Exploring Volcanoes with Quest

This last block, a group of students were part of a class taught by Quest tutor Dr. Steve Quane. The subject of the class was Volcanology, and so they travelled to one of the best places in the world to study Volcanoes: the Big Island of Hawaii.

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While the students were there they camped every single night, got to enjoy the hot sun while swimming in the bath-water like ocean and best of all got to travel and see the active volcanos present on the island. The course description says the aim of the course is to explore “the processes leading up to, the events during, and the products created by volcanic eruptions”.

The highlight of the trip for one of the third year students was “certainly when we flew over the active flow field near the town of Hilo. Seeing a lava lake is a spectacular experience.” Over the course of a week and a half the students got to learn about the mechanics of five different volcanoes on the island with lots of field exploration. In doing so, they did many field observations and observed the anomalies in the formations of the cinder cones in area.

Traditionally, the course has been held in Hawaii although it does say there are other proposed areas such as Yellowstone National Park, Mt. St. Helen’s as well as Mt. Meager ad the Garibaldi Volcanic Belt. This class, like other physical science classes taught at Quest have long field trip components. For example, Field Geology goes on a week long camping trip with the aim of mapping out a mountain on Salt Spring Island.

Studying physical sciences at Quest are a great way to get outside, be with nature and learn a lot about the physical world!

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