Congratulations on your invitation to participate in Blueprint Earth's field work!
Mission Mojave is our proof of concept site that will lay a foundation for our future work . Your participation is crucial to our success and we would like to thank you in advance for providing us with your time and interest in supporting our mission.
Please bookmark this page as it is not directly linked on our website. The URL for this page is: http://www.blueprintearth.org/missionmojavefield
We will meet on DAY 1 of the Field Season at Noon at the Country Store in Baker. NOTE THAT WE WILL BE CAMPING! The campsite will be a few miles from Baker and we will use the Country Store in Baker as a meet-up location only on our first day. Address in Baker: 72129 Baker Boulevard, Baker, CA 92309. Please plan to arrive by Noon. If you are travelling from out of state, plan to arrive to Burbank Airport (BUR) or Los Angeles Airport (LAX) before Day 1. Plan to be picked up on Day 1 at 8AM as part of an existing carpool that will be departing from the area. For departure, it is recommended you book your flight for the day after the field season ends since we will depart the Baker, CA at 3PM and usually arrive in the Los Angeles metropolitan area ~8PM.
We will be responsible for our own cooking during this field season, so please send any and all dietary restrictions (e.g., vegan, lactose-intolerant, etc.) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 3 days prior to the start of the field season. We will not have access to a kitchen. Breakfasts will be oatmeal, cereal, and fruit. Lunches and snacks will be eaten in the field, and will be peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, granola bars, trail mix, fruit cups, fruit, chips, etc. Dinners will be pasta, chili, quesadillas, etc.
DAY 1 (first date listed per the field season)--arrive Baker by Noon
LAST DAY (last date listed per the field season)--depart Baker by 3PM
The official Blueprint Earth Waiver & Release Form must be completed and returned to Blueprint Earth staff on or before the first field date.
Important Files (read before arriving to the field):
Mission Mojave Field Volunteer Waiver (print and bring completed physical copy to the field)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I’m traveling out of state, when should I buy my plane tickets?
A: Book your flights ASAP. Anticipate arriving into Burbank Airport (preferred), or LAX the day before the first day of the field expedition. If flights to Las Vegas Airport are cheaper, contact Carlos@blueprintearth.org to see if that is a viable option. Plan on departing after 9PM on the final field date, or early the day after the field expedition ends. For example, if the field dates are February 2-7, it would be suggested to arrive February 1 and depart on February 8.
Q: I don’t have a car. What do I do?
A: We schedule calls called pre-mission conference calls. During these teleconference calls, we will ask if you have a car, or need a ride. We will also ask what city you will be departing from on Day 1. Based on the group logistics, we will identify a carpool for those without a car. We often have a departure from the Flyaway Bus Terminal in Van Nuys for those in the LA area. Sometimes, we may have a departure from Downtown Los Angeles (Union Station), or east of LA around the city of Duarte. In many cases, we have individuals driving from San Diego or Orange County that can pick students up.
Q: When will I know the carpool situation?
A: We send out a Logistics Email two to five days in advance of the start of a Field Expedition. The email groups students into carpools—some are drivers, while the majority are passengers. Included in the email is everyone’s name, email address, and telephone number. Passengers are required to get in touch with their respective Drivers to negotiate a convenient pickup location and time.
Q: What will the weather be like?
A: The desert can be a place of extremes and it can be unpredictable. We have had nights get as cold as 27 degrees and days as hot as 100+ degrees. It is recommended that you Google the weather in the city of Baker, CA to get an idea on what the weather will be like. Remember, we will be outdoors the entire time. It’s best to pack a heavy jacket and additional clothing, in case you get cold. For hot days, a buff can help alleviate the intensity of the temperature. It is also best to layer clothing so that you can add or remove layers per your comfort level. Do not assume that you will be “fine” and come unprepared.
Q: Are there any bathrooms, or latrines? Any running water?
A: No. We are camping in the middle of the Mojave Desert, approximately 20 miles from the nearest city (Baker, CA) and will not have bathrooms, or latrines. You will need to go to the bathroom outdoors. We do bring large containers of water to refill our personal water containers, but there is no running water. Many students bring baby wipes and toilet paper (plus a lighter to burn the toilet paper). A shovel will be kept at base camp for digging holes to bury human waste.
Q: Is there cell phone reception?
A: Do not count on it. Some students with T-Mobile or Verizon providers report getting intermittent service at base camp. Practically 100% of students have zero reception in the field area. Supervisory Scientist will have the ability to check messages during the morning and evening. In the event of an emergency, travelling a few miles from base camp towards the main road is sufficient for getting cell phone coverage, but unfortunately base camp is a bit too far away, while the field area ~2 miles further in (located within the Mojave Desert National Preserve) is even more remote.
Q: How can I charge my cell phone?
A: We strongly advise putting mobile devices into Airplane Mode to conserve battery power. At night, we will have a few electrical outlets available for charging devices, but depending on the group size, all phones may not be fully charged each night. The use of portable battery packs for recharging your cell phone is recommend, but not required.
Q: Is this going to be similar to the Boys Scouts, Girl Scouts, or a car camping trip?
A: It can be difficult to predict and anticipate every student’s comfort level working in a remote location. Over confidence or being ill-equipped to adjust to the environment is a real risk. To date, we have led over 20 expeditions and taken well over 250 students on expedition. These are science based expeditions that teach students hands-on fieldwork experience. We are doing innovative science in the Mojave Desert and provide the volunteer positions as an opportunity for students to gain real-world experience, learn new skills in the disciplines of Biology, Geology, Hydrology, and Atmospheric Science. Come prepared and please, ask questions on the pre-mission call. We want every student to enjoy the experience, learn in an environment that is safe, and build lasting friendships with other students.
Q: When will the next pre-mission conference call take place?
A: We have pre-mission conference calls taking place several times each month. Our Volunteer Coordinator will share times and dates with you. We recommend you join the soonest pre-mission conference call so that you can be informed and prepared. You will not be allowed to join us on an expedition without attending a pre-mission conference call, no exceptions.
Q: What if I do not have all of the equipment required?
A: We require that all students have a tent, sleeping bag, and therm-a-rest (or pad). If you do not have these items, we can provide loaner equipment. For the most part, students will bring their own equipment. Tent size is not a concern since we have plenty of space to camp. Sleeping bags should be rated accordingly so check your sleeping bag’s rating. Therm-a-rests (or pads) are essential to staying warm at night because they insulate your sleeping bag from the cold ground. If you need any of this equipment, we will ask you to state your equipment needs during the pre-mission call.
Therm-a-rest or Pad