The September deluge that caused so much damage in Colorado, washing out roads and homes and triggering mudslides, spanned almost 200 miles and affected 17 counties. The heavy rain along Colorado’s Front Range hit Boulder County the hardest, but Colorado Springs, on the southern end of the system, also felt the effects of the downpour.
First-year students in Geology Professor Christine Siddoway’s FYE course “Physical Geology/Intro to Global Climate Change” saw the effects of the flood firsthand in a dynamic undertaking in which they responded to the weather anomaly in an approach that was not a “canned exercise,” but allowed direct student learning. Siddoway’s 16 students studied The Fan, a formation at the base of Cheyenne Mountain in southern Colorado Springs, measuring the impact of the rains that pounded the area. As one student wrote, “Year One, Block One, Day One of class at Colorado College, and we are already getting our hands dirty.”
The flooding also provided a volunteer opportunity for CC staff and students. Fransiska Dannemann ’12, Michael Maurer ’14, Taylor Schwabe ’16, Emily Biben ’16, Nicole Tan ’17, and Olivia Foster ’17 used a recent block break to assist with the flood cleanup in Manitou Springs. The relief effort was coordinated by the CC Collaborative for Community Engagement and the Manitou Springs Department of Planning. Ironically, the students helped clear flood debris from the property of a 1950 CC graduate.