This year’s Paleoecology class field trip was to a familiar place: a roadcut outside Richmond, Indiana, exposing the Whitewater Formation in the gorgeous Upper Ordovician System. We call it the catchy name “C/W-148” (N 39.78722°, W 84.90166°). It was a beautiful sunny August day. Warm and plenty humid, with innumerable sweat bees to keep us company as we collected bags of fossils.
Once at the outcrop we spread out and began filling bags with fossils. We hadn’t yet finished even our first week in the course before the trip, so the students had little idea what they were collecting other than what we could examine in a preceding lab. In a way this sort of naive collecting produces more diverse assemblages to study back home in Wooster.
A washed collection from one student. It is great fun looking at 15 such trays at the start to see what treasures we have. Students will be preparing, identifying and interpreting these fossils for the rest of the semester, culminating in a lab report.