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Desert Diary: Professors and Students Study Geology, Astronomy and Anthropology on a Single Trip

Pomona College's Southern California location allows professors and students to use the state's vast and varied outdoors as a classroom, even in the middle of winter. Just a weekend ago, a group of 24 students and three professors traveled to the stunning Anza-Borrego desert for an experience in multidisciplinary learning.

A caravan of four vehicles bounced across a dry desert wash, and at the first stop, Professor Rick Hazlett (geology and environmental science) led students to the top of a ridge. There Hazlett explained that the pile of boulders came about through millions of years of dramatic and sometimes violent activity. Hazlett pointed out a segment of the ridge where the rock is whiter. That sort of rock is where we get lithium -- one of the main ingredients for laptop computer batteries.