Earth Science Week 2017

A field of boulders in the foreground.  There is a blue sky and green, tree-covered mountain slopes and hollows in the background.
View from Blackrock Summit.

NPS

Earth Science Week at Shenandoah National Park

October 8 -14, 2017

Earth Science Week is an international event celebrating Earth Sciences. Join us to learn about Earth Science in Shenandoah during this special week of activities in the Park. The Earth Science Week theme for 2017 is “Earth and Human Activity.” Each day has a special theme to promote the diversity of ways that Geoscience touches our lives.

Special activities including Ranger walks, talks, touch tables, demonstrations, and evening programs will take place throughout the Park during this week. Topics include geology, climate change, archaeology, and astronomy. Please join us for this amazing week to celebrate geology in Shenandoah National Park! All activities are free with Park entrance.

See the Program Schedule below and join us to learn more about Earth Science and Shenandoah National Park.

 
Program Description Location
Sunday, October 8, 2017 EarthCache Day
Blackrock Summit Hike Blackrock: Once the bottom of an ancient ocean on the cusp of complex life, now a rocky summit enjoyed by thousands of visitors and home to numerous species. Join a ranger for an exciting hike to Blackrock Summit. Experience the famous Appalachian Trail, intriguing geology, spectacular views, and learn the story behind the black quartzite.

Blackrock Summit parking area, mile 84.8
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

EarthCache Table

Learn about EarthCaching in Shenandoah National Park and how you can find these geological treasures. A, AL

Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Big Meadows Evening Program

Join a Ranger to discuss human impacts on Shenandoah National Park, and efforts to keep the Park clean and green for future generations. A, AL

Big Meadows Amphitheater, mile 51
7:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

Monday, October 9, 2017
Earth Science Literacy Day

Ancient Volcano Hike

Explore past environments of Shenandoah on the Appalachian Trail including an ancient mountain range, an ancient river, and the ancient volcanoes that still shape the landscape around us today.

Timber Hollow Overlook, mile 43.3
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Earth Science Table

Learn about Shenandoah National Park’s geology and important foundational ideas and terms within Geology and other Earth Sciences. A, AL

Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51

1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Ranger’s Choice Talk

Join a Ranger on a celestial journey through the universe and learn how Earth fits into the larger picture. A, AL

Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51

2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Skyland Evening Program

The unique habitats of Shenandoah National Park are changing. Learn about the effects of climate change on the critters and landscapes of Shenandoah and how you can help now and in the future. A, AL

Skyland Amphitheater,
mile 42.5
7:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Earth Observation Day

Stony Man Hike

Join a geology ranger and learn more about the geological significance of Stony Man and how over time our views of preserving nature and geology have shifted.

Stony Man Trailhead,
mile 41.7
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Earth Observation Table

How do scientists make observations on Earth? What do those observations mean to the average person? Learn more about how Earth has changed since the Industrial Revolution, the amazing observations scientists have done, and what that means for the future of our vibrant home. A, AL

Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 National Fossil Day

The Ancient Wildside of Shenandoah: Skolithos

Celebrate an animal of Shenandoah’s past. Ancient ocean worms once lived in the Iapetus Ocean hundreds of millions of years ago. These worms represent the first complex life on Earth, and Shenandoah National Park quartzite rocks preserve their movements in linear trace fossils called Skolithos. Learn more about them and their significance to the greater world. A, AL

Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Fossil and Rock Touch Table

Discover the fascinating rocks and formations in Shenandoah National Park, and why we only have one type of fossil here at the Park. A, AL

Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 12, 2017
Geoscience for Everyone Day

Geology Touch Table

Ever wonder what secrets and stories rocks hold within their minerals and grains? Learn about the geological formations in the Park, what the rocks tell us about our former environments, and what it means for the present and future of the mountain landscape. A, AL

Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Shenandoah’s Air and Water Quality- Specialist Talk

Join Shenandoah’s hydrologist, Jalyn Cummings, to discuss air and water quality research at the Park. A, AL

Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Big Meadows Evening Program

Learn about the geology beneath your feet here at Shenandoah. We will explore billion year old rocks, ancient lava flows, sediment laid down by rivers of the past, and other stories that we find in Shenandoah’s geology. A, AL

Big Meadows Amphitheater, mile 51
7:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

Friday, October 13, 2017
Geologic Map Day

Map Reading Table

Do you know the difference between a topographic map, a geological map, and the maps you get when you come into the park? What are the unifying characteristics of maps and how do you use all of those elements to read a map? Celebrate Geological Map Reading Day by learning more about the basics of map reading, what different maps tell us, and how to navigate through this world of maps. A, AL

Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Ancient Volcano Hike

Explore past environments of Shenandoah on the Appalachian Trail including an ancient mountain range, an ancient river, and the ancient volcanoes that still shape the landscape around us today.

Timber Hollow Overlook, mile 43.3
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Ranger’s Choice Talk

Shenandoah National Park has unique geology beneath our feet. Learn more about the Park's geology and how it relates to maps used in the Park. A, AL

Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Skyland Evening Program

Take a journey through the universe and discover celestial objects within and outside of our galaxy. A, AL

Skyland Amphitheater,
mile 42.5
7:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

Saturday, October 14, 2017
International Archaeology Day

Blackrock Summit Hike

Blackrock: Once the bottom of an ancient ocean on the cusp of complex life, now a rocky summit enjoyed by thousands of visitors and home to numerous species. Join a ranger for an exciting hike to Blackrock Summit. Experience the famous Appalachian Trail, intriguing geology, spectacular views, and learn the story behind the black quartzite.

Blackrock Summit parking area, mile 84.8

10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m

Ranger’s Choice Talk

Join a ranger and discuss the archaeological significance of the Park. Explore the past of Shenandoah including the American Indian tribes and later the settlers on the land before this became a National Park.
A, AL

Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

A= Wheel chair accessible

AL= Assisted listening device available, please arrive 15 min early

Last updated: October 9, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835

Phone:

(540) 999-3500

Contact Us