Geology in our “Back Garden” and the Orienteering Contest

|Geology in our “Back Garden” and the Orienteering Contest

It’s Thrusday of the first week of the Geology module. So far, the students have learnt about the Geological History of the Turkana Basin, as well as some of the basics of Geology, from the principles of sedimentation to the classification and formation of different types of rocks and minerals. The first field trip of the module was a short expedition to the outcrops just outside the gate, where Dr. Feibel took the students on a tour of the local geology.

Dr. Feibel shows the students pebbles of the two most predominant minerals of the Earth's Crust - Feldspar and Quartz

Dr. Feibel shows the students examples of  pebbles made up of the two most predominant minerals of the Earth’s Crust – Feldspar and Quartz.

Almost as soon as the students set foot out of the gate, they were joined by a troupe of Turkana children on the way home from school. They tagged along for most of the way and they studied the students note-taking with great curiosity.

One of the Turkana children stops by on the way back from school and takes a peek at Rob's notes.

One of the Turkana children takes a peek at Rob’s notes.

Dr. Feibel points out a layer of modified volcanic ash called Bentonite.

Dr. Feibel points out a layer of modified volcanic ash called Bentonite.

The outcrops are truly rich with fantastic geological features, from fault lines, to stratigraphic sequences with volcanic ash layers and exposed fossils.

The students stop in the shade of an old fault-line.

The students stop in the shade as Dr. Feibel points out a fault.

 

A crocodile fossil...

A crocodile fossil…

 

Oh Hello! We found a baby gecko in Tiffany's backpack!

Oh Hello! We found a baby gecko in Tiffany’s backpack!

 

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From the top of an outcrop, Dr. Feibel points out some geological features of the surrounding landscape.

In class, the students have also been learning how to use the Brunton compass and the GPS Garmin instruments; and yesterday, they got the chance to put their newly acquired knowledge into practice during the Team Orienteering Contest.

Team 'Murica

Team ‘Murica: Carolina, Lauren and Tiffany.

Each team was given instructions on the route and the way-point locations that they would need to record on their GPS devices. They would be assessed based on the accuracy of the points taken, duration and length of the route, and style.

Darwin's Deadly Divas

Darwin’s Deadly Divas: Angela, Kate and Kailie.

Each team had to come up with their own team names too.

Irrational Internationals

Irrational Internationals: Abdi, Rob and Janina.

All teams set off at great speed. Their motivation: A packet of Milano chocolate cookies for the winning team.

Leakey Ladies

Leakey Ladies: Robyn, Erica and Sarah.

After an exhilarating race across the outcrops, the prize went to the Leakey Ladies. However, not without a few war wounds – as they were crossing the river bank, Erica fell in the mud and Robyn got a palm frond thorn in her foot. Luckily, Dr. Martins was nearby and came straight to the rescue.

Casualty! Dino gets a Doum Palm thorn out of Robyn's foot.

Casualty! Dr. Martins extracts a Doum Palm thorn out of Robyn’s foot.

Everyone had lots of fun, and, more importantly, they got to put their navigation skills into practice. At the end of the day, all the students were winners, as the Leakey Ladies shared their scrumptious prize with everyone. What a treat!

By | 2017-01-04T18:04:56+00:00 February 7th, 2014|Field Schools|Comments Off on Geology in our “Back Garden” and the Orienteering Contest

About the Author:

Hi! I am Kat Warren and I am the Teaching Assistant for the Spring 2014 field school. While I am here I am also involved in the African Fossils Project (africanfossils.org) where I am 3D-scanning modern African fauna, fossils and archaeological material. I am a recent graduate in Archaeological Science from the University of Sheffield and my current interests lie in the evolution of cognition, and primate behaviour as a means to understand the cognitive frameworks of our earliest ancestors.