Tag Archives: Minnesota

Unknown fossils for the Invertebrate Paleontology class at Wooster

I start my Invertebrate Paleontology classes with an unknown fossil given to each student. I pick something I have enough examples of so that everyone gets the same species. As their first assignment, the students are asked to identify their … Continue reading

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Wooster’s Pseudofossils of the Week: Artifacts in thin-sections of Ordovician limestones from southeastern Minnesota

It is always exciting to a geologist when thin-sections of curious rocks are completed and ready for view. A thin-section is a wafer of rock (30 microns thick) glues to a glass slide and examined by transmitted light through a … Continue reading

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Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Trepostome bryozoans, burrow systems, and bedding features in an Upper Ordovician limestone from southeastern Minnesota

One of the little mysteries on the recent Minnesota research trip by Wooster students, faculty and staff is the origin of thin limestone beds in the middle of the thick shales of the Decorah Formation (Upper Ordovician). How did such … Continue reading

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Wooster Geologists in Minnesota

Four students, Geological Technician Nick Wiesenberg and Professor Mark Wilson (me!) have just completed eight days of geological fieldwork in the Upper Ordovician of southeastern Minnesota as part of Wooster’s Senior Independent Study program. The students are, from the left, … Continue reading

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A visit to the Dalles of St. Croix in Wisconsin

Rochester, Minnesota — On its last day in the field, Team Minnesota had a geological trip to the Dalles of St. Croix in Interstate State Park, Wisconsin and Minnesota. It was beautiful, and we practically had the place to ourselves, … Continue reading

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Team Minnesota finishes its work (in Iowa, funny enough)

Rochester, Minnesota — We returned to Decorah, Iowa, today to measure and sample the Decorah Shale (Upper Ordovician) in its type locality. It was much drier here than on our last attempt! Above is the gray Decorah Shale topped by … Continue reading

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Paleontological fieldwork in southeastern Minnesota

Rochester, Minnesota — It was a good day for fossil collecting on the Minnesota prairie. Above you see a handful of articulated orthid brachiopods collected by Nikki Bell at a quarry exposure near Rochester. This quarry has long been abandoned … Continue reading

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The work begins

Rochester, Minnesota — Today we started collecting specimens and data for the Team Minnesota student Independent Study projects. We began with a long drive south to Decorah, Iowa, to measure a thick section of our Upper Ordovician target units at … Continue reading

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Wooster Geologists tramping through the brush of southern Minnesota

Rochester, Minnesota — The middle of the summer is not the best time to do fieldwork in southern Minnesota. The thick and diverse plants make each journey to an abandoned quarry wall or roadcut a jungly adventure. It doesn’t help … Continue reading

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Team Minnesota visits the Upper Ordovician of Iowa

Rochester, Minnesota — Team Minnesota traveled south today to visit exposures of our three favorite formations: the Platteville Limestone, Decorah Shale, and Cummingsville Limestone. Where best to see the Decorah Shale than in Decorah, Iowa? Above the crew is scattered … Continue reading

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