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  Field Trips and Events 



Department Trips and Events
  • China Field Course, Summer 2012: During the summer of 2012, Dr. Jack Livingston and Dr. Jialing Wang traveled with 9 students on a two-week field course in China. The first stop was Shanghai, the biggest city in China, where the group visited an ancient water town, Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai History Museum, and Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Then the group traveled to Nanjing in a van, during which the group stopped at Jiangsu Teachers University of Technology in Changzhou and Nanjing University to communicate with local college students and professors (Nanjing University is Dr. Jialing Wang’s alma mater.) Followed by the two college visits was an overnight rail trip to Xi’an, one of the oldest cities in China. At Xi’an, the group visited Terracotta Warriors and enjoyed bicycling and walking on the Ancient City Wall. Another sleeper train took the group to the capital city of China, Beijing, where the group explored Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, and finally climbed the Great Wall and became Hao Han (heros)! This field course provided students a good opportunity to be exposed to a different culture. Before the trip, each student was assigned a research topic related to China and presented research findings based on information collected from books, journals, magazines, newspaper, or the Internet. After the completion of the trip, students finished individual research paper reflecting their travel experiences in China.

  • Summer, 2012, St Lawrence Valley and Newfoundland: Dr. Patrick Burkhart, Dr. Kolson Schlosser, and Dr. James Hathaway led eighteen students to Newfoundland via the St Lawrence Valley for “Field Investigations in the Geosciences” in August. They were assisted by Thomas “Hoss” Quinn, a graduate of the department who attended an earlier departmental field course to Newfoundland. Dr Burkhart has led or helped lead 20 field excursions in the department. Toronto was the first stop, followed by visits the next few days to Ottawa and the National Gallery of Canada, Montreal, and Quebec City with its magnificent Montmorency Falls. Traveling in three vans and a pickup truck, the group camped 16 of the 17 nights and spent a night on the ferry that sails from North Sydney, Nova Scotia to Argentia, Newfoundland.  At Memorial University in St John’s the group received orientation to the island’s complex geology and geography. An evening on a cod fishing boat and in the fishing village of Petty Harbour was a highlight in a trip that had many. On the other side of the island, faculty and students explored Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose exposed geology provides great insight into the process of continental drift. At this park, students enjoyed kayaking in one of the park’s impressive fjords. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site on the itinerary was L’Anse aux Meadows, where Norse settlers arrived around the year 1000. After taking a shorter ferry back to Nova Scotia, the group traveled through New Brunswick with a stop in St John en route to Bar Harbor, Maine’s old town. On the drive back to Slippery Rock the students had time to reflect on seeing and learning a lot of cool stuff.

  • Spring Break 2012: Dr. Kolson Schlosser and nine SRU students went to Little Rock, AR to work with Herfer International to help educate hungry people how to produce food. The purpose was to engage in service learning on the ranch, where the group helped plant crops, did agroforestry projects, helped tend to the livestock, etc. The group also participated in workshops about global hunger and sustainability issues, as well as team building exercises. This included one night in Heifer International’s “global village”, meant to loosely simulate living conditions in the developing world. All the pictures taken at night are at this ‘global village.’

  • Greater Yellowstone Field Course, Summer 2011During the summer of 2011 Dr. Tamra Schiappa and Dr. Langdon Smith traveled with 17 students on a two-week field course through several western states. We left Slippery Rock University in three vans, and camped in tents during 13 of the 14 nights of the trip. Our ultimate destination was the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem surrounding Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, but there were many stops along the way. We explored the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota, the Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse memorials, and Devils Tower in Wyoming. Dr. Schiappa taught the geology of the regions where we traveled, while Dr. Smith lectured about conservation and resource management issues. One of the highlights of the course was a field exercise with a National Park Service wolf biologist in Yellowstone. He let our students assist him with the documentation of a recent wolf kill, and then helped us locate and watch a wolf feeding on a kill in the Lamar Valley. Another major highlight for the group was experiencing the geology of the Bighorn Mountains while driving through the pass.  The beautifully exposed rocks provided the students with a unique opportunity to view the overturned early Paleozoic strata and stand on the Paleozoic/Mesozoic era boundary.  Students completed individual research projects during the trip and presented their findings to their peers while traveling. 

