"A FIELD TRIP ABOUT FIELD TRIPS:" THE 2019 DC METRO REGION'S SAGE 2YC FIELD WORKSHOP
Field trips, particularly those in urban landscapes, provide an excellent resource for students with limited experience in the outdoors. In exploring Rock Creek Park, faculty will be introduced to a new and exciting field trip they can take back to their campuses. Additionally, this field trip will provide a great jumping off point for inclusive teaching methods. The workshop allowed participants to generate and share ideas for field trips and engaging talks to take back to individual campuses.This workshop examined eight sites in Rock Creek Park and adjacent D.C. neighborhoods to examine outcrops from the Piedmont and Coastal Plain geological provinces, the unconformity that separates them, and recent reverse faults that offset the unconformity. We also examined serendipitous "exposures" of building stones from regions more exotic to D.C., on a municipal bridge and in the restaurant where we had lunch.
Issues discussed included pre-field trip preparation, logistics and legalities, access to sites on various properties, outcrop cleaning and maintenance, the role of redundancy in effectively transferring information, the ethics of planting samples on sites so students may discover them, the ethics of tailoring one's geological story for the audience at hand (offering a simple story when the reality is more complicated), the role of field graphics (including on-site drawing), the balance of "touring" versus "exploring," informal testing (of geopetal structures), and the importance of imparting a visceral sense of moving through geological structures in field space.
The field workshop was favorably evaluated by participants, & we were inspired to do similar workshops in the future.