The Matoaka Cottages Field Trip:
RENDEZVOUS: We will not rendezvous on campus, as previously indicated. Instead, we will arrive separately and meet at Matoaka Cottages. Let's aim at all being there by 10:15. Note: The parking area and office are at the top of the cliffs. We will assemble there. At 10:30, we will descend as a group to the beach.
DESCRIPTION: This field trip is both educational and practical. It aims to provide a general introduction to the field paleontology of one of the best fossil collecting rock units in the local area for all interested BSCI392 and 393 students. For students enrolled in BSCI393, it will be your lab groups opportunity to collect a sample of invertebrate specimens for use in the lab project that constitutes a large part of your grade. Thus, although attendance is no mandatory per se, it is essential that your group be represented.
LOGISTICS: We will car-pool to the site, which is roughly an hour and fifteen minutes from campus. Students will arrange group transportation in lecture and lab on Thursday and Friday.
- From the Washington Beltway, take Rt. 4 South toward Upper Marlboro.
- Continue on Rt. 4 South (toward Prince Frederick).
- Stay on Rt. 4 through Prince Frederick. The intersection of Rt. 4 and Rt. 402 in Prince Frederick will serve as a reference point. From this intersection continue south on Rt. 4 for 7.7 miles, then turn left onto Calvert Beach Rd.
- Stay on Calvert Beach Rd. After about 0.5 miles the road forks; stay on the left fork!
- About 0.4 miles past the fork there is a dirt road to your left with a sign for Matoaka Cottages. Turn onto this road.
- Follow this road to the end (about 0.7 miles). There will be parking on your right in front of the beach cottages. The beach fee is $4 per person, payable at the office at the very end of the road.
- Bring lunch or a snack and $4.00 for admission.
- DO NOT dig in the cliff or climb on the cliff without checking with me first.
- Wear tennis shoes, water shoes, or other footgear that protects the soles of your feet! There are many sharp rocks and shells on the beach (this is not Ocean City). If you want to wade in the water without worrying about jellyfish, wear long pants or hip boots.
- Bring a rain jacket if there is the slightest chance of rain. Remember that along the Bay temperatures will be much cooler than on campus. Dress warmly, with layered clothing. Outer layers can be removed if you get hot.
- Recommended equipment:
- film cases or other small plastic containers (for small fossils)
- T.P. (for wrapping delicate fossils, etc.)
- Zip-Lock bags (for larger fossils)
- old pocket knife (for minor excavations)
- suntan lotion
- small backpack (to transport everything)
- sunglasses (polarized lens are best).
- An extra pair of trousers to change into and a towel
- There are an enormous number of fossils at this site. You can keep anything that you collect, although if you collect anything exceedingly rare, you should consider donating it to a museum. Note: large shark teeth are NOT considered exceedingly rare!
- Remember that is a private beach. Please don't do anything that might jeopardize future trips to this site.