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WIPS Field Trips - 2011
Descriptions and Details
Equipment List

Release Forms These release forms must be filled out, signed and turned into the trip leader or you don't go.

Baculite Mesa

Date: May 21st, 2011
Trip Leader: Malcolm W. Bedell, Jr.

We are now into our third decade of adventures, thanks to some wonderful land owners, in the Cretaceous marine outcrops of Baculite Mesa, known, as the name suggests, for fossils of Baculites. Many other invertebrate fossils can be found there including ammonites, gastropods, nautiloids,Scaphites and various pelecypods. Exposures of Pierre Shale as well as Tepee Buttes can be explored. A presentation was given at the 2011 WIPS symposium on discoveries there by our society, as well as some current research regarding creatures of the Pierre.

Collecting is permitted on this trip to private ranch land, however, it is encouraged and expected that rare finds of potential scientific significance be made available for documentation, study and donation to an approved repository if applicable.

The trip begins at 9 a.m. near Pueblo and continues until no later than 6 p.m. Ample details will be provided after sign-up.

Limited to 30 people

Cost: WIPS $5 field trip fee

Garden Park Survey 1

Date: April 9th-10th 2011
Trip Leader: Pat Monaco

This is a field opportunity in participation with the Dinosaur Depot to help survey newly added land to the Garden Park Fossil Area. The additional land amounts to 1600 acres. Participants will be hiking the area and looking for any signs of fossils. Any collecting will be done on behalf of the Dinosaur Depot, but most of the survey will be marking prospective sites for future excavation. Although a GPS is not required it would be beneficial to mark areas of interest.

Pat is willing to let up to 6 people stay at her house (one double bed, one queen, two twins) and can provide meals beginning with breakfast on Saturday through lunch on Sunday for those staying with her. The participant limit for this trip is 10 people, but Pat only has room for 6.

Those signed up are to meet at the Dinosaur Depot in Canon City at 10:00 AM each morning.

For more information contact Pat Monaco at: pmonaco@dinosaurdepot.com or call (719) 429-1919

Cost: WIPS $5 field trip fee

Garden Park Survey 2

Date: April 16th-17th 2011
Trip Leader: Pat Monaco

This is a field opportunity in participation with the Dinosaur Depot to help survey newly added land to the Garden Park Fossil Area. The additional land amounts to 1600 acres. Participants will be hiking the area and looking for any signs of fossils. Any collecting will be done on behalf of the Dinosaur Depot, but most of the survey will be marking prospective sites for future excavation. Although a GPS is not required it would be beneficial to mark areas of interest.

Pat is willing to let up to 6 people stay at her house (one double bed, one queen, two twins) and can provide meals beginning with breakfast on Saturday through lunch on Sunday for those staying with her. The participant limit for this trip is 10 people, but Pat only has room for 6.

Those signed up are to meet at the Dinosaur Depot in Canon City at 10:00 AM each morning.

For more information contact Pat Monaco at: pmonaco@dinosaurdepot.com or call (719) 429-1919

Cost: WIPS $5 field trip fee

Comanche National Grassland - Intro

Date: June 11th-June 12th, 2011
Trip Leader: Steve Miller

Introduction to the Comanche National Grassland

This trip has something for first-timers and those with experience in the area. We'll learn about the fossils and formations that can be observed at the Comanche National Grassland, and make some useful measurments as we encounter exposed beds.

A trip-within-a-trip will be conducted for younger members on Saturday, June 11. This activity will be led by Dennis Gertenbach and Steve Miller. We will be looking for fossils in arroyo float material and along some of the easy-to-reach bluffs, and we can expect to find invertebrate and vertebrate specimens. Maximum 10 kids and at with at least 5 adults for this activity. Maximum 20 members altogether. There will also be some special informational materials and follow up activities for participants.

For experienced members, there will be some sites to scout and stratigraphic information to record on Saturday. A few different sites are on the roster, and members will be expected to help with measurements. These sites can be expected to produce some interesting specimens as well as provide a window into some of the more interesting beds. Maximum 10 members for this activity.

Sunday, June 12 will be spent working on extending the stratigraphic profile we began to develop in 2010. Other possible scouting activities within approved areas are to be determined.

Note: Special Use Permit issued.

Limited to 25 people

Cost: WIPS $5 field trip fee

Comanche National Grassland - Tracks

Date: September 24th-25th, 2011
Trip Leader: Steve Miller

For this trip, we will be combing the rims and fallen chunks of rim rock for interesting trace fossils, tracks, and fossil plant material. With luck, we'll see a tarantula or two. We'll be based out of the Withers Campground all weekend for this tracking opportunity. We might even take a side trip to examine some beds of the Glencairn formation.

