Another great week of Earth Camp. This week was our rising 11th graders (who are Wyoming-bound next summer) traveling the upper peninsula of Michigan.
Our first stop was Mackinac Island to see old shoreline features from glacial Lakes Nipissing and Algonquin such as sea stacks, arches, caves, and the former headlands. Also covered sedimentary rocks, Michigan Basin, and the formation of the Mackinac Breccia.
Day 2 was Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to tour the Lake Superior shoreline and see the current features being carved into the sedimentary shoreline. Always neat in geology to see a modern-day process happening, and understand the concept “the present is the key to the past”. As we toured the shoreline, we could see first-hand how a sea arch evolves into a sea stack. Then think back to yesterday and know that when we see ancient sea arches and sea stacks, we can interpret how the formed. “The present is the key to the past” – we will keep coming back to this, especially next summer as we witness active geologic processes happening in Yellowstone.
Day 3 was spent in the Marquette, MI region. Our first stop was to the banded iron formation at Jasper Knob – here we were joined by Professor Gregory Dick to learn about these rocks and how they *might* relate to the great oxygenation event. We found our way to a pillow basalt behind the local Walmart and ended the day learning about a peridotite intrusion at Presque Isle where students got to jump from the peridotite cliffs into Lake Superior.
Day 4 we drove a bit farther to Houghton Michigan to tour the Quincey Copper Mine and visit the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum where the University of Michigan mineral collection is displayed.
Another great Earth Camp experience. I was impressed with how much the students learned, remembered from last year, and all the new activities they were game to try. Looking forward to climbing mountains with them next summer!