Offered as a one-credit physical science lab, the entirety of the coursework will take place during a four-day trip that includes stops at Yellowstone National Park, Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve, and six types of power plants and dams across Utah. The trip, which will take place Aug. 18–21, will culminate in watching the total solar eclipse near Idaho Falls, Idaho.
While a partial eclipse will be visible everywhere in North America Aug. 21, the full eclipse — during which the moon passes between the sun and Earth and completely blocks the sun — will be visible only in the path of totality. The path is an approximately 70-mile wide band that covers the U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. Idaho Falls is located within this band and will see the fully eclipsed sun from 11:33 to 11:34 a.m. that day. A total solar eclipse hasn’t been visible from the continental U.S. since 1979.
The trip will be led by DSU physics and astronomy professor Dr. Samuel Tobler and DSU geology instructir Janice Hayden, who will offer instruction throughout the entire trip including lessons on the geologic structures on Earth and moon. Additionally, participants will learn about the Earth’s internal and external energy and how it relates to society’s choice to harness energy to produce electricity.
To participate, travelers must apply to DSU and register and pay for the course “ENVS 2000R (CRN 32148): Field Experience” by June 26. In addition to tuition, a $400 lab fee is required. The fee covers the costs of double-occupancy lodging, food, transportation, and entry fees to the parks.
Utah residents ages 62 and older can audit DSU classes, including ENVS 2000R, for $10 per class through the state’s House Bill 60 program. Program participants must still pay the $400 lab fee and apply to enroll at DSU.