This is Planet Earth

Episode 5 – Creating EarthCaches, Planetary Geology, and The GSA with Matt Dawson

Matt Dawson talks best practices for EarthCache creators, how the GSA got involved in EarthCaching, and gives some advice about the Planetary Geology on Earth initiative!

Matt Dawson, the Education Programs Manager from the Geological Society of America talks to us about what makes great EarthCaches, tips on creating them and submitting them for review, and the new Planetary Geology EarthCache series!

You’ll need to watch or listen to the episode to really get the most from it, but here’s a few key notes we took from what we learned from Matt!

The GSA and EarthCaching
“EarthCaching is pretty much the main way that the GSA brings geology to the general public.”
This happens through collaboration between the GSA Education team, Geocaching.com HQ, and the international team of GeoAwares, or EarthCache reviewers.

What Geology Do You Need to Make EarthCaches
Matt shared some very practical skills you should have to make or find EarthCaches, but on the geological skills side, you should consider learning about:
1. Plate Tectonics
2. Rocks and Minerals
3. Weathering and Erosion

How Do I Start Making an EarthCache
1. Make detailed observations
2. Pick the focus for the lesson

How Do I Come Up With Questions
“Figure out the focus and theme of your EarthCache, and the logging tasks should match that.”
Think about your own experience when you first arrived, and try to have the next person enjoy that same experience.
Focus on fewer but stronger logging tasks

How Important are Pictures
Pictures are important to include, and ideally, use your own.
Sketches or diagrams are often more important than pictures.

What do EarthCache Reviewers Want to Know
1. Land Manager Permission
2. Logging Tasks and Answers
3. Where are there other similar EarthCaches?

Planetary Geology on Earth
Inspired by the Mars 2020 mission, GSA and Geocaching.com HQ came up with the idea to illustrate geology found on Mars by highlighting similar geology here on earth.
For more info, check out these sites:
GSA Planetary Geology EarthCaches
Planetary Geology on Earth Guidelines


Getting More Information —
Geological Society of America
GSA on Facebook
EarthCaching on Facebook
GSA Planetary Geology EarthCaches
Geological Association of Canada
Mars 2020 Mission
Planetary Geology on Earth Guidelines
This is Planet Earth Playlist

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