Exploring the Highs and Lows of Landscapes: Demystifying Topographic Maps

Want to learn more about Earth’s geographic features?  This workshop will focus on landscapes, their origin, and recognition of landforms on topographic maps.  The topographic map is the most common tool used by geologists, geomorphologists, geographers, landscapers, and land managers to identify landscape types. Topographic maps are also essential as way finders for people in areas that are not familiar to them. These maps represent a three dimensional surface (landscape) on a two dimensional piece of paper by incorporating contour lines that show points of equal elevation.  

PAESTA member Dave Curry came across an exciting prehistoric find on an exposed limestone outcrop while he and group of PAESTA members explored the Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Remediation Project along the North Fork of the Montour Run.  Members of PAESTA were exploring this site as part of the K12 Teacher Weekend field trip during the 2017 NE/NC Joint GSA Conference in Pittsburgh.  This edge-on cross section of a Paleozoec horn coral was deposited in a warm, shallow sea sometime in the late Ordovician or Permian, some 251 to 488 million years ago.  Horn corals, which are distantly related to jellyfish, are solitary corals that are now extinct, as they died out during the Great Permian Extinction (The Great Dying).  This greatest of mass extinctions wiped out 96% of all marine species and 70% of all land species.  Thanks to the Montour Run Watershed Association ( (link is external)) and Karen Rose Cercone of IUP for organizing the trip!

Note: This fossil-rich limestone may have been unearthed (not in its original site of deposition) and moved during coal extraction in this strip and deep mining coal area.

Full Taxonomic CLassification:

Domain: Eukarya

Kindom: Animal (Animalia)

Phylum: Cnidaria (Coelenterata)

Class: Anthozoa

Subclass: Zoantharia (Hexacorallia)

Order: Rugosa (rugose means wrinkled, which describes the outside horn shape)

Family: Zaphrentidae

Genus: Heliophyllum




2016 Shale Network Workshop and Continuing Ed Credits, May 19-20

The 2016 Shale Network Workshop will take place at the Atherton Hotel in State College, PA, on May 19th - 20th. This year, the theme is "Science and cooperation around water quality data and legacy wells in shale gas basins."

The tentative agenda and workshop details are available at:

2016 Summer Workshop - Renewable Energy

NEWBio BBEP Renewable Energy Teacher Summer Workshop

July 11-15, 2016

Application Deadline: May 31, 2016

Meet STEM Research Experts
Spend a week at Penn State University Park learning about current bioenergy research from nationally recognized faculty.  Renewable Energy alternatives are vital for the health of our planet, and the NEWBio Project, funded by the USDA, is helping us learn more about how to best realize this vision.

NAGT-Eastern Section Spring Field Conference, Lock Haven, PA, May 30-June 2, 2013

The National Association of Geoscience Teachers-Eastern Section (NAGT-ES) is hosting their spring conference, titled “Geological Excursions in the Allegheny Plateau and Valley and Ridge sections,” in Lock Haven, PA.  Lock Haven is situated between the Allegheny Plateau Province and the Valley and Ridge Province on the shores of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, in proximity to the Allegheny Front structural escarpment.  The history of the area is closely tied to the regional geology.  The river was used for transporting lumber to the mills.  Friday of the conference will be spent le

May 30, 2013

Turbulence in the Ocean webinars

Below is information about a webinar series produced by COSEE-Ocean Systems that may be of interest to those of you who teach oceanography.

Join us for a "turbulent" webinar series!

New Weekly Three-Part Series - Begins January 23rd @ 7PM ET!

From "white-knuckle" plane flights to the soothing swirl of cream in your coffee, turbulence is an ever-present part of our daily lives.

But how much do you know about it?

Join us as we feature three eminent scientists who study this amazing phenomenon? all from the comfort of your own home or office.