The Clackamas print. (Oregon City, Oregon) 1989-2019, February 22, 1995, Page 3, Image 3

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The Clackamas Print Page 3
Wednesday, Feb. 22 1995
Death Valley: heaven to geologist and ecologists
Students will probe 282 feet below sea level in this year’s scientific excursion
by Jason Hunter
Sports Editor
John Snively, CCC geol­
ogy instructor, has been lead­
ing the Death Valley tour for
20 years and has only missed
the trip once, while on sabbati­
This year he is taking a
different route while Bob
Misley, life science instructor,
leads the tour this year.
Death Valley has more to
offer than a lot of other places.
It has all the geology you
could imagine, with rocks
from the present to rocks half
the age of the Earth, one of the
best fault-block mountain
ranges and valley systems in
the world. Death Valley is also
one of the hottest places in the
world, as it collects only an
inch and a half of rain a year
in its low point of 282 feet be­
low sea level.
“The Death Valley trip is
the best way to teach ecology
that I know of,” said Snively
of why he taught the class.
Twenty-two students will
leave on March 16 at 8 a.m.
and spend the next nine days
traveling to and camping in
Death Valley. While they are
there, they will study the natu­
ral history of Death Valley, the
Native Americans that live
there, the plants that grow there,
the geology and rocks that they
find there, animals, birds, reptiles,
mammals, fish and some history
of the early settlers who went
Each student will become an
expert on one topic. They are
each given research material from
scientific journals and they pre­
pare a presentation. The students
will give two presentations a day
depending on where they are at
and where they are going with the
The student or group of stu­
dents will take the group through
the presentation with topics rang­
ing from the Bristle Cone Pine
(one of the oldest living organ­
isms in the world) to sand dune
They will reach Death Val­
ley and set up their tents after dark
on the second day of their trip.
“You wake up the next morn­
ing and you walk out of the tent,
you think you are on another
planet, because you haven’t seen
what it looks like down there com­
pared to what it looks like up here
in the Willamette Valley,” Misley
said. “The only way I can de­
scribe the areas of it is... from
another planet.”
When they escape their shell
shock in the morning, they will
fix their meals and take off for the
day traveling 100 - 200 miles a
day just to get to one spot They
will spend all day there and will
get back to camp after dark, just
in time to build a small camp fire
and make dinner. Then they will
sit around the fire singing songs
and discussing what they saw that
day and plan for the next day and
then the next day, get up and do
it again.
“It’s interesting to stand
down in the bottom of this big
valley and look up on the side hill
and see this white sign that says
sea level and you figure out if
these mountains just exploded
and moved away could you swim
that far to get up there?” Misley
said of Bad Water, the lowest
point in North America at 282
feet below sea level. The group
will have their picture taken there
as a tradition that they have.
There are some hazards on
the trip as it can get very hot in
Death Valley, but they are pre­
pared for that. Sandstorms make
it difficult to breathe, travel and
see. It can also get very windy in
Death Valley.
“It’s not uncommon to come
back to your site and see tents to­
tally destroyed, tents that have
blown away, or somebody else tent
from a campground 100 yards
away, come flying by yours,” said
Misley of the high wind condi-
Photo contributed by Bob Misley
Bob Misley (left) and John Snlvley (right) pose for a
memorable photo In the 1994 Death Valley trip.
tions in Death Valley. Misley is
very excited with the recent flood­
ing and rains in California.
“It’s too early to predict, but
I’m very excited about the possi­
bility that we might see one of the
incredible blooms. Death Valley
is usually is desolate, dry, hot and
not showing a lot of life, but once
every 10-20 years, the rains come
in just the right way where all the
little dessert flowers and all the
seeds that have been lying dor­
mant for five to ten years, all
germinate and then ‘boom,’
there’s color everywhere.” said
The trip is offered as three
transferable credit hours for the
Natural History of Death Val­
ley. For more information con­
tact Bob Misley at ext. 2376.
