Wooster Geologists in Indiana!

July 28th, 2012

WOOSTER, OHIO–I’ve seen a lot of fossils in my blessedly long time as a paleontologist, and I’ve had the opportunity to study them in many exotic places. I’m often reminded, though, that one of the best preserved and most diverse fossil faunas is in my backyard: the Cincinnati Region. The fossils here from the Upper Ordovician are extraordinary, and they will always be a resource for paleontological research. They’re just plain fun to find, too. There is a reason why so many American paleontologists have educational roots in the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana area.

Sure, the setting is not always glorious. Instead of castles in the distance, we are often working in roadside ditches, but the fossils are so fascinating that we forget the prosaic American recreational weekend traffic zooming by to local parks, lakes and rivers. In the above image you see Katherine Marenco (’03), Richa Ekka (’13) and Kit Price (’13) today on our first outcrop of the in eastern Indiana just south of Richmond (C/W-148 in our locality system). It is an outcrop of the Whitewater Formation (Richmondian, Upper Ordovician) known by many Wooster geologists from paleontology course field trips to Indiana. It is chock-jammy-full of fossils, as you can see from the random shot below:

We are here today to collect material for Kit Price’s Junior (and then Senior) Independent Study project. She will be studying bioimmuration processes in these rocks. We will have more on her study after we unpack and clean the treasures we collected today.

Accompanying us on this field trip is Dr. Katherine Nicholson Marenco (Wooster ’03), shown above. She is visiting to Wooster to renew work on Jurassic bioimmuration and aragonite dissolution in the Portlandian of southern England, the topic of her Senior Independent Study in 2002-2003. She went on to graduate school and a post-doc position and is now at Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania. We are very fortunate to have her with us because of her expertise on the topic of “upside-down encrusters” and her many creative ideas. We look forward to much collaboration! (You can see her in this old page on Paleontology at Wooster.)

Richa Ekka (above) generously volunteered to help us find and collect fossils. You may remember Richa from her very recent work in Estonia. (It is difficult to believe that just two weeks ago we were on islands in the Baltic.) Richa, as always, found great specimens.

Here is Kit working on our last Cincinnatian outcrop near Brookville, Indiana (C/W-111). Note the very dry grass, a result of the continuing drought in this part of the state. The temperatures today, by the way, were in the pleasant high 60s and low 70s.

Finally, we just had to share a photograph of our rented field vehicle: a Dodge Avenger. We think this is the trendiest car color of 2012: burnt pumpkin.

More in later posts on what we found on this field trip, and Kit’s developing Independent Study project. It was a spectacular field day with excellent fossils and great conversations.

7 Responses to “Wooster Geologists in Indiana!”

  1. Andrew Retzleron 29 Jul 2012 at 11:44 am

    Nice wheels!

  2. […] Kit Price (’13) is cutting Late Ordovician limestones containing fossils she collected on our field trip to Indiana last Saturday. Rest assured that she has all the safety equipment for this saw! Her hands are […]

  3. […] trepostome bryozoans are not especially popular among fossil collectors!) I found it on a recent field trip to the Whitewater Formation (Upper Ordovician, about 450 million years old) in eastern Indiana for […]

  4. […] note: The Wooster Geologists in Indiana this summer wrote an abstract for the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Charlotte, […]

  5. Coumbison 26 Aug 2012 at 4:26 am

    The creationist’s great flood that, they claim, made the Grand Canyon and the young earth hyesohptis do not explain the 3 main groups of marble that clearly where made under such great pressure that some went completely fluid or half fluid. The ones containing fossilized shells are younger. No way a young earth can account for that. I just looked up marble on wikipedia an was astonished how little information there is on it’s history and the many kinds. No magma is involved.

  6. Manuellaon 26 Aug 2012 at 5:22 am

    The evidence shows evilotoun, that part is proven, the theory tries to explain how it happened. Watch watch?v=hBsoWzt4pyg to see the feathered dinosaus. There is no Post-date in evilotoun, just because true birds were aroung does not mean feathered dinosaurs had to die off, evilotoun is not a ladder. I see birds/dinosaurs in my front yard all the time, how can you say No dinosaurs with feathers survived You are an Ape/primate/mammal/tetrapod/vertebrate.

  7. […] have been visiting for about 30 years. Most recently Kit Price (’13) and her team was here collecting specimens for her Independent Study project. She was on this trip as well, and the class found lots of […]

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