On this trip, we explored the geological history of Eastern Maryland, hitting two sites.
The first stop was the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons MD at the mouth of the Patuxent River. Here students explored the Geology, Paleontology, and natural history of the region, and began developing the ability critically to evaluate museum exposition of such material. On the museum's outdoor grounds, students confronted examples of the Patuxent's estuarine marshes and tidal flats, mud and reeds that will eventually become part of the rock record. Students also took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the museum's displays on the cultural history of the Patuxent River watershed.
After lunch, we proceeded to the municipal beach south of Chesapeake Beach MD. This beach marks the northernmost extent of the Calvert Cliffs, renown for their richness in Miocene Epoch fossils, especially shark teeth. We spent the remainder of the afternoon collecting fossils and discussing how geologists use the rocks of the Calvert Cliffs to infer what the environment in which they formed must have been like. Finally, students noted the geometry of the sand and shells of the beach, itself, and speculated about its future in the rock record.