  • Annual Department Field Trip, West Virginia, Fall 2007:Fourteen SRU students and two faculty, Dr. Patrick Burkhart and Dr. Charles Shultz (professor emeritus) attended the department’s annual field trip to West Virginia. The destination is each-central West Virginia: Mouth of Seneca, Spruce Knob, and the Greenbanks Radio Astronomy Observatory. The focus of the trip was physiographic comparisons between the Monongahela Plateau and the Valley and Ridge. The trip was organized by Dr. Patrick Burkhart.

  • Pittsburgh Geological Society Tools of the Trade, Spring 2007

  • Annual Department Field Trip, Rhode Island, Fall 2006: Thirty SRU students and ten faculty attended the department’s annual field trip to Rhode Island, where they camped at Fisherman’s Memorial Campground near Narragansett Bay. The focus of the trip was to investigate the Rhode Island coastline and learn from its history. Day one was spent at Beavertail State Park investigating animals in the rocky intertidal zone. Day two was spent on a unique rock unit, the Narragansett Pier Granite, which used to be miles below Earth’s surface and connected to Africa. On day three, students and faculty walked to Napatree Point, where very home, every car, every reminder of life was washed from this beach during the Great Hurricane of 1938.  The trip was organized by Dr. Julie Snow with the help of Dr. Tamra Schiappa, Dr. Lang Smith, and Dr. Michael Zieg (12 pictures).
  • Greater Yellowstone Field Course, August 13-23, 2006,led by Dr. Langdon Smith and Dr. Tamra Schiappa (39 pictures). This course was designed to give students an opportunity to visit and do fieldwork in another region of the United States, Yellowstone. The course investigated natural resource issues and geology within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Each student chose a topic for individual research during the trip and gave an oral presentation on his or her findings. The course also provided a great opportunity for students to meet with agency researchers and a variety of other participants in the conservation arena.
  • Department Picnic, Fall 2005(2 pictures)
  • Tamra Schiappa, Jack Livingston, and Julie Snow led the annual department field trip to New York City, Fall 2004. Areas of emphasis include cultural aspects of Little Italy and Chinatown, geology in Central Park, and the measurement of CO emissions in various parts of Manhattan.
  • Annual Department Field Trip, Sudbury, Ontario. 2003.
    Thirty SRU students and seven faculty attended the department’s annual field trip to Sudbury, Ontario, where they camped at Killbear Provincial Park on Georgian Bay. Sudbury is the site of a large meteorite impact event (1.8 billion years ago) that formed some of the richest Ni-Cu deposits in the world. The trip focused on the geology of the present impact crater, an elliptical basin. Dr Michael Stapleton organized the trip. The newest member of the department Dr. Michael Zieg, whose doctoral research focused on the Sudbury impact, led the tour. Three other faculty made presentations: Dr. Jack Livingston focused on the biological and environmental impact of 100 years of mining in the Sudbury area; Dr Robert Mathieu discussed the glacial geomorphology of the area between Slippery Rock and Sudbury; and Dr. Lang Smith discussed the Provincial Park system and the logic behind the design and operation of a public park. Assisting were Dr. James Hathaway and Dr. Tamra Schiappa.
  • Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting at New Orleans Louisiana, March 2003. Jan Smith took a group of six students to the meeting. Jan organized and chaired three geography education sessions and presented a paper in one of those sessions. The six students--Amy Boyer, Erin Heffron, Mike Kotyk, Kate Maynard, Rick Minshull, and Annie Normand--each presented posters. Lang Smith organized a session on America's public lands and presented a paper in that session. Jim Hathaway attended the meeting as well. (30 pictures)

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