Eco-Mapping Exercise for Teachers

Breccia composed of fragments of silicified andesite from a silica (quartz) ledge on the DRI-TMCC campuses. (Photo provided by authors)

Geo- and Eco-Mapping around DRI
(The Great Altered Rock Walking Tour)

by Jonathan G. Price, Elisabeth M. Price, and Daphne D. LaPointe

This geo- and ecotour around Great Basin Science Sample and Records Library and Desert Research Institute (DRI) is an opportunity to identify and sample local rocks and minerals, see how geologists use the presence of various desert plants to help map the distribution of rocks, and learn about the significance of the local geology. It is designed as an exercise that can be done by students. They can identify several types of rocks and plants, indicate the distribution of the rocks and plants on a map, and discuss why geologists and ecologists make maps.

You will be able to collect volcanic rocks and several minerals that are characteristic of the hydrothermal (geothermal) alteration associated with volcanoes that were active in the Reno area about 16 million years ago. You will also be able to describe and recognize many species of plants, several of which grow on acidic soils that form above altered volcanic rocks.

This publication was prepared for a Nevada Mining Association Education Committee field trip for teachers.

Educational Series 55, 12 pages, color, free online:

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