2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (28–31 October 2007)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 3:50 PM


HACKLEY, Paul C.1, AMBERSON, Joanne2, MILLER, Greta3, LEWIS, Neal2 and HURLBERT, Dan4, (1)U.S. Geological Survey, 956 National Center, Reston, VA 20192, (2)Interpretation & Education Division, Shenandoah National Park, 3655 U.S. Hwy 211 East, Luray, VA 22835, (3)Shenandoah National Park Association, 3655 U.S. Hwy 211 East, Luray, VA 22835, (4)Administrative Division, Shenandoah National Park, 3655 U.S. Hwy 211 East, Luray, VA 22835, phackley@usgs.gov

A hiker's guide to the geology of Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park is a 30-page booklet designed to provide a useful tour to the geology of one of the most popular hiking areas in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. The product was conceived in 1998 as an outgrowth of a MS thesis on the local geology, and was developed with the professional staff of Shenandoah National Park and the Shenandoah National Park Association, a non-profit organization supporting the interpretive and educational activities of the Park. Completed in May 2006, the booklet contains three primary sections: 1) introductory material to prepare hikers for the scramble over Old Rag Mountain's rocky crest, 2) a tour of geological, geomorphological, ecological, and cultural stops keyed to physical landmarks along the 7.2 mile loop trail, and 3) a geological history of the area, stretching a billion years from the Mesoproterozoic Grenville orogeny to the present. Original text, photographs, preliminary layout, and a trail map prepared by the author (available from http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2000/of00-263/) were edited, redesigned, and proofed by Park and Park Association staff, resulting in a glossy final product. Five thousand copies were printed at a cost of approximately six thousand dollars and distributed for sale at five dollars each in the Park's visitor centers, entrance stations, and at the Old Rag greeting station at the trailhead. In addition, several local retail stores carry the product. Sales from May-December 2006 totaled about 800 copies, principally from the trailhead greeting station which is staffed only on weekends. The booklet won an Award of Excellence - Best in Print 2006 from the Printing Industries of Virginia, an Honorable Mention in the Association of Partners of Public Lands Media Competition in March 2007, and received favorable comments in the Richmond Times Dispatch. The product is an effective tool for hands- and feet-on informal earth science education and represents a successful, broadly disseminated publication resulting from an academic geologic endeavor. This cooperative effort of combining geologic and professional publication expertise can be applied to other National Parks and public lands to place entertaining, educational, and inexpensive geologic information into the hands of the visiting public.