Limited to 25 people

Cost: WIPS $5 field trip fee

Blue Mesa Reservoir 1

Date: April 18th - 22nd, 2011
Trip Leader: John Foster

Postponed to later date. Monitor trips page for further information.

Join John Foster, Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of Western Colorado, on a field opportunity to Blue Mesa Reservoir. Work will be taking van or boat to site (depending on which one we’re working) and salvaging Morrison material. Have found sauropod, stegosaur, croc, and Ceratosaurus in previous visits.

Should be able to stay in park housing. Space for 4 people on this trip.

For more information contact John at: (970)858-7282 or jfoster@westcomuseum.org

Limited to 4 people

Cost: WIPS $5 field trip fee

Blue Mesa Reservoir 2

Date: September 26th - 30th, 2011
Trip Leader: John Foster

Join John Foster, Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of Western Colorado, on a field opportunity to Blue Mesa Reservoir. Work will be taking van or boat to site (depending on which one we’re working) and salvaging Morrison material. Have found sauropod, stegosaur, croc, and Ceratosaurus in previous visits.

Should be able to stay in park housing. Space for 4 people on this trip.

For more information contact John at: (970)858-7282 or jfoster@westcomuseum.org

Limited to 4 people

Cost: WIPS $5 field trip fee

Kremmling

Date: July 30 - July 31, 2011
Trip Leader: Dick Boucher

During the late Cretaceous when much of Colorado was covered by the Western Interior Seaway, the Pierre Shale outcrops found northwest of Kremmling were deposited. The fossils now found in this area show that a teaming community of marine animals once thrived in this part of Colorado.

This trip will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the BLM office in Kremmling for a short talk by a BLM guide before heading to visit the BLM Kremmling Cretaceous ammonite site.This protected area contains many remains of Placenticeras, ammonites that reached up to 3 feet in diameter. Studies of this area have provided paleontologists with many clues about how these animals lived. Other fossils are also found at the site, helping us to better understand this ancient marin environment. No fossil collecting is allowed in this area.

During the afternoon, we will visit an area outside of the protected area, where we will be able to collect fossils. Members may keep any invertebrates found and are encouraged to allow others to photograph their specimens. Those who want to stay overnite will go with me to a prechosen area to set up camp for the night. In the morning we can go to another area nearby to collect before heading home.

Physical Requirements: Moderate hiking in desert terrain at 7,500 feet with elevation climbs of several hundred feet.

Cost: WIPS $5 field trip fee

McCoy

Dates: June 4 - June 5, 2011
Trip Leader: Dennis Gertenbach/Steven Reinhold

This weekend adventure is an opportunity to learn about ancient environments and eco-systems and to collect fossils left by organisms that died in Colorado over three-hundred million years ago. A brief introduction about the ancient environment and the fossils found in the area will be discussed on Saturday, before we begin collecting. The layers of Pennsylvanian age sediments that make up some of the key geologic formations in this region contain evidence of marine life such as corals, bryozoans, brachiopods, gastropods, cephalopods, echinoderms (both crinoids and echinoids), foraminifera (single-celled organisms), trilobites, sharks and various trace fossils as well as terrestrial organisms such as the early conifers, ferns and Ginkgo-type leaves, and other plants.

In the interest of keeping valuable areas like this available for future generations and not over-collecting them, we are very interested in finding and establishing an alternate study and collecting locality for future trips to this region. So, those that choose to stay for Sunday will have an opportunity to participate in surveying an area of interest with that intent in mind. More details about this ‘micro field opportunity’ will be shared with participants on Saturday.

This is a great two-day trip for all ages in lovely, open (a positive way of saying there's not much shade), high country, in beautiful, north-central Colorado.

Physical Requirements: Easy to moderately difficult. The most desirable areas (paleontologically speaking) require a relatively high amount of exertion to walk uphill for a few blocks or so, and agility for standing on steep, sometimes slippery, sandy slopes. However, there are places that are easier to get to for those with concerns about distance or trickier terrain, and participants are free to choose where they spend their time.

Equipment/Supplies: Besides the usual, you should bring camping necessities unless you choose to stay in a motel in one of the relatively nearby towns if you plan to stay overnight. There are no facilities or services for many miles (at least a half hour to an hour drive in any direction). So, besides appropriate amounts and types of food, you should bring plenty of water (figure at least one gallon per person per day; just to be safe), and clothing for both hot and cold weather (it can be in the 90s during the day and below freezing at night).

