Field Trips

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We will offer two optional all-day post-course field trips on Saturday, June 9th, to enhance the overall experience of participants. The additional cost of these field trips will include lunch and dinner in addition to lodging at the Sevilleta Field Station.

Field Trip Option 1 – Tour of the Valles Caldera National Preserve

The Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP) is located in northern New Mexico and includes a large grassland representing the mouth of an ancient volcanic caldera surrounded by mountains. Forests range from ponderosa pine at lower elevations to mixed conifer forests with spruce, fir, and other species at higher elevations. The VCNP is also known for its large elk herd. University of New Mexico scientists have several heavily instrumented research sites within VCNP, which include eddy covariance flux towers in ponderosa pine, as well as in burned and unburned mixed-conifer stands. These sites are remotely accessible via a wireless telemetry network that connects to the University of New Mexico Los Alamos campus, which has line-of-sight to one of the mountain peaks that border the preserve. This popular tour will provide an opportunity for participants to visit this scenic and beautiful location, tour at least two flux tower sites, and hear about the various challenges encountered, and solutions employed.

Field Trip Option 2 – Hike to Los Piños Backhaul

This trip will involve a 6-7 mile round trip off-trail hike to our primary wireless backhaul site in the beautiful Los Piños mountain range on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, which is closed to the public. This strenuous, but rewarding hike will involve hiking across steep, rugged, and uneven terrain in hot, dry conditions. The hike will commence at the base of a canyon where we will make our ascent. Once on top, we will be rewarded with fantastic views all around. This is among the best hiking in New Mexico that very few get to experience! Participants should be reasonably fit and will be expected to sign a liability waiver. To bring: hiking shoes with ankle support, a hat, sunscreen, and a day pack large enough to fit a lunch and 3 liters of water. Trekking poles will be provided.