Field School
Cert Home Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7

Field School, Denver Basin Project, July 6-12, 2003

These pages discuss the 2003 Field School in the Paleontology Certification Program at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS).  The Field School is an week long camping trip which allows you to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the Certification Program to real life, current research at DMNS.  Unlike other courses in the program, which are modeled in a the typical transfer of knowledge schemes taught in many schools, the Field School is designed to benefit DMNS as well as the student.  The location changes from year-to-year, based on current field research at DMNS.  It is usually taught in Colorado, Wyoming or Utah.  This year, the Field School was based out of Kiowa, Colorado at the Kiowa Fair Grounds.  The field work was chosen to directly benefit the Denver Basin Project (see  being conducted at DMNS, as well as benefiting the student in a real world field research environment.  The Kiowa Fair Ground is noteworthy in the Denver Basin Project because it is home to one of the core wells drilled by DMNS. This 302 meter well provided stratigraphic data that was used on our daily trips to other localities in the basin.  (Having the Field School based out of the Kiowa Fair Grounds also provided comforts to the participants with its showers, flush toilets and meeting room!  These luxuries were greatly appreciated by the students!)

Denver Basin Project Background:  This is a unique project in that it focuses on both ancient data (fossils, geology) and present-day concerns (water resources in bedrock aquifers) of one of the fastest growing regions in the country.  The project is funded by a variety of sources including: National Science Foundation, U. S. Geological Survey, Division of Water Resources; Colorado Water Conservation Board; Colorado State Engineer; and Colorado State University.  The Denver Basin covers a vast area of the Front Range, from Longmont to Colorado Springs (north-south) and from Golden to near Limon (west-east).  The oldest deposits are from the Cretaceous Pierre Seaway.  The youngest are still being deposited today as a result of erosion from the Rocky Mountain uplift.

Field School Summary:  The pages provided below are organized by day and represent research being conducted in different geographic locations and different geologic times.  Within each page, you will find links to additional images from that day which were taken by myself.

Day 1 (7/06/03) - Camp setup and night lecture: Kiowa Fair Grounds.

Day 2 (7/07/03) - West Bijou Creek at Soil Conservation District:  Tertiary mammals and leaves; Cretaceous dinosaurs & the K/T boundary.

Day 3 (7/08/03) - Plum Creek and Pulpit Rock, Colorado Springs: Cretaceous sharks and leaves.

Day 4 (7/09/03) - West Bijou Creek, private property: Tertiary mammals and leaves.

Day 5 (7/10/03) - Fossil Rainforest, Castle Rock, Colorado: Paleocene leaves.

Day 6 (7/11/03) - West Bijou Creek, private property: Tertiary mammals & leaves.

Day 7 (7/12/03) - Paint Mines, Calhan, Colorado:  Tertiary leaves, paleosol & geological D1/D2 contact of Denver Basin.