Nine weeks. Three vans. Seventeen hotels, hostels, and campgrounds. Nearly 3,000 miles across six states and provinces.
The Stretch—Dartmouth’s storied earth sciences off-campus program—takes 22 undergraduates, six faculty members from the Department of Earth Sciences, and six graduate student teaching assistants into the field on a geological tour of the American West, from the glaciers of the Canadian Rockies to the floor of the Grand Canyon.
No other geology program in the country exposes undergraduates to this breadth of field techniques and geographic locations. Over the course of the term, students measure the depth of a glacier, map mountain bedrock formations, collect data from rivers and dunes, analyze their findings, and more—all under the close mentorship of Dartmouth professors and graduate students. In short, they get a hands-on, personal taste of what it’s like to be a scientist.
But the Stretch is more than a scientific expedition. It’s an opportunity to live and work intensively with a small group of people who are responsible for each other’s learning and growth. Or, as Max Bond ’20, who participated in the Stretch last fall, says, “It’s a two-and-a-half-month-long road trip with 21 of your best friends.”