Lab 5 Entry: Field Trip to Alpine Dam/Mt. Tamalpais/Coast

Carter Pope

Professor John Paul

Molecular Ecology



Lab 5 Entry

Field Trip to Alpine Dam/Mt. Tamalpais/Coast


On September 26th I arrived at the lab and our class walked to the parking structure at Koret Gym. From there, we split up into two separate vehicles and drove to the Alpine Dam in Bolinas.

Picture Credit: Peter Dubois


Once we reached the dam, we proceeded to walk down a path which led us to the riverbed that the dam blocked. We searched here because the ground here contained the most moisture and the Mimulus cardinalis thrives in soil that is adjacent to water. Although we weren’t able to locate any of the Mimulus cardinalis, we did find a large population of ladybugs and got to venture a little off the beaten path. One student (Jinwoo Kim) acquired a few casualties on his right lumbrical muscles on his hand. A first aid kit was applied when we returned to the lab.

Picture Credit: Peter Dubois


We then walked back to the vehicles and drove further into the region of Mt. Tamalpais. We then parked in a little pullout area and our professor showed us his “go-to” location for Mimulus cardinalis. It was located in between two conjoining hills where water from the top flowed downhill to form a little spring. This was an example of how the plant grew in soil that was moist with water.


After taking pictures, we then drove west towards the coastline and traveled just south of Stinson Beach to a pullout area for cars. We got out and walked on a trail heading to the cliffside overlooking the ocean. We set our focus back to the purple-flowering lupines and were able to find some adjacent to the path we were walking on.

Picture Credit: Peter Dubois


After successfully observing both the Mimulus cardinalis and the purple flowering lupine, we drove back to the parking lot at Koret Gym and ended the field trip.


Thoughts: The views and scenery that we were able to see and take pictures of were very fascinating and unbelievable to be quite close to USF.


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