Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 9:30 AM
GEO/BIKE WALK COMMUNICATES GEOHERITAGE IN HOUGHTON, MICHIGAN
A walk or bike based GPS treasure hunt across the city of Houghton is currently up and running to enhance education about the town’s exceptional geoheritage. 40 sites scattered throughout the city are georeferenced and found through GPS or smartphone. Signs at each site contain QR codes linked to internet geoscience information about the sites. Cooperative between the city and university, the system is on public and private land, mostly along streets and trails. Signs are small but robust. Geo topics for the selected sites include local rock formations, rock reading, landscape reading, water and well information, slope stability, mineralogy, petrology, hydrology, mining, sewage systems, sedimentology, building stone and glacial geology. The communication goal is to inform the interested public about how the earth works locally and why it matters. Development of the sites has been aided by middle school science teachers. Success with this effort has triggered development of similar systems in nearby areas. The current development is along a major thrust fault, a hydrologic focus of the peninsula, where rivers, lakes and waterfalls are localized. We hope that grassroots efforts will help build awareness of geoheritage and eventually a Geopark in the Keweenaw Peninsula, a place with rich geological history.