AIPG Ohio Section
Student Led Field Trip: Hocking Hills
By Robin Roth, CPG-09264
Six American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) Ohio Section Members and two prospective members, eight Wright State University (WSU) Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences students and two of their professors met and boarded a brand new tour bus (provided by Columbus Transportation and Tours) early Saturday morning August 17, 2013, to continue their journey to Hocking Hills State Park. The WSU students are members, officers and friends of their AIPG Student Chapter. Several of the WSU AIPG Student Chapter affiliates prepared and provided each participant a color field trip guidebook which included an Itinerary, detailed driving directions for the bus driver, Park Map, Geologic Map and Cross Section of Ohio, Geologic Time Scale, a Brief Geologic History of Ohio and the Hocking Hills Area as well as a description of each of the four field trip stop with color trail maps. WSU student Gregory (Greg) Russell Geise provided an overview of the Hocking Hills area known for its Mississippian aged (approximately 335 million years ago) coarse grained sandstone and conglomerate. Student participants were provided with copies of Ohio Geologic Society Guidebook 4. Geology of the Hocking Hills State Park Region, by Michael C. Hanson, compliments of AIPG Ohio Section.
Stop 1 Ash Cave: Greg Geise guided the group to the largest recess cave in Ohio. He explained that this cave formed by differential weathering of the Black Hand member sandstone. The name, Ash Cave, was derived from the ash deposits from historic campfires. While touring, our group was pleasantly surprised by another of our AIPG Ohio Section Board Members, Brent Smith (Treasurer and Web Master) and his 2 year-old-son, Gavin, who met us on the trail.
Stop 2 Old Man’s Cave: Our co-presenters for Stop 2 were Ashlynn Rose Boedecker and Randall (Randy) Dean Mickle who gave a an orientation of the Old Man’s Cave gorge in advance of our walking tour of this extremely popular trail. This area is noted by the carving done by Old Man’s Creek cutting approximately 150 feet from its Upper Falls to Lower Falls. Hemlock trees are abundant in this cool gorge.
Lunch at the Dinning Lodge and ensuing discussions were enjoyed by both the students and professionals. This lunch break gave us the opportunity to sit down and share more on the type of work we do in the geologic profession and to listen to current interests of our next generation of professional geologists.
Stop 3 Conkle’s Hollow: Elizabeth Freeman volunteered to present Stop 3 in place of her fellow student, Leslie Williams, who was unable to attend. This deep gorge has dense vegetation including ferns and moss because of the limited sunlight reaching the bottom of the gorge. Conkle’s Hollow was named for W.J. Conkle whose initials and the date of 1797 were carved into the sandstone formation.
Stop 4 Rock House: Paul Downing presented Stop 4 which is a true cave. Rock House formed by water entering a principal joint resulting in a cave which is more than 200 feet long and 20 feet wide. Windows in this cave were created by perpendicular joint sets.
Participants: AIPG Ohio Section Members - Tim Brown (Newsletter Editor), Curtis (Curt) Coe (President-Elect and Awards Chair), Tom Jenkins (President), Leonard Powell (Member-at-Large), Robin Roth (Student Chapters Chair), and Mort Schmidt (former Newsletter Editor); Prospective Members – Cassie Pollock with Cox-Colvin & Associates, Inc. and her husband, Matt Pollock an Ohio State University Graduate Student; WSU Students – Ashlynn Boedecker, Paul Downing, Elizabeth Freeman, Greg Geise, Amanda Meyer, Ken Saville (Van Driver), and Jennifer Schmidt; and WSU Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesProfessors – Dr. Songlin Cheng and Dr. Stacey Hundley.
Special thanksgo to WSU Students Greg Giese, John Michael Christenson and Randy Mickle for their tireless efforts in planning this event starting back in March 2013 and to WSU Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences Professor Dr. David F. Dominic, Interim Chairman, for editing the field trip announcement and field guidebook. Wendy Davidson, AIPG National, provided support with general field trip logistics and insurance options. The WSU AIPG Student Chapter, through its national AIPG Foundation award, covered the costs of student lunches and shared in the cost of this tour with the AIPG Ohio Section, also through a portion of a 2011 national AIPG Foundation Donation, its participant members and friends to make this event possible.