Cost: $5 WIPS field trip fee

Tepee Buttes

Dates: October 1, 2011
Trip Leader: Dennis Gertenbach

The Tepee Buttes are unusual cone-shaped features that can be found in the Pierre Shale from outside Pueblo trending northeast through Colorado. During the Cretaceous Period when eastern Colorado was covered by the Western Interior Seaway, a series of methane gas vents developed on the ocean floor along fracture lines. The methane gas provided nutrients for reef colonies that formed around the vents. These reefs provided food and shelter for a wide range of animals, including bivalves, ammonites, baculites, gastropods and other invertebrates. The clam Nymphalucina occidentalis is only found on the Tepee Buttes, where they are quite plentiful. A variety of Late Cretaceous invertebrates has been found during past trips, including several species of ammonites, baculites, gastropods, and Inoceras clams. This trip involves easy hiking and is suitable for children when accompanied by an adult.

Cost: $5 WIPS field trip fee

Douglas Pass

Dates: July 9, 2011
Trip Leader: Michael Graham

Visit the world-famous Green River Formation northwest of Grand Junction to collect beautifully preserved Eocene invertebrate and plant fossils. Collecting is done under WIPS’ permit with the BLM, and scientifically significant specimens will be doanted to the DMNS. Many specimens from this project have become part of the online Green River Paleobotany Project at the museum.

Limited to 16 people

Cost: $5 WIPS field trip fee

Garden Park

Dates: July 18 - July 30, 2011
Trip Leader: Virginia Tidwell

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science, in cooperation with the Western Interior Paleontological Society (WIPS) will reopen a dinosaur quarry originally worked by the DMNS in 1992 in the Garden Park Fossil Resource Area near Canon City, CO. A nearly complete Stegosaurus skeleton was recovered in 1992, but bones from a sauropod were left for future recovery efforts. We plan to reopen the quarry, and excavate search for dinosaur bones and the remains of small animals also discovered during the original excavation. This year we return July 18 - July 30 to continue the work.

The dig site lies just North of Canon City, Colorado, in historic Garden Park, site of some of the hottest rivalries between O.C. Marsh and E.D. Cope in the late 1800's. Besides digging up the long buried remains of a large dinosaur, we will also tour some of the historic dinosaur quarries excavated for Cope and Marsh. These sites include the type localities for Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Diplodocus, Camarasaurus, and Haplocanthosaurus. There will also be time to prospect other sections of Garden Park, looking for new fossils that might be eroding out of the Morrison Formation.

Accommodations are 'BYOT' (bring your own tent). Camping trailers are welcome, although the narrow, winding road into Garden Park limits the length to under 15 ft. (pop-up campers work great!). Non campers can stay at a Canon City motel, and drive the 8 miles to the dig site each day.

Due to the rugged terrain and use of heavy equipment, participants must be 16 years or older to attend. Due to heavy cactus vegetation, please leave pets at home.

Participants can sign up for the whole dig, or just drop in for a couple of days of dino digging. Each participant is asked to help out with either camp set-up or striking the site/camp.

Cost is $15 per day, which covers food, water and sanitation facilities. These will be supplied by WIPS/DMNS. For more information, contact Virginia Tidwell 303-370-6392 ; vtidwell@dmns.org

Limited to 10 people

Cost: $5 WIPS field trip fee

FS Dino Quarry
Thermopolis, Wyoming


Dates: Approx. July-August
Trip Leader: Malcolm W. Bedell, Jr.
(303) 663-7119

Once again, for those who might be interested, there will be a field opportunity this coming summer at the FS Dinosaur Quarry near Thermopolis, Wyoming. This is a cooperative event, as it has been over the past 14 years, between the Big Horn Basin Foundation and WIPS. Thanks to generosity of the former, we will have access to a small residence again for volunteers who cannot provide their own lodging, although space is somewhat limited.

The climate is mostly very hot, and dry, with few insects though an occasional monsoonal rainstorm can change all that. We are on a mountainside in the southern Big Horns; both 4WD and boots are valuable, though rough dry weather clay roads do access the site. Both hand tools, and some of the most sophisticated pneumatics known for this purpose are used, as well as expensive computerized survey instruments and, heavy equipment (backhoes, etc.) as needed. Instruction will be provided in the use of all but the heavy equipment, with an emphasis on recording good data for use in an ongoing, real scientific research project that has resulted in scientific publications in both JVP, University of Indiana Press and the correction, at the Carnegie Museum (Pittsburg), of the mounting one of their most famous dinosaur, Diplodocus carnegeii. Current research includes the description of a pes (hind foot) exhibiting marked pathology.

