FHSU Geosciences Scavenger Hunt 2009

Earth Science Week 2009 LogoIn celebration of Earth Science Week 2009 our FHSU Geosciences Department is organizing a number of activities. For the fourth year in a row we’re running a photo contest. [Full disclosure – I’ve cleaned up in the faculty division the last few years.] There’ll also be a geo-themed pumpkin carving contest at the end of the month.

The event that I’m most excited about, however, is the first (hopefully annual) Geosciences Scavenger Hunt. Modeled off the world famous University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt, our geosciences-themed scavenger hunt is an event with lots of potential to be adapted by other departments, as well. As it’s currently set up, the initial list of items can be supplemented throughout the competition, and this is where I’d like your help… Have you got an idea for a geology- or geography-themed item to add to our list? If so, please share your suggestions in the comments. I’m starting the list off with about 20 items, but I’d really love to build it out to about 50 items before we’re finished. Here are the ones we’ve got so far:

  1. Submit an entry in the Geosciences Earth Science Week Photo Contest (5 pts per team member who enters) – win a category (+10 pts) or the grand prize (+25 pts).
  2. Interview a professional geologist or geographer (other than your professors) about careers in geology (present a recording of the interview – minimum 15 minutes – as proof) (40 pts) – publish it with their permission (+10pts).
  3. FHSU Rocks! And not just the Geosciences Department, either. Display a banner to that effect at an FHSU Sporting Event (20 pts.) – the bigger the better.
  4. Visit the highest point in Kansas (20 pts.) or the lowest point in Kansas (30 pts.) – we’re gonna need proof on a GPS receiver!
  5. Prepare an authentic ethnic meal (non-North American) for 5 classmates and a faculty member and serve it in the Student Lounge (0-60 points based on the reviews of the students and faculty who eat it).
  6. Team photo in front of the Fish Within a Fish (10 pts) – Display your own fossil of a fish within a fish (25 pts).
  7. Geochaching is fun. It’s even more fun when there are more caches to find. Establish and officially register a Geocache somewhere around Hays, KS (10 pts). Load it with departmental recruiting swag (+5 pts).
  8. There’s a volcano erupting in the FHSU Quad! Document it in video. (12 pts. + 5x the height of the volcano in feet + 3x the duration of the eruption in minutes – 10x the number of deaths, injuries, or complaints)
  9. Google Earth Placemarks of locations of the childhood homes of each of the Geosciences Faculty and Staff members (5 pts. per faculty member) – include an authentic childhood photo of the faculty/staff member (+20 pts each).
  10. Officially declare a Geology or Geography major (100 pts.) or recruit someone else who declares a Geology or Geography major (50 pts. each)
  11. I have visions of The Big Chart (ask Dr. Schott if you need a copy) chalked on sidewalks all across campus (25 pts) – or perhaps you’d prefer the cladogram of Victor E. Tiger.
  12. Coal trains pass thru Hays every day. Do they leave any of their cargo as they pass? Collect a piece of coal along the UPRR in town and identify what rank it is. (5 pts.) Don’t get hit by a train.
  13. Photograph a team member at a Kansas waterfall. (Pts. = 5x the height of the waterfall in feet if its a natural fall, or 2x the height in feet if its man-made).
  14. Find a Kansas Meteorite and donate it to the Geosciences Department (15x its weight in pounds pts.)
  15. Build your own Weather Rock. Record daily measurements from it for a week. Plot them against weather data from the FHSU weather station. Which is more accurate? (7 pts)
  16. Observe the changing seasons by raking the leaves from your professor’s yard. (3x the number of large garbage bags filled pts. + 2 pts. for each species of leaf identified).
  17. Labeled samples of each of the geologic map units on the Geologic Map of Ellis County, Kansas (Neuhauser & Pool, 1988) (5 pts per map unit) – include a geotagged photo of a team member collecting it (+3 points per unit).
  18. Identify the geological features and localities of the postcards on Dr. Schott’s office door (DO NOT remove the postcards from the door). (Team with the most correct ID’s – 30 pts, 2nd place – 20 pts, 3rd place 10 pts.)
  19. First team to reach 250 points (+25 bonus points).

I’m also looking forward to posting Where on (Google) Earth #175 tomorrow (sorry for the long wait). Unfortunately, over the course of the summer I accidentally deleted the KML file (http://ron.outcrop.org/kml/WoGE.kmz) that served as the official list of all previous winners. By the time I went looking for it to update it, even Google didn’t have a cached copy. I haven’t got time to reconstruct it from scratch, so I’m hoping that one of you might have a recent copy of the file saved in your Google Earth placemarks. If any of you does, please let me know or send me a copy so that I can use it to rebuild the list to its former glory. Thanks!