Tag Archives: Hiking/Outdoors

Department Details: Geology

5 Feb


Geology at W&L ROCKS!

Geology at W&L ROCKS!

Washington and Lee University has offered courses in geology for more than two hundred years and was one of the first institutions in the United States to offer formal programs in the study of the Earth. The department currently offers a broad range of programs that include most of the important disciplines of the earth sciences. A number of alumni have made significant contributions as academic geologists, as geoscientists in the energy industry, and as environmental scientists.

Lexington is surrounded by some of the most interesting and classical geology of the entire Appalachian Mountain system. Our programs take advantage of our location. The campus lies right in the middle of the Great Valley of Virginia within easy reach of the Blue Ridge Province and the Allegheny Mountains. During the fall and winter terms, many of our courses run field trips for “hands-on” study of this superb geology. In the spring term, we offer more intense field experiences. Some of these spring courses emphasize the geology of the local area and provide familiarity with modern methods of field mapping. Other courses deal with the geology of a specific region and/or the study of the environment. Recent extended field trips have been run to such diverse areas as the Great Smoky Mountains, New England, the Colorado Plateau, Hawaii, New Zealand, the Pyrenees, the Pacific Northwest, and coastal Virginia.

Our faculty are active in a variety of research areas in which students play a central role. Current faculty research includes long-term plateau incision by escarpment breaching and capture, the modeling and growth of fault-related folds, Holocene climate variation as recorded in coral growth, weathering and water chemistry, and the growth and erosion of mountain belts.

The Geology Department is also a member of the Keck Geology Consortium, which includes 18 of the best undergraduate geology departments in the country.  This program allows our students to join undergraduates and faculty from other consortium institutions in summer research projects in such diverse locations as the Apennines of Italy, the Bahamas, the Cascades, Mongolia, Australia, Ireland, and Cyprus.

For more information on the Geology department, click here.

Tour Guide Spotlight: Christina Lowry ’14

8 Jan
Christina Lowry '14

Christina Lowry ’14

Hometown: Stuggart, Germany

Major(s)/Minor(s): German and Politics

What Clubs/activities are you involved in on campus? Theater department productions, Shakespeare Society, Pi Beta Phi, Mindbending Productions, ROTC

How are you involved in the Lexington Community? Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

What are some of your other hobbies/interests? Marksmanship and archery, camping, hiking, writing

Favorite weekend activity? Playing Pool

Favorite Thing about Lexington? The small town charm.  I love being able to walk around downtown and run errands without a car.

What’s Your Favorite W&L memory? Right before Christmas Break, a friend and I decided to stay up all night.  From playing pool to sledding to midnight hot chocolate and movies, it was a blast.

What’s the best encounter you’ve had with a faculty or staff member? I was hesitant about trying out for the German play without being in the class.  I mentioned this to my German professor (who knows I love theater) and he found the other professor who was directing so I could audition there and then.


The power of a tower.

12 Dec

The new Alpine Tower on W&L’s back campus.

How cool is our new Alpine Tower? Click here to read the article and find out more about how the tower is adding to our Campus Recreation, Outing Club, and Leadership Development programs.

Chessie Nature Trail

6 Dec

The Chessie Nature Trail is one of my favorite parts about Lexington. I love running but the idea of running on a treadmill for miles and miles is so unattractive. Instead, I take advantage of the running paths Lexington has to offer. The Chessie is a really pretty trail that runs along the Maury and allows you to embrace the natural beauty of Lexington. It follows the former Chesapeake and Ohio Railway roadbed for 6 miles through woods, fields, and pastures. Whether you want to go on a 20-minute walk or a 12-mile run- you’re set. Although it’s December, it is a beautiful sunny 50-degree day and I definitely plan to run on the Chessie as a study break from finals preparation.

Tour Guide Spotlight: Abbie Caudill ’13

1 Dec

Abbie Caudill ’13

Hometown: Urbana, OH

Majors(s)/Minor(s): Psychology and Religion

What clubs/activities are you involved in on campus? I am the captain of the mock trial team and a member of Active Minds.

How are you involved in the Lexington community? I volunteer at the local elementary school and babysit for families in the area.

What are some of your other hobbies/interests? I love music and The Office.

