The Stretch: Over 50 Years in the Field

News subtitle

The popular earth sciences off-campus field program has inspired generations of students.

Students and Professor Richard Stoiber measure sulfur dioxide output from Pacaya
On the Stretch in Guatemala in 1972, Keith Kronmiller, Chuck Doll ’72, Ray Wood ’73, Jim Pocalyko ’73, and Professor Richard Stoiber measure sulfur dioxide output from Pacaya. (Courtesy of the Department of Earth Sciences)

Read the full story and see photos from the past 50 years of the Stretch.

One of the College’s most popular off-campus programs, the Stretch supports scholarly research and student mentorship. The 2018 Stretch trip took 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.

The program has been an opportunity for students’ off-campus earth sciences studies since the mid-1960s.

The Stretch’s original goal—to teach students geology by bringing them directly into the field with practicing teacher-scholars—remains at its core. “Studying comes alive for students when they can work with faculty members on the sites where we actually are ‘doing our thing,’” said Professor Richard Stoiber in an article from Dartmouth Alumni Magazine’s June 1973 issue. “In that way, our students learn not only what we’re doing but how to engage in scientific inquiry by helping us do it.”

Katie Hamlin can be reached at

Katie Hamlin