And so it begins…

Our first day collecting in the field was a success! Dr. Tyler and I collected sediment samples from the Liberty Formation, a preserved rock unit from pre-biotic invasion Ordovician, a time where southwestern Ohio was under a shallow sea and near the tropics, like the modern-day Bahamas!

Our glamorous moments:

  1. Dr. Tyler started the day by getting her photo taken for the “Bearded Lady Project,” an awesome study focused on women in the field of paleontology. 
  2. At the end of the day, we had eight (very heavy) 5-gallon buckets of mud along with some baggies of fossil-filled limestone rubble that we’ll use for data analysis.IMG_0742

Our one, not-so-glamorous moment:

  1. Getting our trusty, oh-so-fancy (ahem, ahem) Miami Geology vehicle stuck in the mud. Thankfully, a friendly couple with a pick-up truck towed us out. 


While some people may not think that digging up old rocks on the side of the road is exciting, I found it incredibly interesting. At these outcrops, almost every sample I picked up had preserved in it organisms that are ~450 million years old! That’s insane. To put that in some context, the dinosaurs weren’t around until the late Triassic (~225 million years ago) and humans didn’t exist in a somewhat modern sense until about 34,000 years ago (the Cro-Magnon group). The fossils we are using for this research project are really old, and they’re practically in our backyard!

Collecting in the field was a great experience and made me even more excited about pursuing a career in geology. I really believe that the past is the key to the future. Who knows, 450 million-year-old ecosystems may not be all that different from modern ecosystems. This summer, keep up with our blog to find out more!





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