THE GEOLOGY OF NEW YORK: EDINBORO UNIVERSITY’S NEW FIELD GEOLOGY COURSE
The course addressed five major themes through the use of directed questions and inquiry-based field exercises at various sites. The themes were Quaternary surficial processes/landforms, water as a resource/geologic agent, mountain-building/rock deformation, Paleozoic stratigraphy, and regional geologic history. Sub-themes developed during the trip included synthesis of Appalachian tectonic cycles, application of the Paleozoic fossil record, Catskill clastic wedge facies analysis, unconformity recognition, and human interaction with the environment.
Day one involved a pre-trip exam used to establish student depth and breadth of knowledge in physical and historical geology. The exam then served as a review of that material. Day two focused on introducing students to the geography, geology and geologic history of New York. Students worked in pairs to answer questions covering the state geologic map and related material found in the text Geology of New York: A Simplified Account. Students then participated in an intensive ten-day field excursion across New York to such areas as the Niagara Gorge, southern Adirondack Mountains, Saratoga Springs region, Hudson Valley/Catskill Mountains, and Finger Lakes region. Additional stops were made at the NY State Museum in Albany and the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca and also to collect Herkimer Diamonds. During the trip, students were provided with specific tasks involving observation and interpretation of key outcrops/landforms. A journal including daily notes, answers to specific questions, sketches, and a daily summary of each days activities helped students focus on the themes. On the last day of the course, students completed a post-trip exam and, as a group, constructed a Power Point presentation summarizing the geologic history of New York, which is displayed on the EUP Geosciences homepage.