Hello Geofam, I have some exciting news. As of March 8th, 2018, I was accepted to the EdMap program through USGS. This program allows students to learn the skills for geologic mapping through training with DOGAMI (The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries) as well as a designated professor at your institution over a period of one year.
To be able to have professional one on one field training experience is honestly a dream come true. I absolutely love being out in the field, and to be given this assignment for a period of one year is amazing. Although I will only physically be out in the field for a period of 7 weeks give or take, the skills obtained throughout the year are invaluable. This program includes 149 universities with more than 935 students from geoscience departments across the Nation. Their mapping contributes to the geologic maps used for furthering research and education throughout the United States. I am so excited to be a part of this and contribute my map at the end of this year.
The region I will be geologically mapping is called Jump off Joe Mountain. This quadrangle is located along the northeastern margin of the Harney Basin about 40 miles NNE of Burns, in eastern Oregon. How this opportunity came about was through my advisor and field mapping professor Dr. Martin Streck; after last summer's field mapping course. This course took place within the lower south west corner of the Jump off Joe quadrangle. Last summer's mapping experience allowed me to become familiar with the geologic units, and petrography for the mapping area. This region thus far is primarily made up of rhyolitic tuffs, rhyolite, and andesite, with variations among each. Geologic mapping contributes to global efforts to map the geology of our earth. A vital aspect of education and research in the field of Geology.
A geological map is a specific map with the purpose of showing geological features. Rock units are shown by color or symbols to indicate where they are exposed at the surface. Geologic maps can be superimposed over a topographic map with letter symbols to represent the kind of geologic unit found in that region. Through ongoing mapping efforts more information is gathered, and new geologic units may be defined, creating a detailed history. This is a key element of the importance of geologic mapping. A geologic unit or stratigraphic unit is a volume of rock from an identifiable origin and relative age range that is defined by the distinctive and dominant, easily mapped and recognizable mineral and chemical content, textural identity, physical characteristics, or organic characteristics that characterize it. Mapping geologic units allows for a better understanding of our earth processes. Which can lead to provide geologic information to help reduce the damaging effects of geologic hazards such as landslides and earthquakes. What an awesome way of unraveling our earth's history and improving our basic understandings of geologic resources. I am very excited to produce my own piece of history and contribute to the geologic understanding of our earth.
I will continue to keep you updated on my mapping progress, and experience through the USGS EdMap program. The beginning of my work starts off with gathering all geologic information for that region and compiling a concise record to better my understanding and research of that area in order to produce a thorough geologic map. I will also begin planning my hiking routes, as this will allow for me to use my field time more efficiently. I am very excited to start this process. Let the mapping begin!