A culture and nature day for Team Jurassic Utah 2022

Our field work is now done, so we had a day of cultural and natural sites. Our morning started with a visit to the Visitor’s Center at the LDS Temple in St. George. There the students learned at least one perspective on the Mormon faith and Mormon history of the area. It was so intense at times I forgot to take photographs!

Afterwards we went to a different kind of temple — a temple of science built over an extraordinary series of Jurassic trackways and sedimentary features. We’ve been coming to the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site every year since it was established (except for one wretched covid summer). We met our friend Andrew Milner, who is the curator and a spectacular guide to the fossils.

Vicky is here demonstrating how the famous swimming dinosaur tracks were made. (Yes, we were the only people there with masks.)

Andrew took us into the fossil preparatory lab. One of the highlights was watching a live scorpion (wrangled here by arachnidologist Zach Valois) make tracks in sand which could later be compared to fossil equivalents. With Zach holding the stinger, we were each able to pat the scorpion (a unique experience for me, at least).

After lunch we visited our friends Judy and Jay Leavitt in Gunlock, had more pie in Veyo, and then had a brief hike in Snow Canyon State Park. (Image by Nick.)

Nick also took this picture of what appears to be a hike with maintenance of strict social distancing!

Finally the Wooster flag moment with Vicky and Lucie. A kind of graduation event to mark the successful completion of their first geological field work. They were wonderful field colleagues with sharp observations, strong work ethics, and tolerance for gnats and rattlesnakes!

About Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a Professor of Geology at The College of Wooster. He specializes in invertebrate paleontology, carbonate sedimentology, and stratigraphy. He also is an expert on pseudoscience, especially creationism.
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