Wooster Paleontologists in Indiana!

September 12th, 2010

RICHMOND and LIBERTY, INDIANA–The College of Wooster Invertebrate Paleontology class had its field trip today to sunny eastern Indiana. We collected bags and bags of fossils from Upper Ordovician strata for research projects throughout the rest of the course. Each student will be reconstructing a paleocommunity from the fossils, and along the way will learn several paleontological techniques and principles. Our specimens include many strophomenid and orthid brachiopods, trepostome and cyclostome bryozoans, rugose and heliolitid corals, crinoids, nautiloids, a few trilobites, and some mystery fossils I find perplexing. (Always scientific opportunities there!) We hope to show some of our discoveries in later blog posts.

The challenge of this trip was the size of the group: 21 people in five vehicles. It all worked out well for a spectacular field day.

The Invertebrate Paleontology class spreads out along an Upper Ordovician outcrop. Note the great weather.

Travis Louvain and Nick Fedorochuk enjoy a nice exposure.

6 Responses to “Wooster Paleontologists in Indiana!”

  1. Kristin Riker-Colemanon 12 Sep 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Why the five vehicles? Are big vans no longer allowed? I spent a lot of time in those in college. Vans with >7 capacities are no longer insurable for our university and only student employees can drive minivans. Because so few students opt to work for the university, it essentially means we have to do a charter bus for any group over 10 (or work really hard to get 3-4 students who are both willing to go and work for the university).

    Needless to say — a charter bus limits the places one might take a group of students. I was scouting out a new field trip this afternoon with my own kids and ran into a sign that said “rough road”. I was willing to take it in my own vehicle, but it would depend on the bus driver whether s/he was also willing.

  2. Mark Wilsonon 12 Sep 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Hey Kristin! Hello!

    Those big vans are no longer allowed for field trips at Wooster. We use seven passenger vans and cars — and you know that by “seven” they really mean “six”. We have two busses now, but they are always booked for the athletic teams on weekends. A bus would be hard to park on some of those roadsides anyway. So we end up with a caravan.

  3. […] might want to see Wooster paleontology students collecting Ordovician fossils in Indiana this month as part of the Invertebrate Paleontology course. The Palaeos webpages on the Ordovician […]

  4. Darius Dixsonon 26 Sep 2010 at 8:00 pm

    This trip looks like a fun time! Also is there a way to see a record of the paleocommunities that the students constructed?

  5. Mark Wilsonon 26 Sep 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Sure, Darius. They will be finished at the end of the semester. If you remember to ask then, I’ll show you the fossils and the student interpretations. It is always interesting!

  6. […] 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 […]

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