Make the most of your geology field trip by preparing for your visit ahead of time with online activities and lessons.
- Geology of Caves
Begin your cave exploration with this short webpage of information from the US Geological Survey. You can also find out more about the geological distribution and formation of caves in Maryland.
- Exploring Caves Teaching Packet
A free online resource that teaches about caves for grades K-3. Resources can be adapted up for older kids.
- Astrodon johnstoni
Maryland has a state dinosaur. Find out just how ferocious it was.
- Calvert Marine Museum Fossil Club
Read their Fossil Club newsletter online or attend one of their quarterly seminars for free. The Fossil Club also arranges field trips for members.
- Miocene Fossil Guide
Compare the fossils you find around Calvert Cliffs with this online color photograph field guide. Or, try this line drawing Fossil Guide to identify your finds.
- BBC Fossils
A series of short video clips you can watch online for free about shark fossils and sedimentary rocks.
- Life of a Vertebrate Fossil
Follow a field team’s experience as they discover, excavate, transport, study, and display a vertebrate fossil.
- Virtual Dating
Learn how geologists and archeologists determine the ages of rocks and ancient artifacts by dating isochron for rocks and minerals and dating radiocarbon (Carbon-14).
- Virtual Dino Dating
An online virtual lab that dates and identifies dinosaur fossils.
- What Did T-Rex Taste Like?
An online, interactive module about cladistics and evolution created by UC Berkeley for middle school students.
ROCKS and MINERALS
- Gem, Lapidary and Mineral Society of Montgomery County
GLMSM hosts a variety of family field trips, like fossil hunting, and Future Rockhounds of America club meetings for kids as young as 6. See their website for details.
- School Yard Geology
Don’t let the name fool you. You’ll find a series of lesson plans that you can easily adapt to map your backyard and even have fun with a geologic murder mystery.
- Soil Sampling
The program contains three online games, lessons and facts to teach your students, grades K through 5, the importance of N, P and K.
RIVERS and WATERFALLS
- River and Watershed Geology of Virginia
More information on the geology of the Potomac River.
- Geology of Waterfalls
Waterfalls actually have a specific geologic determination. Compare waterfalls throughout MD, VA, and WV.
- Geologic Map of the Potomac River Gorge
Explore the bedrock geology and landscape evolution of this area.
- Virtual River Lab
Find two interactive exercises designed to help you learn about river processes like discharge, flooding, and flood frequency. Each activity requires you to make careful observations and measurements, do simple calculations, and answer questions about your work.
VOLCANOES and NATURAL DISASTERS
- This Dynamic Planet
An interactive map lets you explore 1,500 volcanoes, 44,000 earthquakes, 170 impact craters, and all the tectonic plates that make up the earth’s crust.
- Check on Seismic Events in Maryland
Yes, Maryland does experience earthquakes. You can track recent earthquakes throughout the Eastern U.S. at the link above or watch the Soldier’s Delight seisometer on a 5-minute delay. Older kids may also want to read about the history of earthquakes in Maryland.
- Virtual Earthquake Lab
Did you know that Maryland has earthquakes? There’s a seismic meter at Soldier’s Delight that monitors the state. This virtual lab illustrates how seismic waves are used to determine the magnitude of an earthquake and to locate its epicenter.
- Architectural Terms in Geology
Become familiar with words that are used within architecture and the study of geology.
- Geocaching in Western Maryland
Pack your GPS device and head out for some extra sleuthing fun while you search for any number of geocaches at Sideling and the surrounding area.
- Conemaugh rock formation
An explanation of the various levels of rock formation found in Western Maryland
- Geologic Map of the C&O Canal
Examine a geologic map of the 185-mile canal zone to gain a better understanding of the richness of the area.
- U.S. Geological Survey Educator’s Resources
Return to GEOLOGY Field Trips.