The best part of Spring semester ending is the flexibility of schedule to head into the field! Relatedly, Nilmani and I have spent several days scouting field sites for her MS thesis examining paleoecology of the Ames Limestone. The Ames is an extremely well-known marker bed throughout the Appalachian Basin and has been the subject of many petrological, faunal, and ecological analyses over the years. Nilmani’s project will add to this body of knowledge by examining how community structure varies at multiple spatial scales.
Armed with a productive year of preliminary analyses and background study, Nilmani is ready to tackle her main research this summer. Step 1 is identifying outcrops. We’ve visited over a dozed previously described locations throughout Athens, Hocking, Morgan, Noble, Muskingum Counties. Some sites are extremely promising for her thesis work. Others, not so much.
Overall, we’ve had a lot of fun exploring the rocks, fossils, wildflowers, wildlife, and general region of SE Ohio. And as always, perhaps my favorite parts of “spring training” is having solo time in the car and field to really get to know my students.