In addition to the Friday presentations and Saturday field trip, there will be a teacher’s workshop and a student poster session. The teacher’s workshop will discuss access to fossil collecting sites in Monmouth County. Student posters will be on display throughout the day.
Our speakers, from New Jersey academic institutions, government agencies, research organizations, and museums, have done extensive work on the geology and paleontology of Monmouth County. There will be talks on area aquifers, surficial geology and geomorphology, fossils types in the area, and titanium mineral ores. The keynote speaker is Dana Ehret, Ph.D., Assistant Curator, Natural History Collection, New Jersey State Museum. Dr. Ehret’s presentation, “You’re Going to Need a Bigger Screen: The Fossil Sharks of Monmouth County,” is sure to be interesting.
Saturday’s field trip will include visits to rare surface exposures of the Campanian-Maastrichtian stratigraphic boundary found at Monmouth County’s Big Brook and Holmdel (Ramanessin Section) Parks. These sites are popular publicly accessible fossil collecting localities; collecting will be permitted at two (2) locations during the field trip. Participants should bring a hand trowel and ¼ inch mesh screen to sieve fossil-bearing gravels, although surface collection is also an option. Please be aware of the following safety notes:
- Anticipate walking about 1.5 miles along “deer trail” type woodland paths with occasional fallen trees. In order to easily fossil hunt and to see a few of the exposures along the stream banks, it will be necessary to get your feet wet by walking through approximately a foot of water.
- In addition to “trip and fall” hazards in a wooded area, please be cognitive of ticks, poison ivy, and vegetation that result in eye hazards.
- Be cognitive of undermined trees that can fall or slump, especially along the stream banks.
- Wear proper footwear and clothing, especially in the streams to avoid cuts from rocks and broken glass in the stream as well as hypothermia. Extra pairs of shoes and socks may be useful, although our bus travel time will not be great, and this may be done on return to Brookdale Community College).