The purpose of Discover EAPS:Life in Extreme Environments is to teach students basic earth science from the nature and causes of volcanic eruptions to the origin and diversity of microbial life in hot springs, to what we can tell about past climates from the fossil record.  Participants in DEAPS fly from Boston to Bozeman Montana in the week before orientation.  Upon arrival everyone s into rental vans and begins the trip, which will involve camping and touring in Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding region.  We will leave Yellowstone at the end of the trip for a night in a motel in Bozeman and fly back to Boston the next day.  For specific informaiton on this year's trip please see here.

Yellowstone National Park is roughly the size of the state of Connecticut. Most of the park is  located in the northwestern corner of Wyoming, but small portions occur within Montana and Idaho. The park comprises primarily high, forested, volcanic plateaus that have been eroded over the millennia by glaciation and stream flow.

With half of the earthís geothermal features, Yellowstone holds the planetís most diverse collection of geysers, hot springs, mudpots, and fumaroles. Its more than 300 geysers make up two thirds of all those found on earth. In all there are more than 10,000 thermal features, including hot springs, bubbling mudpots, and steaming fumaroles, within the park.

The various geothermal features owe their origin to cataclysmic volcanic eruptions over the past 2 million years which have left hot rock and magma beneath the area. To learn about the overall geology of Yellowstone, try this United States Geological Survey web site.

What Do We Do?

  • Studying the volcanic history of the Yellowstone area
  • Camp in Yellowstone Natl. Park
  • Informal lectures by faculty and staff
  • See geysers and hot springs
  • Learn about life in extreme environments
  • Detailed study of the chemistry and biology of hot springs
  • See evidence of earthquakes and volcanoes
  • See a fossil forest that is approximately 50 million years old