I have learned a lot about the geology of the area by research and talking with Howard Brooks, a retired geologist for the state of Oregon. He volunteers at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. I have even learned about some geology by going out to different geologically interesting places including: Hells Canyon (the deepest gorge in North America), John Day Fossil Beds, Wallowa Mountains, and a huge 18 ton rock collection in the Baker City Museum. But I still have a lot more places to check out. I've also had a chance to do some of my own rock hounding in the area, and I've collected a variety of different rocks and minerals that can't be found in Indiana including: basalt, andesite, rhyolite, diorite, volcanic tuff, epidote, serpentine, and some metamorphosed basalt!
Name: Brittany Blevins
Internship Position: Education Specialist
Dates of Internship: May 2012-August 2012
At the Interpretive Center, I have already completed one geology walk program and have given a few tours already. On this particular geology walk, I lead the guests on the trails around the center where they have a good view of the Blue Mountains, Powder River Valley, Virtue Flat, and a big basalt rock outcropping. On the walk, I explain how the mountains and valleys were formed, how the basalt was formed, how gold is formed and how the gold was discovered in Virtue Flat.
I'll be presenting my second program next week. For this particular walk, I will lead the guests to the gold mine, and stamp mill on site and explain how gold is formed, and how the early settlers mined for gold, and how the gold was extracted from the stamp mill. At the end of the walk, we're going to actually pan for gold!
I also have to perform 2 programs for the Thursday Outdoor Club for the kids. I have already completed one. The first Outdoor Club was just an introduction to the Oregon Trail. Another staff member and myself dressed as pioneers and led the kids along the trail describing what it would have been like for the pioneers to cross. For my geology part, I talked about some of the rocks and how the pioneers would have had to cross the rocky, steep, mountains. I also made a small geology booklet for the kids! I designed them and printed them out for next years Outdoor Club too.
My second Outdoor Club is in a couple of weeks, and it is all about gold mining. I'm going to tell them how gold is formed, how it was mined and extracted and at the end they get to pan for gold.
Also, since I like bats so much, they're gonna let me do another Outdoor Club with bats.
Everything seems to be going well so far. After I get my required project done. I will be completing some of the activities that last years intern left.