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Field Trips

Over the course of the Symposium, there will be both in-town and out-of-town field trips.  The in-town field trips will be included with your registration fee and will take place on Thursday afternoon.  For these outings, you have the option of choosing to visit Rite in the Rain manufacturing facility, 2bot Molding, Artech, or you may take a geological walking tour of downtown Seattle with naturalist David Williams.  Transportation will be pre-arranged.

In-town Field Trips

Join team members for a tour of 2Bot physical Modeling Technologies, where participants can learn how this company is, “turning computer-generated virtual 3D data into high-quality physical models.”

Artech is a local firm that specializes is collections management, shipment, and installation.  Please join team members for a tour of their pack and ship facility for a demonstration on best practices.

Rite in the Rain
Everyone in paleontology knows about their little yellow fieldbooks, but did you know they’re from Tacoma?  Join team members for a tour of one of Seattle area’s greenest manufacturing companies that creates, “outdoor writing products for outdoor writing people.”  Founded in 1920, to accommodate the needs of the northwest logging industry, Rite in the Rain now manufactures products for a wide variety of fields. 

Walking Tour of Seattle with David Williams
Most people do not think of looking for geology from the sidewalks of Seattle, but for the intrepid geologist any good rock can tell a fascinating story.  All one has to do is look at building stone in downtown Seattle to find a range of rocks equal to any assembled by plate tectonics.  Furthermore, building stones provide the foundation for constructing stories about cultural as well as natural history. On this 1.5-mile long walk, we will explore stone ranging from 3.5-billion years old to 120,000 years old, fossils as large as a cinnamon roll, and rock used by the Romans to build the Coliseum. We will discuss history, geology, and architecture to give you a new way to appreciate the urban wilds.

David Williams is a naturalist and long-time Seattle resident. His most recent book, Stories in Stone: Travels Through Urban Geology focuses on the cultural and natural history of building stone. He is also the author of The Street-Smart Naturalist: Field Notes from Seattle.  In addition, he works at the Burke Museum

Out-of-Town Field Trip

On Sunday April 15th, an out-of-town field trip to Chuckanut Washington will be offered for an additional $25.  The fee will cover transportation and a boxed lunch.

The field trip will be to the Racehorse Creek landslide, east of Bellingham, WA, which happened in January, 2009. The landslide has given us access to the Slide member of the Chuckanut Formation. The landslide is on Washington DNR land and is open to the public for collecting plant and invertebrate fossils. Besides an abundance of plant fossils (about 3000 specimens are in the Burke collections), and a few invertebrate fossils, there are also trace fossils, including trackways of a ‘terror-bird’ type and several mammals.

The Chuckanut Formation was deposited as a large river system on a low coastal plain. Recent work has suggested that this formation spans from the Late Paleocene to the latest Eocene, or, possibly, into the earliest Oligocene. A tuff bed within the landslide has been recently dated at 53.6 Ma.

The trip up the landslide will be steep, but short (approximately 1/4 mi), so personal choice in footwear should be toward ‘hiking’. Exploring and collecting can be done on the way up and down and once we are at the top.

Those not familiar within NW weather, should be prepared for sun, cloudy, or wet, at this time of year. The fossils and geology make the trip worthwhile, and, if the weather co-operates, the views will be a bonus.

The site is a 2 ½ hour drive north of Seattle.

If visitors chose not to participate in the out of town field trip and would still like to explore other areas of interest, please see the list of local attractions that you may want to explore during free time.