The Stanford Alpine Project (SAP) is a student-run organization affiliated with the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU). We are based in the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences (SE3), which includes the following departments:
Since its inception in 1989, SAP has built an excellent reputation in SE3 and has organized 11 extremely successful trips. Although membership in the group has traditionally been comprised primarily of graduate students in the geosciences, SAP welcomes students of all backgrounds and at all levels who have a committed interest in earth science.
The aim of SAP is to introduce students interested in Earth Sciences to spectacular geologic locations around the world. This is accomplished by the organization of biennial field trips motivated by a geology theme. Each field trip is of two to three weeks in duration and involves a detailed itinerary that introduces participants to the geology of the area being visited. Each day is spent visiting geologic outcrops and interacting with local geologic experts. In fact, the ultimate goal is to find a local geologist to lead each day of the field trip to permit the greatest understanding of the geology as possible.
Each field trip is conceived, organized and implemented by the students themselves. This is a considerable undertaking, and generally involves a two year planning period. There are many facets of the trip that need to be organized, including fundraising, logistical preparations, and itinerary development. The participants have to familiarize themselves with the geology of the planned trip location in order that all the important geology sites are included in the itinerary. Much effort is then put into communicating with local geologists to see if they can guide us for a portion of the trip. Fundraising is a crucial aspect of trip planning. The aim of SAP is to subsidize the cost per person to the greatest extent possible. In this way, students are afforded the opportunity to visit a geologic location in the world that they otherwise may never have the chance to visit.