Northeastern (46th Annual) and North-Central (45th Annual) Joint Meeting (20–22 March 2011)

Paper No. 12
Presentation Time: 11:00 AM


HACKER, David B., Department of Geology, Kent State University, 221 McGilvrey Hall, Kent, OH 44242 and ANGLE, Michael P., Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey, 2045 Morse Rd., C-2, Columbus, OH 43229-6605,

Geologic knowledge of the Earth is fundamental to understanding environmental and societal aspects of our world. Every year, millions of visitors view nature up close within Ohio’s 74 state parks. Like national parks, many of Ohio’s state parks are natural classrooms for exceptional geological features. Visiting one of these parks provides a place where one can be exposed to geology first hand. The parks are ideal sites to educate the public about the local geology and geologic history of Ohio. The parks generally lack geological expertise and the methods to convey important concepts. Therefore, a cooperative project between Kent State University (KSU) and the Ohio Geological Survey (OGS) is underway to interpret the geology of Ohio’s state parks.

Geology students and faculty from KSU will work with staff from the OGS in an effort to better understand the processes that created the park’s landscape and produce educational materials for the public. Writing about a park’s geology is an excellent student exercise. One student team is currently developing a guide to the geology of Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park. These students are learning how to research geologic literature; develop field skills such as mapping; and build their observational, descriptive, interpretive, and communication skills.

The final product of the Ohio State Parks Geology Project will be a publication series of brochures on the geology of the state parks. Brochures for each park will follow a flexible template discussing park geology and will be published by the OGS. The publications will describe the general geology of a specific park, explain geological principles based upon outcrops and landscapes, address geological problems and visitors’ questions, and use color illustrations. The series will convey a sense of discovery and allow the visitor to experience the park’s geology. This pilot project teams up KSU and the OGS to generate projects for education both in and outside of the classroom. Brochures will be available in electronic and paper form at State Park visitor centers and the OGS.