Registration becomes just a telephone call away
by Christi Snavely
Opinion Editor
The telephone, we can’t
imagine life without it. We take
it for granted until the day we pick
it up and can’t find a dial tone.
We use the phone for so many
things in our lives; you can now
do virtually all your banking over
the phone, make reservations,
purchase airline and concert tick­
ets, pay bills and order pizzas.
Many of you are aware that
part-time students have had the
option to register by phone. The
biggest stipulations on that ser­
vice at the present include, regis­
tering for only seven hours or less
and paying by Visa or Master
Card. Even with this service op­
tion limited to a certain group of
students, its popularity is evident.
Approximately 700 students
register at CCC by telephone. The
biggest reason is convenience! No
driving to campus, waiting in
line, having forms signed, wait­
ing in line again, (you get the pic­
The popularity of telephone
registration speaks for itself on
other campuses that have the
option and have been successful.
The Administrative office is
always thinking of ways to make
attending CCC a comfortable ex­
perience. They are gearing up for
telephone registration for full-
time students being available by
summer of ‘96.
“Our plan is to have tele­
phone registration right out where
we used to have the information
center. Weje going to make it a
student resource center and have
a Kiosk where the students can
get their schedule. It will have two
computers where students can ac­
cess scholarship and program in­
formation,” said Mary Dykes,
director of admissions.
Some things have to come to­
gether first Right now the col­
lege has four lines being used for
the part-time registration. Those
four lines alone cost the school
around $40,000. In terms of fig­
ures like that, Dykes wants to ex­
plore lots of options. She believes
we could keep the amount of lines
down by having registration open
all term.
This would give students the
ability to register in advance as
soon as they know the courses
they want. For now, we can ex­
pect to see a service for full-time
students in place by the summer
“We will be doing testing be­
tween January and May of ‘96
with the idea that we will by ready
by the summer,” said Dykes.
Dykes sees a future where
students are able to have many
options such as registering for
three terms in advance, being able
to add and drop and having the
option of payment by credit card.
“We would like to make it
available as a choice. We would
not want to force students to use
it, but I know that they will want
to after they’ve tried it the first
time,” said Dykes.
Guns and books: A question of philosophy
Faculty Senate President Joe Uris confronts controversial issue head-on
What Do You Want/Need
Town Hall Discussion
When guns and community
colleges intersect op . a large scale
like the proposed CCC Regional
Law Enforcement Center, one
might expect considerable contro­
versy and public input.
But slightly over a dozen
people turned up last Wednesday
at an open college senate meet­
ing to discuss one of the biggest
CCC projects since the Environ­
mental Learning Center. CCC
President John Keyser said he was
surprised the gathering wasn’t
President of the Faculty Sen­
ate Joe Uris pointed out that all
CCC faculty and students should
have a forum to comment on the
training center. However, no stu­
dents or representatives from the
ASG were present for the hour-
long discussion.
The director of the Criminal
Justice associate degree program,
James Brouilette, was unable to
attend the meeting, but no one
denied the center would benefit
CCC’s law enforcement students
and enhance its already respected
reputation in criminal justice
training. Clearly, that wasn’t the
issue under debate. Neither were
the many concerns about the
training facility which involve fi­
nancial or administrative aspects.
Most of the questions asked
ran in a deeper, more philosophi­
cal vein and addressed fundamen­
tal concerns about CCC’s image.
“Many people are opposed to fire­
arms,” Uris stated. “Could the
CCC philosophy be perceived as
being pro-gun?”
“Will the center create con­
troversy?” he asked. “Could it di­
vide the way the college is per­
ceived by the community?”
There were no pat answers to
Uris’ questions, perhaps because
there aren’t any. But as he pointed
out, the college has three weeks
left to debate the pros and cons of
the training center and decide if
and how it should share space
under the CCC community ser­
vice umbrella.
Uris himself expressed am­
bivalent feelings. Before the
meeting adjourned, he said, “In
good conscience, I can’t find a
reason not to go forward with the
project although I hate it.”