South Coast Geological Society invites you to join our monthly meeting on Monday, July 9th at 6PM to be held at Dave & Buster’s in Orange, CA. We are delighted to host Mr. Philip Hughes, Department Chair and Professor in the Department of Geology and Earth Science at Santa Ana College.
In the Summer of 2016 two faculty members from Santa Ana College, Phil Hughes and Cathy Swan Shaffer, two TA’s and 19 students traveled to Alaska to participate in an Undergraduate research program that took place over 11 days. Funding for the trip was obtained through Santa Ana College’s Math Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) program and activities in Alaska and release time for faculty to work with the students was through the GLOBE program for citizen science research and a grant from NASA to Dr. Elena Sparrow of UAF’s International Arctic Research Center. The Santa Ana College students were from a variety of science and engineering majors that require calculus. The program included a section of Introduction to Geology and Introduction to Geology Lab that met on and prior to the trip. Basic rock and mineral identification and topographic maps were covered prior to the trip and lab experiences involving glacial processes, fluvial processes, and groundwater were done in the field in Alaska. The students were also taught some basic field methods and statistics and data processing by faculty at UAF. The students were responsible for developing their own questions for their projects with guidance from UAF and SAC faculty . The group traveled to the Caribou-Poker Creek Research Watershed to take soil and botanical samples to study in conjunction with a wide variety of remote sensing data available in the International Arctic Research Center. The students processed and analyzed their data and produced posters to present at the end of the program. Additional experiences included a visit to the US Army Corps of Engineers Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility, a tour of the Chena Hot Springs Geothermal Powerplant, a boat tour down the Chena River and the wildlife tour at Denali National Park.
Phil Hughes earned his B.S. in Geology from USC and his MS from the Ohio State University in 1986. His thesis was on Modern Sedimentation in the Terra Nova Bay Polynya, Ross Sea, Antarctica. After Graduation he was hired for a sabbatical replacement position at Adrian College in Adrian Michigan where he also served as head coach for the college’s soccer team. Upon returning to California he was hired at Earth Technology Corporation where he worked on a GIS project for the MX missile program. Realizing his heart was in teaching he went back to school at CSULA to work towards a second master’s degree in Education and a secondary teaching credential. During the day he taught at Garfield High School in East LA and was teaching there when the film Stand and Deliver about Garfield teacher, Jaime Escalante was released. After leaving Garfield he worked briefly at JPL where he contributed to the Geologic Remote Sensing Field Experiment (GRSFE). In 1989 he accepted a sabbatical replacement position in Geology at Santa Ana College and has been there ever since with additional experience as a “Freeway Flyer” at CSUF, Cypress College, Fullerton College and Santiago Canyon College. In 1997 he was awarded Santa Ana College’s Professional Achievement award and in 2009 he received Santa Ana College’s Distinguished Faculty Award. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Physical Science Department which includes Geology, Astronomy, and Physics.