By Hayley Spire, Chattanooga, Tenn.—

The students of a course jointly taught by professors from UTC and the University of Columbia Missouri spent two and half weeks this summer studying geology in northern Spain.

“[The trip] was nothing short of spectacular,” said Dr. Jonathan Mies, a professor of geology, biology and environmental science.

The focus of the trip was the plate tectonics that contributed to the present landscape and geology that is present in Northern Spain.

These geology students had taken “Geology of the Pyrenees and Cantabrian Mountains, Spain” in the spring semester to prepare for their studies abroad and concluded their trip with a presentation about a specific topic to the group.

The use of technology and online lectures aided the jointly taught class with about half of the lectures were delivered from Columbia, Mo. and the other half on campus.

“Each student presented a topic and, in a sense, led part of the field trip while they were in Spain,” Mies said.

The students did not link up or attend any schools in Spain, but had the opportunity through a professor teaching at the University of Oviedo, to be lead through Sima de los Huesos, or the “pit of bones,” in Atapuerca, which has the oldest human remains in Europe with bone material 1.4 million years old, and 1.6 million years old human made tools.

“My favorite part of the trip was seeing geologic features that I had studied in class in the field. The trip was an incredible experience and helped to grow my enthusiasm for my academic field.” said Valerie Connelly.

In the future, for students interested in the trip to Spain, the course will only require the students to have partaken in one geology course, and an interest to travel. The estimated cost is $3,300 which includes plane tickets, meals, and on-ground costs, excluding extra costs if the student lacks a passport, and other non-necessity expenses.