To Capture Student Interest in Geosciences, Plan an Adventure



[1] It is dawn, –17°C, and 4700 meters above sea level, and two young scientists are alone in a tiny tent in the middle of the immense desert of the Bolivian Altiplano. Their bicycles and sleeping bags are coated with a thin layer of ice. Muscles aching, as they did yesterday and probably will tomorrow, they shrug off their sleepiness as the sunrise heats up their tent. After a simple breakfast, the researchers peek out and feast their eyes on a stunning view of high volcanic peaks and salt lakes. They are on the Andean Geotrail, a 9-month bike adventure through the Andes mountains, from Ushuaia in Argentinean Tierra del Fuego to Nazca, Peru (see Figure 1). Their goal is to share this spectacular geological setting with primary-, secondary- and high-school students.


We would like to thank several institutions for their support: the Center for Physics of Geological Processes at the University of Oslo; La Guilde Européenne du Raid; the French Ministry of National Education; the French Ministry of Health, Youth and Sports; the city of Bourg-en-Bresse, France; and the Rhône-Alpes region of France.