BARSTOW • Cornwall, located at the southwestern tip of England, boasts a historically rich mining history — something it shares with the Barstow area and a reason why students from a Cornwall college spent Wednesday morning at the Mojave River Valley Museum and Desert Discovery Center.
Eleven students studying human geography at the University of Exeter, Cornwall, arrived Monday in Zzyzx and will continue research of local mines and the surrounding desert through Friday.
What exactly is human geography?
"It's an interest in people, places and the interaction (between the two)," explained Caitlin Desilvy, senior lecturer at the university. "The purpose of this trip is to give these guys training on research methods."
The students came to probe area locations as they work on their dissertations, Desilvy said.
The group spent Tuesday in Calico — a visit which prompted student Jessica Gane, 19, to note how discernibly unique it was compared to whereabouts in England.
"I don't think I've ever encountered anything like that at home," she said.
Gane was noticeably excited when revealing the success she and her college mates had spotting for scorpions late Tuesday using night-vision equipment — a refreshing take possibly not shared by some long-time desert dwellers.
Inside the Mojave River Valley Museum, student Zoe Wong, 20, stole intermittent glances at a glass-encased display of fossils from the late Ice Age while she explained that she had performed hefty research on the area online and through textbooks prior to making the expedition.
The students were expected to visit Daggett later Wednesday and potentially hike to get glimpses of petroglyphs.
Shea Johnson may be reached at (760) 256-4126 or at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com.