Geological training of astronauts in the Taos region
W. R. Muehlberger
The Taos region has a great variety of geological features that can be used for teaching geology to anyone- especially those who are curious about how the world works. It has the additional assets of scenic vistas, a good climate, and good food and accommodations. I had done geological field work early in my career in several areas related to this region: Ojo Caliente Precambrian rocks (1947; remapped onto USGS topographic map, 1960); Capulin Volcano Quadrangle (1954); Chama Basin and Tusas Mountains (1955-1959); and have participated in many geological field trips across the region. I have done extensive field work in the Big Bend region of Texas as well (led an early astronaut training trip there). Big Bend also has a wide variety of good geology that is well exposed (it’s a desert!), but the climate is such that it adds a survival element to field work. That is not necessary for this type of learning as the astronauts learn survival techniques on a separate course. Thus I use the Taos region for astronaut geological field trips.
- Muehlberger, W. R., 2004, Geological training of astronauts in the Taos region, in: Geology of the Taos Region, Brister, Brian S.; Bauer, Paul W.; Read, AdamS.; Lueth, Virgil W., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 55th Field Conference, pp. 272-277.