As a member of the Americas High School Student-Sierra Coalition, I have been delighted by the opportunity of participating in a multitude of environment-driven hikes in which we learn about the protection of the biome and the about the intricacy of the natural world. Moreover, our passionate organization has also been involved in local community service projects such as the construction of a wheelchair accessible trail within the Franklin Mountains State Park. One of the main goals of the Student Sierra-Coalition is to cultivate appreciation for nature and to make it accessible for everyone. Our main club sponsor, Ms. Hardin, has opened the possibility of sharing multiple outdoor experiences with members of the national park service, college science majors, and field experts, such as a paleontologist.
On January 2018, we were able to attend the Prehistoric Trackways National monument located near Las Cruces, NM.; we were given the rare honor of sharing the hike with a paleontologist who had as much passion and admiration for nature as the members of our group. From the rugged landscape of the Franklin Mountains to the developing wetlands of Rio Bosque, no previous hiking endeavors have deeply captured my interests. Although, nothing but positive memories have come from the outings provided by the Sierra Student Coalition, none have captivated my child-like innocence than laying my eyes upon the remnants of prehistoric organisms. From the bombardment of dates and eras of the geologic time scale, to the geology centered lectures, and finally to the main event being the impressions of beings which went extinct 250 million years ago. Observing the fossilized remains of these ancient creatures inspired my younger, and many others, growing minds alike. However, seeing this other portion of paleontology, being able to walk along similar paths as Dimetrodons, and learning about the possible behaviors of these organisms was an awe-inspiring experience of which I hope for more in the coming months.
-Lorenzo Gonzalez and Carlos Chavez members of the Americas High Sierra Student Coalition in El Paso, TX