The Geology Club members went on a field trip on Nov. 11 to learn about the history behind prehistoric petroglyphs and ancient crystals.
Club Members, along with three students from OSU, took a trip to Medicine Creek, west of Tokettee falls, to learn the story behind the ancient petroglyphs painted on the cave walls.
“We learned it is actually called a ‘pictograph’ not a petroglyph because it is a drawing or painting, rather than an engraving. We also learned about types of Northwest prehistoric peoples’ culture and rock art,” Karen Carroll, Geology and General Science Instructor and Geology Club Adviser said. “In addition, we learned about tools used by those people, specifically those tools made from rocks and minerals.”
Carroll said the OSU graduates served as guest speakers on the trip: Katie Nuss, Sarah Skinner and Amanda Carroll, who currently teach 200-level anthropology lecture classes. They shared their expertise in archeology by providing some information about art and tools made from rocks. They also explained more about the history behind the petroglyphs, more specifically, who created them.
“We went to look at the petroglyphs and to get some education on how to preserve sites like these and when they could have been put there and by whom,“ Douglas Floyd, Geology Club president said. “We just wanted to get out as a group, and the best way to do that is a field trip to the great outdoors”
The second part of the long trip was to travel to a small stream near Rock Creek, east of Glide. Club members used shovels, rock hammers, picks and sieves to dig for crystal-like rocks called carnelians. Many of them found adequate samples to study.
Floyd said he hopes this trip teaches students about the process of time. More specifically, how time affects all things. He said it is also a great opportunity to do fun things, relax and enjoy nature.
Initially the field trip was the idea of club officers Douglas Floyd, Christian Sifford, Michael Dixon and Jonathan McHenry. Christian Sifford is the vice president who had been to both locations before and suggested the area for the club’s first field trip. After Floyd said the idea sounded promising, the whole club unanimously voted for the field trip.
“This is the first time the Geology Club has done a field trip as a group to explore geology in the region. However, it will not be the last,” Carrol said. “The club plans to do a field excursion winter, spring and summer terms.”
Plans are already in the works for a trip to Portland winter term to explore the Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals and to look at the drill core on display at the MAX light rail station/ tunnel below the Oregon Zoo.
Carroll said she hopes that current club members will continue to explore the world of geology outdoors and that events like this will encourage other students to join the club and explore all that it has to offer.
The next club event is a movie night and potluck during finals week this term. They will be watching the movie The Martian and everyone, even non members of the club, is invited. For more information, check out the club’s Facebook page — UCC Geology Club — or contact one of the club officers.