Illinois State Geological Survey public field trips; field-based educational outreach serving all-ages in Illinois

Cynthia A. Briedis, Mary J. Seid

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) has a six-decade long history of conducting geological field trips for the people of Illinois. The purpose of these trips is to engage the interested public to learn about their natural environment: geology, history, land-use, biota, and natural hazards. The trips are planned and led by experienced ISGS geoscientists. Early-career ISGS geoscientists are recruited to help conduct the trips, giving them a chance to learn about Illinois' rich geological history while interacting with both experienced geoscientists and attendees. The attendees all share an interest in earth science and range from individuals interested in geology, family groups with children, elementary and high school earth science teachers, science writers, to geoscience students and instructors from community colleges and universities. Many loyal participants are K-12 students and their families who have a keen interest in rocks, minerals, and fossils, and return year after year. These field trips offer the youngest participants a chance to interact with and learn from working geoscientists in the field--possibly inspiring a budding rock-hound or fossil hunter to pursue a career in geoscience. Geoscience students are given the chance to learn about geologic features and processes on location. Early-career geoscientists helping conduct the field trips not only have the chance to learn, but also reinforce their knowledge base as they answer questions and teach the participants of all ages. They are also often inspired by the enthusiasm of the participants who show interest in their chosen field.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeological Society of America, 2011 annual meeting
PublisherGeological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
StatePublished - 2011


  • ISGS


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