Category Archives: Paleoecology

Timpanogos Cave National Monument

Of all the caves administered by the National Park Service, a visit to Timpanogos Cave National Monument requires a bit more effort than most. Located in American Fork Canyon southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah, this particular cave happens to be … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, General, Geology, National Parks, Paleoecology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Canyonlands National Park

A large, maze-like wilderness of rocky mesas, cliffs, canyons, and rivers, Canyonlands National Park protects an amazing region of southeast Utah. Established in 1964, this park features breathtaking views, imposing landscapes, a fascinating range of geologic features, as well as a variety of … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Culture, Geology, National Parks, Paleoecology, Vertebrate Zoology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Capitol Reef National Park

Centered around a 100-mile-long (161 km) wrinkle in the earth’s crust, Capitol Reef National Park preserves a region of south-central Utah that harbors beautiful landscapes as well as fascinating geology, cultural features, animals, and plants. The geologic history of this area can be traced back to … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Culture, Ecology, Geology, National Parks, Paleoecology, Vertebrate Zoology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

The arid plains of west Texas may be the last place that would evoke images of a marine environment, yet two hours east of El Paso you can find just that. Guadalupe Mountains National Park preserves one of the best … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Culture, Ecology, Geology, Invertebrate Zoology, National Parks, Paleoecology, Paleontology, Vertebrate Zoology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Grand Canyon National Park

“Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great … Continue reading

Posted in Geology, National Parks, Paleoecology, Paleontology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Painted Desert

Rich with color, the Painted Desert covers a wide arc across northeast Arizona. Beginning to the east of the Grand Canyon, this beautiful landscape stretches almost to New Mexico. My favorite views of this region are found in and around … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Geology, National Parks, Paleoecology, Paleontology, Vertebrate Zoology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Indiana’s Knobstone Trail

At 58 miles in length, the Knobstone Trail is Indiana’s longest and most rugged hiking trail. I covered a few of those miles last weekend while my wife and I were in the area visiting her family. Following the edge of … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Entomology, Fungi, Geology, Invertebrate Zoology, Paleoecology, Paleontology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Back in 2008 I went on a college geology trip to the American southwest, and our first stop was at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. This park is located in southeast New Mexico along the northeast edge of the Guadalupe Mountains. … Continue reading

Posted in Geology, Invertebrate Zoology, National Parks, Paleoecology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

A few weeks ago I spent half a day at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore east of Munising, Michigan. At over 71,000 acres, this long stretch of land on the south shore of Lake Superior harbors a wide variety of natural … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Geology, National Parks, Paleoecology, Vertebrate Zoology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Above and Below Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park is situated in an area of west-central Kentucky famous for its textbook karst topography. This landscape is characterized by sinkholes, springs, rivers that disappear below ground, and extensive caves. The formation of these features requires a … Continue reading

Posted in Geology, National Parks, Paleoecology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Geologic Overview of the Cheat River Gorge

The Cheat River Gorge is a remarkable natural feature located in northeastern West Virginia.  This area is known for beautiful scenery, white-water rafting and rock climbing, all thanks to the geologic processes that have forged this wonder. From the Cambrian … Continue reading

Posted in Geology, Paleoecology | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Fossil preservation caught in the act?

While walking along the River Raisin near Blissfield, Michigan, I came across this sun-baked stretch of riverbank.  This particular location floods often, and it’s usually wet and muddy here.  In the late summer it can completely dry out, leaving the … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Geology, Paleoecology, Paleontology | Tagged | Leave a comment

Death Valley: Mosaic Canyon

One of the many stops on my final undergraduate geology field trip this March was at Mosaic Canyon in Death Valley National Park, California.  This canyon is fascinating because it illuminates the history of this location over the last 700 … Continue reading

Posted in Geology, National Parks, Paleoecology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Textbook Cross-Bedding

One stop on my final undergraduate geology trip this March included a day at Zion National Park, located in southwestern Utah.  As I mentioned with Death Valley, there is a lot of stuff to talk about here and more will … Continue reading

Posted in Geology, National Parks, Paleoecology, Paleontology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

When wood is not wood

At first glance, the preserved trees (largely Araucarioxylon arizonicum, Araucariaceae) at Petrified Forest National Park look like any other logs.  They have finely detailed bark, knots, wood grain, and even growth rings: Closer examination reveals that the logs aren’t wood, … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Geology, National Parks, Paleoecology, Paleontology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Lessons From the Field #1: Snakes like warm rocks

Last summer my wife and I went down to southern Ohio for a few days to, among other things, poke around for fossils.  Southern Ohio has a large number of exposures of fossil-bearing sedimentary rocks spanning almost 200 million years … Continue reading

Posted in Geology, Lessons From the Field, Paleoecology, Paleontology, Vertebrate Zoology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment