New Mexico Trip 2013

Cover picture on bluff
Jackie, Scott and Ken overlooking Chaco Canyon


The 2013 CSE trip was to New Mexico, where we investigated several themes, water management in a water-poor area, administration of public park land, effects of climate change on civilizations, and, intertwined throughout, the way the history of the many cultures in the region shape the present state of affairs.

Rio Grande and Water 

paige talk
Students discussing water management with a hydrologist from the N.M. Interstate Water Commission
Jackie, Sara and Kara looking at invasive and highly water-consumptive salt cedar in the Rio Grande bosque, Albuquerque

Early in the trip. We spent a morning with Albion Geology Field camp alumna Page Pegram, now with the Office of the State Engineer’s Interstate Water commission. Page met us in the bosque along the Rio Grande in Albuquerque and explained some of the complexities of complying with interstate water agreements, protecting endangered species and conserving as much water as possible for New Mexico residents.

Native American History and Cultures

Our look at the long and important history of Native Americans began with a visit to the Chaco Culture National Historic Park, arguably the most fabulous archeological site in North America and also one of the most enigmatic. Real questions persist, with discussion of both how the civilization flourished in such a demanding environment and why the area was ultimately abandoned. The relationships among people, culture and climate are central to this discussion. We also visited Bandelier National Monument where more recent Pueblo cliff dwellings are well preserved, and Sky City at Acoma Pueblo, where modern descendants of the Chacoans still live in the longest continuously inhabited community in the country. Finally, we visited the Four Corners Power Plant, one of the most polluting plants in the nation, and considered the complex relationship between the plant and the Navajo Nation, in which it is located.

Acoma Pueblo

"Sky City" of Acoma Pueblo is seen atop its 650 foot meas as we approach for our visit.  This site has been continuously inhabited for over 800 years.
Our tour of the pueblo included time to talk with local artists and shop their wares. Here Rachel is considering a traditional pot.
Acoma stairs
Although there is now access to the mesa top via a road constructed in the 1950's, the group opted to return to the base via older stairs cut into the rock.

Chaco Canyon

chaco from above
Pueblo Bonito is one of the best restored "great houses" in the canyon.
chaco in house
Jackie, Sara and Meredith in a room in Pueblo Bonito. Note the small size of the doorways and the lack of windows. Some people believe these indicate the rooms were storerooms for maize.
Chaco Cleft
Jackie follows a cleft to the top of the canyon on the trail to Pueblo Alto.
chaco on cliff copy
Scott, Jackie, Ken and Kara on the cliff behind Pueblo Bonito
Bonita house
View of Pueblo Bonito from the cliff behind it. The enigmatic "D" shape of the pueblo is evident.

Bandelier Archeology

Stairs to cliff In Cliff




Dr. Tim Lincoln

Tim Lincoln
Tim Lincoln

Q&A with Tim Lincoln

Students should join CSE because…

"I don't know of any other program that offers such a diverse curriculum and wide range of hands-on experiences. We offer three majors and two concentrations so that students are prepared for a variety of career options when they graduate, and we develop the skills necessary for them to be effective leaders."

Tim’s Best Advice

"Get involved! There are so many opportunities for you to make an impact. Students who find the time to be involved in projects have no problem finding their way into meaningful careers."

Why Tim loves being the Center’s Director

"I enjoy talking to prospective students about the opportunities our program offers, working with students on projects like the Student Farm, and following the careers of our alumni. It’s deeply rewarding. Some of the most interesting things I have seen in my life have been on our field trips."

On his favorite class field trip

"While in Oregon, we hiked the Cascade Mountains, studied sustainable urban development in Portland, looked at ecological research and forest management in the Andrews Experimental Forest, found inspiration in organic farms, spent a day discussing coastal zone management issues with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, and embarked on two scenic train rides on the Empire Builder."

Our field trips are significant because…

"Students are given an opportunity to actually experience different ecosystems of the U.S. They get to see the environmental issues that are happening and get to speak with professionals that are working to resolve them. Friendships and memories are formed on these trips that will last a lifetime."

New Mexico 2013

Exploring Sustainability Through the Centuries

During a May trip to New Mexico, CSE students learned about arid-land agriculture at the Pueblo Bonito Great House in Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They also looked at modern-day energy challenges at a coal-fired power plant and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Albion College celebrates a Year of Sustainability in 2013-14.

Center for Sustainability and the Environment

Where committed students initiate real
movement toward change.

Let’s face it: you love this planet, and it’s where you’ll spend a lot of your time. At Albion College's Center for Sustainability and the Environment, you’ll also spend a lot of time making it a better place. You’ll explore the intersections of nature and society, learning how to become an effective steward of our world.

Apply to Albion College

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