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Before You See the Geology Exhibits

Posted by on January 28, 2012

Make the most of your geology field trip by preparing for your visit ahead of time with online activities and lessons.




  • 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.



  • 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.



  • 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.



  • 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.



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