Leading or participating in field trips is a terrific way to celebrate Earth Science Week.
Field trips can be conducted in many places:
Urban walking tours to see building stones
Rural environments to see rock outcrops, collect fossils or study soils
National, state or city parks to observe natural wonders
Local lakes and rivers can be studied to learn about weathering and erosion
Local quarries or mines usually allow tours on their sites
Contact the State Geologist for points of geologic interest in your area. Ask for any maps of the area to help plan the outing.
Field Trip Safety - Tips for a safe and fun outing!
Safety in the field includes monitoring your equipment and surroundings, as well as being conscious of potential hazards - ranging from storms to fires to wild animals. Although safety factors are more obvious for overnight camping in the field, planning for safety on day trips is important, too. The following tips should help you plan and lead a safe trip.
- Arrange for permission slips and permits.
- Find out in advance if it's okay to collect samples from the area you will be visiting.
- If you will be working near highways for extended periods, notify local police.
- With groups, you will commonly be required to sign a release form before being granted access to a mine, quarry, or other potentially dangerous geologic sites. Such forms absolve the owner of the site of any liability should a member of the group sustain an injury on the owner's property.
- Make sure all members of the group are wearing proper shoes (no bare feet, high heels, clogs, or sandals) and clothing adequate for the expected weather conditions.
- Make sure everyone can identify the poisonous plants and other hazards of the trip.
On the Road:
- Verify that each vehicle contains a copy of its insurance coverage and a basic medical kit.
- Students under the age of 18 should get parental permission to travel in the vehicle with the appointed driver.
- Drivers should be alert and drive with extreme care for they are responsible for many lives.
In the Field:
- Always wear goggles or safety glasses when using rock hammers.
- If participants are working on rock slopes, make sure they don't work directly above and below one another. Don't allow them to climb or work on rock overhangs, particularly if others are below.
- Avoid steep rock faces unless members of the group have had proper training and are appropriately equipped; dislodged rocks can be a hazard.
- At each site, make sure everybody is accounted for. Use the buddy system to ensure that no one has been left behind.
- Pick up all trash and tools at every site. Always leave the site the way you found it.