When a Lake Turns to Desert

Campus Partner: Pathfinder Program in Environmental Sustainability, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Washington University is committed to addressing our most pressing environmental challenges, and to convey a unique example of this dedication, MarComm produced a short video documenting the learning experience of first-year students in the Mojave Desert.



The film, When a Lake Turns to Desert, documents the Pathfinder Program’s visit to the Mojave National Preserve in California for a climate change case study. The trip was led by Earth and Planetary Sciences Professor Raymond Arvidson, who has worked with NASA on its Mars missions and is committed to creating high-caliber learning experiences for undergraduate students.

Through this in-depth video, MarComm captured this class’s adventures and shared our undergraduates’ work toward a future of environmental sustainability. We show the team on-site, feature down-to-earth personal interviews, and convey the issues these students are addressing. The video, developed to raise the visibility of the university’s Pathfinder Program, was shared via the Office of Admissions’ WashU 360 blog and by email, as well as on WashU’s YouTube channel, demonstrating to prospective students the unique research opportunities WashU undergraduates enjoy, even in their first year.