Purpose of Field Trip
A mist hangs in a canyon at Turkey Run state park, where hot humid air on this summer day meets cool air trapped in the canyon surrounded by sedimentary rocks. Click for a larger image (IUPUI Earth Sciences).
The first field trip is designed to allow you observe sediment and sedimentary rocks, as well as other geologic features you will learn about later in this course. While sedimentary rocks are exposed in many parks in southern and western Indiana, we chose parks that exhibited the most features that you could observe on your own.
Geology and earth science departments around the world take their students on field trips to learn about ideas and concepts that are difficult to explain in a laboratory book. A field trip is typically organized into "stops" where each stop has a noteworthy geologic phenomena worth observing. A field trip leader, like a professor, would give a brief overview at each stop, and then let students look at the features themselves.
The main difference in this course is we have recorded the audio overviews related to each stop. While there is a tradeoff that you cannot ask your instructor questions while at the park, the advantage is you can work at your own pace and complete the trip on your own time.
Turkey Run State Park
Turkey Run is located directly west of Indianapolis in a rural area dominated by agriculture and forests. Many of you may have visited Turkey Run before---it is famous for its narrow canyons as well as canoe trips on Sugar Creek. At this park, you will be able to observe different types of sediment and sedimentary rocks, but more importantly, it is a good place for you to practice making observations. A trained geologist has to learn to "pay attention to details" and note how natural systems behave, and what natural materials look like. Aside from the landscape, Turkey Run is a popular place to look at leaves change in the fall, as well as a place to see covered bridges. Note that this park can be very busy during peak fall foliage. To prepare for this trip, please click the "Content" tab and download the associated resources.