COMMUNICATING EARTH’S GEOLOGICAL HISTORY THROUGH TRAIL GUIDES: AN EXAMPLE FROM TORREY CANYON, WYOMING
The geology of Torrey Canyon formed the basis of several projects associated with Miami University's Capstone Field Course and provided fundamental knowledge which supported the overall design of the trail guide. Initial reconnaissance along the 4.6 mile trail (roundtrip) was conducted by recording GPS waypoints, distance along the trail between sites of interest, and photographs of sites at a range of scales. On a return visit, trail stops were refined based on distance and how well location characteristics exemplified the region's geologic history. With locations finalized, a detailed introduction (including a generalized stratigraphic column) was designed to present the nature and timing of major geologic events, and to provide context for trail stops. Explanations of individual stops built on this information and provided descriptions of individual lithologies. Annotated photographs were further used to highlight specific examples of minerals and textures while additional descriptions of canyon-scale views and local wildflowers were included to promote engagement with the surrounding landscape.
Through the development of a geological trail guide we broadly aim to support science education while raising awareness of the geosciences. Once finalized, the trail guide will be made available to the public at the nearby Dubois Museum & Wind River Historical Center.