Earth and Environmental Sciences
Introduction to Earth Sciences I

Central Park Field Trip

Field trip to Central Park studying the Manhattan Schist and the geology of New York City.

Meet at the southwest corner of Central Park at Central Park West and 59th St (Columbus Circle) at 9:45 am for introductory remarks We start walking at 10:00. Be ready to walk several miles. Wear comfortable, supportive, walking shoes. Bring clothes for hot weather (bring a hat) and its never a bad idea to be prepared for a possible shower. Bring something to write with and something to write on (clipboard, notebook). A field trip guide will be provided. It will contain many questions to be answered along the way and spaces to record your answers. The field trip guide (with your answers) wil  be your data from which you will build your summary paper.

Also, bring a bite to eat (we won't stop for lunch) and something to drink (it gets hot on the outcrop). We will pass a few vendors' carts along the way. No bathrooms are available until near the end of the walk so arrive with an empty bladder! We will finish by around 2:00 pm in the park at 72nd St.


Summary Papers

Write a paper summarizing the geology of Central Park and the geologic history implied by the rock units and features that we observed. Your paper should be around three pages or so, a little less if you are very concise. Beyond 5 pages and you are probably being rambly. Quality is much more important than quantity.

Do organize your paper so that each section describes a different rock unit or feature: the Manhattan Schist, the pegmatites, the granite dikes, the amphibolite, the veins, the joints, the glacial features... Refer to each unit/feature in its own section. Discuss the important details regarding each. For example, refer to the mineralogy of the schist, the foliation in the schist, when the schist formed and how/from what. Summarize the range and average orientation of the foliation and tell what that implies about the orientation of the stress that caused it, and the orientations of the glacial striations and what that tells...

Do not organize your paper as a location-by-location travel log ("At this place we saw this and this and this. Then at this place we saw that, and that, and that.")

You should talk about the relationship of the various rock units and features to one another, including the age-relationships (which came first, which came next...), and give a summary of the geologic history of New York as told by what we saw.

If you use outside sources (books, articles, internet), you must properly cite information in the body of your paper and give a formal bibliographic listing of sources at the end of the paper.  Also, any passages that are not completely in your own words must be placed in quotes (but please write in your own words).

Remember, the papers are due in one week (or sooner).