What lies beneath? New discoveries at Ancient Akrotiri.

For the third year in a row, I walk into Ancient Akrotiri, a 4,000 year-old Minoan town buried in meters of ash and pumice from the ~1613 BC caldera-forming eruption of Santorini Volcano.  The excavation site is a gray labyrinth of 1-3 story houses, shops, narrow alleys and staircases built on gently dipping slopes and reflecting the modern pattern of villages on Santorini.

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Stratigraphic Columns and How to Keep Your Cool


Before going into the field my fellow classmates of 10 and myself received a lesson on stratigraphic columns and how to create one out of an outcrop. Needless to say I was an expert after this one lesson and fairly confident in my capability to rock this. We strut out into the field with our day packs, field notebook and ipads ready to show this massive collection of rocks who’s boss. Well, little did I know that was not me.

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Volcanic Weight Loss Program

I can feel it forming inside my stomach like it does after every trip to Lucky’s. My food baby, expanding and giving me stomach cramps. Each night, I get a gyro, I eat it too fast  a food baby is formed. The chicken and tzatziki combination melts on my mouth and becomes too good not to finish as soon as possible. I devour the beautiful pita sandwich and for the rest of the night, I carry the burden of my food baby. Eventually though it will go down, once it’s digested but like it always does each night, it will rise. I will go out to eat those delicious gyros from Lucky’s, and it will happen again and again until I am forced to leave this beautiful island.

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Education vs. Geology: The Magmatic Smackdown

When I first met with Lisa about coming on this trip, one of the first questions I asked her was “Are education majors allowed to come?”. I was worried that I would not be able to go because I am not a geology major, yet I enjoy it just as much. She said of course education majors can come on the trip and that was music to my ears.  Continue reading “Education vs. Geology: The Magmatic Smackdown”

An English Major’s Guide to Stratigraphic Columns

I’m at the base of the Fira Quarry, staring up at 20+ meters of pumice and ash from the Minoan eruption. All I see is the grey and tan hue of the outcrop towering over me. It is a sight to behold, but it means nothing to me. I don’t see patterns, or clues, or any indication of how the rocks got there. I may be staring, but I’m certainly not seeing anything.
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A Geologic Lesson for the Little Ones

Sharing one’s knowledge with others is one of the greatest gifts that anyone can give. Being a young, aspiring teacher, I especially advocate this idea. The whole reason why my group and I are on this incredible journey in Santorini is to come back to the United States and share our geologic knowledge of what we have all learned and discovered about the Minoan eruption of Santorini that occurred thousands of years ago.
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The Pioneers of NAU in Greece

I thought my travel journal would be filled with pages and pages of my thoughts and experiences by now but I’ve had few minutes to spare.  We’ve been going all day everyday.  Planning, doing, more planning, class, answering questions, reading, editing.  It’s the most fun I’ve had teaching a class and the most rewarding of any teaching experiences I’ve had. My expectations before we arrived … Continue reading The Pioneers of NAU in Greece

Nea Kameni

Why go to Santorini?

There are thousands of volcanoes we could have gone to, each with its own unique lure.  Hot springs in Iceland, jungles in Central America, romance in Italy.  The “chosen” one had to have historical significance in the western world.  It had to be relatively easy to get to – I am not willing to take 9 students to remote locations in Indonesia or Africa.  What location combines tectonics, volcanism, archaeology, good food, leisure, and cultural enrichment all at once?  My vision narrows to the Mediterranean.  Santorini:  the most beautiful island in Europe.

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