Community Partnering at Greenlawn Cemetery, Portsmouth, Ohio: Tree Trails for Education, Health, Recreation, and Tourism
Erik Larson, Logan Minter, Brianna Combs, Emily Dean, and Emily Sheets
Green spaces are an essential component in facilitating outdoor activities and active lifestyles, especially in urban areas. Greenlawn Cemetery is one of the oldest and largest public green spaces in Portsmouth, Ohio and acts as a natural arboretum. A complete census of woody plants was conducted in Greenlawn Cemetery in fall 2020. Data were compiled and organized to develop trails that are available for educational, health, recreational, and tourism purposes through a website: www.shawnee.edu/trees. In all, 576 trees and shrubs representing 76 species were physically tagged and geolocated in a database which contained species, tree health, and cultural, historical, and ecological significance. To date, two tree trails have been developed, with others planned or under construction.
Times on the Hiawatha National Forest: From Geocorps Participant to Academic
The GeoCorps program run by the Geological Society of America (GSA) in conjunction with the US Forest Service is a program that offers great returns beyond the initial appointment for science and society over the long term. In summer 2010, the Hiawatha National Forest, located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, hosted a GeoCorps participant (Larson) to map the extensive surficial karst of the region. One of the results of this effort was the realization that the location of karst features in the region could be predicted based on elevation and that this elevation matched to the shorelines of Glacial Lakes Algonquin and Nipissing; this work was presented at the 2010 Annual GSA meeting. During summer 2011, the HNF hosted Larson again as a Guest Scientist to continue the mapping of the karst features in the area and he was able to refine and more thoroughly test the karst-paleoshoreline relationship; this work was presented at the 2011 Annual GSA meeting.
Starting in summer 2015 Larson and colleagues brought undergraduate students to the HNF to continue the work started during the GeoCorps program and to begin new projects. These projects have: identified paleoshoreline features; identified and located numerous karst features; investigated karst forming processes, and; begun to define the Silurian stratigraphy of the area. These projects have been conducted by 16 undergraduate students so far, and have resulted in 26 presentations at regional or national GSA meetings, most by students. All products of this work are shared with the Forest Ranger and are used to add to their understanding of the area.
Current and future efforts led by Larson and his research group plan to focus on: dye tracing to delineate groundwater flow-paths; further investigations into the stratigraphy, sedimentology, and paleontology; investigations into the intersection of plant communities related to lithology and paleoshorelines, and; ultimately in the creation of geologic maps for the topographic quadrangles that make up the field region. For the investment of two summers of GeoCorps work on the HNF, the US Forest Service and the geology discipline have benefited greatly and many geology students have been positively impacted.
Cave and Paleosol Mineralogy from Eleuthera, The Bahamas
Erik B. Larson, K. L. Gauvey, and Jonathan B. Sumrall
Cave minerals and paleosols on Eleuthera were sampled to determine their mineralogy. Paleosol samples were processed to remove carbonates and organics before fractionating by size. Treatments (K-saturation, Mg-Saturation, Heating, and Gylcolnation) were used to determine the specific clay mineralogy of each sample. Cave mineral samples were powdered and analyzed using powdered X-ray Diffraction (XRD).
The dominant clay mineral present in the paleosols present with Hatchet Bay Cave on Eleuthera was Fe-rich chlorite and Illite. Non-clay materials include low-Mg calcite and quartz. Cave minerals included carbonates (calcite and aragonite), sulfates (gypsum), phosphates (hydroxyapatite, fluorapatite, chlorapatite, and woodhouseite), and Mn-oxides. All minerals except woodhouseite have previously been reported from Bahamian caves. Woodhouseite formation represents phosphate-rich leachate derived from the combination of seawater and bat guano interacting with the various aluminum-rich phases found within the clay fraction of the paleosol exposed in Hatchet Bay cave. Previous Bahamian cave mineral studies did not sample exposed paleosols within caves, making this an interesting addition to the diverse cave mineral inventory of The Bahamas.
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