Since 2012, Boise State University assistant professor Jeff Johnson has taken students on yearly trips to Yellowstone.
Only a six-hour drive from Boise, the park provides the ultimate geodynamical laboratory where students learn about earthquakes, geyser physics, crustal deformation and volcanology.
In September, students spent four days camping in Yellowstone and exploring the geology of the national park. The weather is invariably brisk during the early fall, but it is an ideal time for students to visit; crowds are diminished and students have time before the trip to do background research on the geologic history of Yellowstone.
During the 2017 field trip, students also participated in geophysical data collection.
Johnson and his graduate students are involved in ongoing monitoring of the geysers using infrasound in order to understand how subtle changes in atmospheric pressure or winds and earthquake activity may affect the regularity of certain geysers. Doctoral student Jake Anderson assisted with this course, provided each undergraduate with a specialized (infrasonic) microphone to deploy and listen to the low frequency geyser sounds.