July will be a focal point of activity, though long weekends can occur between the latter part of June and the end of September. Be prepared to pay for your own food and gas, bringing small hand tools if you can. The single most useful tool is a hard steel scratch awl (Ace Hardware). Interested parties should contact Captain Bligh (aliases include Malcolm W. Bedell, Jr.), dinoguy11@hotmail.com, for more details, including scheduling.

Cost: $5 WIPS field trip fee

USGS Rock CORE-LAB and ICE CORE-LAB
Lakewood, CO


Dates: Friday September 9th, 2011 (11:30-3 P.M.)
Trip Leader: Paul Belanger

Bring your lunch for a handout, lecture by Paul on climate change prior to a tour by USGS personnel of the Core Research Center (CRC) and the U.S. National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) located at the Federal Center in Lakewood, Colorado. (Map)

Core Research Center (CRC): Geologists come here to look at cores of rock formations that are buried in the subsurface and that are otherwise inaccessible. Cores gives a spatial comparison of un-weathered rock formations to what are sometimes very limited outcrop exposures that might also represent a different depositional facies. Coring is an expensive undertaking of drilling for, cutting a core, extracting a core to surface, slabbing (cut in half), sampling, logging, analyzing and ultimately storing these rocks of subsurface formations. In the past, Oil and Gas companies have had to discard such cores and it has been an invaluable service for the USGS to archive and store such materials and make them available to the public. Much data is available online as well as thin-sections, photographs and various studies stored at CRC. Their stated goal: " to preserve valuable rock cores for use by scientists and educators from government, industry, and academia. The cylindrical sections of rock are permanently stored and available for examination and testing at the core storage and research facility in Denver (Lakewood), Colorado. The CRC is currently one of the largest and most heavily used public core repositories in the United States." For more information: http://geology.cr.usgs.gov/crc/.

U.S. National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL): The NICL is a facility for storing, curating, and studying ice cores recovered from the polar regions of the world. Their stated goal is: " It provides scientists with the capability to conduct examinations and measurements on ice cores, and it preserves the integrity of these ice cores in a long-term repository for current and future investigations." Ice cores have given US direct information about atmospheric changes and our climate past. For more information: http://nicl.usgs.gov/index.html OR http://rmmcweb.cr.usgs.gov/outreach/nicl.html

Paul has a research background in paleoclimate (foraminifera and stable isotopes: North Atlantic and Mediterranean areas) and has been leading (for the past 5 years) meetings and a Yahoo email-discussion group (http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/DenverClimateStudygroup/ and associated website http://www.denverclimatestudygroup.com/) on climate change and affiliated political-socio-economic issues. Our understanding of climate change comes from deep-sea drilling cores (stored at other institutions as Woods Hole, Lamont, Texas A&M, Scripps, etc. (see http://geology.cr.usgs.gov/crc/links.html for more). Another very important area of understanding climate change has come through ice coring of the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets. Albeit, the core record is not as long in geologic time (~ 1Ma for Antarctic cores; ~0.5 Ma for Greenland cores), it nevertheless provides a direct empirical measure of atmospheric gases for the past million years and has been invaluable in understanding our climate past and inferred indications of our climate future.

Accommodations:
   * BYOL (lunch), drink machines (need change) and paper towels will be available.
   * BYOC (BRING your own Clothes): IMPORTANT: warm jacket, hat and gloves; it's MINUS 26-40 degrees Celsius in the ice core lab.)

HOW TO GET THERE - MAP (Allow time for checking into gate), parking etc, http://nicl.usgs.gov/dfcmap.htm Contact Paul Belanger, particularly if you have cores you might know/have an interest in: 303-526-7996; cell 303-249-7966; mailto:pebelanger@glassdesignresources.com

Limited to 30 people

Cost: $5 WIPS field trip fee

All WIPS outdoor collecting trip participants should take with them the following basic gear for safety and enjoyment:

Shoes with heavy treads - hiking boots preferred
Rock hammer
Safety glasses
Magnifying lens
Gloves
Collecting boxes (soft drink boxes are good), plastic bags
Paper towels or toilet tissue for wrapping fossil specimens
Chisel and hammer
Rain gear, sun screen, bug repellent, hat, and cold-weather clothing for the mountains and during "fringe" seasons
Water
Picnic lunch, unless otherwise specified
Topographical map(s) Topomaps on the web!!!!!!!!
Compass
Camera
Binoculars
Knee pads and/or ground pad

PLENTY OF MONEY FOR PERSONAL USE