Favorite weekend activity?Tubing the Maury River in the spring.

Favorite thing about Lexington? The views are absolutely breathtaking, no matter what time of year it is.

What’s your favorite W&L memory? Christmas weekend my sophomore year.

What’s the best encounter you’ve had with a faculty or staff member? I had dinner at one of my professor’s houses with my class and it was one of the best and most fun nights I have had at Washington and Lee.


Tour Guide Spotlight: Danielle Breidung ’13

14 Nov

Danielle Breidung ’13


Hometown: Waunakee, WI

Major(s)/Minor(s): Sociology/Environmental Studies & Poverty

What clubs/activities are you involved in on campus?
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), the Campus Kitchen (CKP), the Bonner Leaders Program, Outing Club, and the Generals Development Initiative (GDI)

How are you involved in the Lexington community?
I am a Bonner Leader, so my service takes me to diverse locations and organizations on a daily basis. Currently, I am teaching Spanish at Fairfield Elementary twice a week, tutoring Spanish-speaking children at Maury River Middle School also twice a week, serving as a mentor for Maury River’s Girl Talk program, and volunteering at Project Horizon. I enjoy doing shifts at Campus Kitchen on Sundays.

What are some of your other hobbies/interests?
I enjoy traveling, meeting new people, reading, cooking, and spending time with friends. Some of my interests include women’s rights in the developing world, domestic and international non-profit work, and eco-tourism’s positive and negative impact on traditional populations.

Favorite weekend activity? Walking, hiking, and/or biking on one of the local trails

Favorite thing about Lexington? It is a small, quaint community where one can truly make a difference, make long-lasting connections, and feel safe regardless of the time of day, not to mention the beautiful natural landscape, i.e. MOUNTAINS!

What’s your favorite W&L memory?
Last year, at the end of spring term, one of my best friends at W&L and I were sitting on the colonnade while we should have been packing and cleaning our rooms. It was about 12 a.m., and we were simply enjoying the peace and quiet, the stars overhead, and the amazing view from the steps of Washington Hall while reminiscing about all of the fun things that had occurred during our first-years in Lexington.

What’s the best encounter you’ve had with a faculty or staff member?
Last fall two other W&L students and I were studying abroad and conducting research in the Amazon. While there we had the opportunity to travel with three W&L faculty to Barcelos to gain familiarity with the communities in which we would be working throughout our experience in Brazil. This encounter was remarkable due to the fact that, there we were in the middle of the Amazon, and despite all of our differences, the one thing that brought us all together – professors and students alike- apart from being affiliated with W&L, was a passion for learning more about social and environmental justice in one of the world’s most breathtaking locations.


Tour Guide Spotlight: Katie Boe ’13

12 Nov

Katie Boe ’13

Hometown: Potomac, MD

Major(s)/Minor(s): Biology and Chinese

What clubs/activities are you involved in on campus? FYOC advertising committee, Kappa Kappa Gamma New Member Chairman, Women’s Golf Club vice-president, Campus Kitchens, Mock Convention.

How are you involved in the Lexington community? I have tutored at Natural Bridge Elementary School at Waddell Elementary School. I lived and worked in Lexington over the summer and developed a Chinese language curriculum for the elementary schools in the area with a RE Lee grant.

What are some of your other hobbies/interests?  Piano lessons, Group Exercise classes (especially Zumba!), KKG book club

Favorite weekend activity? Going for walks in town to go to Lex Co or on the Chessie Trail.

Favorite thing about Lexington? All of the outdoor adventures that are available to us—hiking, tubing, kayaking, camping, etc.

What’s your favorite W&L memory? My favorite W&L memory is definitely Spring Term. It is so unique and such a great outlet for trying new classes and generally enjoying time on campus and in Lexington. I love that the school gives us some time to relax and enjoy the weather and scenery during May but also give us some structure to our day through the interesting courses offered. It’s almost like a reward for working hard all year long.

What’s the best encounter you’ve had with a faculty or staff member? My genetics professor from last year is now my current adviser. I also started babysitting for his two children and so I’ve had the opportunity to get to know one of my favorite professors and now my adviser on a more personal level. He still is foremost my professor and adviser but I now know him more as a person. It’s nice to be able to have a working yet personable relationship with him.