Field Trips, Field Conferences, and Workshops

MESTA occasionally sponsors field trips (including tours and/or collecting opportunities), summer field conferences (providing professional development opportunities), and workshops (including lesson plans and materials) throughout the year.

2019 Kentucky Cave Geology Trip

Save the dates for the 2019 field trip to Kentucky to study caves: Aug. 10 - Aug. 13. Scroll to the bottom of this page to download a registration form (Microsoft Word format and PDF format are available).

Here is a tentative itinerary for this trip.

Saturday, August 10:
7:00 AM - Leave, carpooling when possible (lunch in route)
4:45 PM CT - Check into the Cave Research Foundation (CRF) facility (bring sleeping bags and towels) possibly followed by a hike of the area.
6:00 PM - Fix our own dinner at the CRF
7:00 PM - Evening activity at the CRF and astronomy viewing if clear.

Sunday, August 11:
7:00 AM - Breakfast at CRF
8:00 AM - Mammoth Cave National Park - Visitors Center orientation
10:00 AM - Cave tour at Mammoth Cave National Park. Lunch on your own.
1:30 PM - American Cave Conservation Museum (Horse Cave, Kentucky) program on the history of this site.
2:30 PM - Wild cave experience. This will be a wet cave experience.
5:30 PM - Dinner at Turtlelini's Restaurant in Horse Cave.
7:30 PM - Speakers: Research scientist(s) working in the cave.

Monday, August 12:
7:30 AM - Breakfast at CRF
8:00 AM - Mammoth Cave National Park. Four hour special staff educational program (all about caves).
12:00 PM - Lunch on your own.
1:00 PM - Organized activities for (a) teachers - teaching about caves, (b) activities for kids/families on the trip
6:00 PM - Dinner (TBD)
7:30 PM - Program, presentation, discussion of class trip ideas or National Park evening program.

Tuesday, August 13:
7:00 AM - Breakfast at CRF
8:00 AM - Clean up CRF facility and pack to leave. You are free to do other activities on your own at this point since the formal trip has concluded.

Here are some of the options for Monday and Tuesday morning (some could be done in an evening):

  • Explore another “wild” but small cave at the Cave Research Foundation site
  • Hike to see sinkhole and disappearing stream as well a spring draining the caves if not visited on Saturday
  • Zip lining and/or rappelling at Hidden River Cave:
    Zip line 70’ above the ground; 30 mph single trip $20, double $30, triple $35
    Rappel 75’ to the mouth of the cave single trip $25, double $35, triple $40
  • Public tours at Hidden River Cave 45-60 minutes adults $15+ tax; children (6-14) $10; under 5 free
  • Tour other caves in Mammoth Cave region - “show caves” or additional National Park tours. ($14-25)
  • Corvette Museum (with sink hole) in Bowling Green: 8 am – 5 pm daily
    adults (13-61) $10; seniors $8; youth (5-12) $5; under free Discounts for groups 15 or more
  • Bourbon distillery in Bowling Green: Corsair Artisan Distillery
    Tours Friday and Saturday 10 am – 6 pm, or by appointment; tasting room
    tour with tasting $10 per person; tour without tasting $2.
  • Kayak or canoe the Green River: a half day easy trip ~$60 per canoe or double kayak
  • Discussion of how and why lead a field trip for students
  • Curriculum ideas for teaching about cave/karst geology.
  • Service project in Mammoth Cave National Park.
  • Tour waste water treatment facility and other community changes that dramatically improved water quality in caves and groundwater in the area -- as discussed at Horse Cave on Sunday.
  • Evening ranger programs and other events for August at Mammoth Cave National Park not yet scheduled.

Watch The Michigan Earth Scientist journal, the MESTA E-News, and this web page for news of upcoming events and activities.

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