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Backbone Trail via Will Rogers State Park w/ Justin Wood

Ever wanted to traverse the Backbone Trail, spanning 67 miles through the Santa Monica Mountains? Ever realized that you're a college student and don't have the time for that? If so, this hike is for you! We'll be joined by Professor Justin Wood of the Psychology Department in exploring the first leg of the Backbone Trail at its eastern starting point in Will Rogers State Park.

We'll head up along the trail to Chicken Ridge road and back down through the Inspiration Point Loop--known for its stunning panoramic views of Santa Monica Bay, the San Gabriel Mountains, and Catalina Island--for a total of ~6 miles roundtrip. Speaking of chickens, ask Professor Wood about his research with newborn chicks and how it can inform artificial intelligence!


PEAK: Backbone Trail @ Will Rogers State Park


Difficulty: 3/5

Scenery: Sweeping views of the ocean, mountains and maybe Catalina Island!

Fun Fact: Will Rogers, the famous actor for whom this park was named, was self-described as a "cowboy philosopher" and designed most of the trails around the park himself.


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PROFESSOR: Justin Wood

Department: Psychology

Faculty Page: link

Rate My Professor: "THE BEST PROFESSOR I HAD AT USC. He seems to genuinely enjoy teaching and students' questions. Professor Wood's passion for the material was contagious, he is absolutely a master in his research area."

As a cognitive psychologist, Justin Wood is interested in understanding how knowledge has emerged in humans and animals, and what the role of experience is in developing cognition. Currently, his research with newborn chicks reared in a controlled environment has provided insight into the cognitive abilities of newborn animals and could have implications in the designing of artificial intelligence.


TRIP LEAD: Marla Ross



Read Marla's bio here

ADDRESS: 1501 Will Rogers State Park Rd, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272