point can you see its entirety. It is no wonder this place is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world on par with the Great Barrier Reef, Mount Everest and Victoria Falls. Our program examines the Grand Canyon from rim to river through the eyes of land managers, scientists and local people that treasure this place.
The American Southwest
While the focal point of our program lies in Grand Canyon National Park and the Colorado River, the region harbors a great diversity of natural landscapes open to the public including Zion, Bryce and Canyonlands National Parks and the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The massive sandstone walls of Zion, the hoodoos of Bryce and the slot canyons throughout the region offer unlimited recreation and adventure opportunities. Each area offers additional opportunities for study and exploration that can be incorporated in your program.
Day 1: Arrive in Phoenix
Depending on flight arrival and group interest, we will have several educational stops to choose from as we make our way north to Flagstaff; Montezuma Castle National Monument—a well preserved cliff dwelling; Sonoran Desert and desert ecology; Slide Rock State Park with swimming in Oak Creek Canyon on naturally formed slides; Cathedral Rock—a great place to stretch your legs and hike around the natural red rock formations. Evening Astronomy program at Lowell Observatory.
Day 2: Grand Canyon Exploration
Early departure for the Grand Canyon! Hike down in to the canyon through the layers of planet Earth’s history (hike adjusted to ability, approx. 3 hrs). Drive along the south rim of the Grand Canyon stopping at panoramic vistas and visit the famous Cameron Trading Post. Drive through the Painted Desert before arriving in Page, Arizona.
Day 3: Glen Canyon Dam and Colorado River
Start the day with a tour of Glen Canyon Dam, one of several dams on the river that help store water for 36 million people. Later we depart for Lee’s Ferry which was the only wagon train crossing site within 700 miles. Here we will meet our boats for an upriver trip to our camp site on the Colorado River. This evening we set up camp, explore and participate in a science service project.
Day 4: Paddling the Colorado River
The next day we paddle down stream in paddle rafts and boats keeping our eyes peeled for bighorn sheep, wild horses, lizards, and peregrine falcons. We will also assist with ecological monitoring programs designed to inform managers on the ecology of the river.
Day 5: Final day on the River
Pack up camp and head out to enjoy our final morning on the river. After lunch on the river, return to Phoenix. Final evening program before departing the next morning. Note: Groups in the Midwest or East fly the red-eye or depart early the morning of day 6 (depending on flight availability)
Engaging students and teachers in real world issues, deepening the collective knowledge of the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon and Environmental Science.
POTENTIAL AREAS OF STUDY
Hydrology – Study of Water and Water Quality
Hydrology is the study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth, including the hydrologic cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability. A practitioner of hydrology is a hydrologist, working within the fields of earth or environmental science, physical geography, geology or civil and environmental engineering.
Botany – Study of Plants
Botany is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist is a scientist who specializes in this field of study. A person who studies plants may be called a botanist or a plant scientist. Botanists study approximately 400,000 species of living organisms of which some 260,000 species are vascular plants and about 248,000 are flowering plants.
Ecology – Study of Bio Diversity and Ecosystems
Ecology is the scientific study of interactions among organisms and their environment, such as the interactions organisms have with each other and with their abiotic environment. Topics of interest to ecologists include the diversity, distribution, amount (biomass), number (population) of organisms, as well as competition between them within and among ecosystems.
Ornithology – Study of Birds
Ornithology is a branch of zoology that concerns the study of birds. The science of ornithology has a long history and has helped develop several key concepts in evolution, behavior and ecology such as the definition of species, the process of speciation, instinct, learning, ecological niches, guilds, island biogeography, phytogeography and conservation.
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