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Cache Dilemma


fox-and-the-hound
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So I found the perfect earthcache site. We drove out to talk to the administration at the research site nearby and even received permission (and encouragement) to put an earthcache there. The problem is when we explained geocaching to them (the love the idea btw), they said we should put some caches out on their hiking trails. :rolleyes: Now I'm thinking, uhmmm... what? Can I do that? I know you can have earthcaches and geocaches nearby each other, but is it a good idea? When I asked them if they knew of a particularly good "lesson" to be learned and used as proof of a visit, they weren't sure, but suggested we leave a small cache hidden nearby with an informational about their park and everything that could be learned there that could contain a code or some other proof that they would be happy to provide. Now what? :ph34r:

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EarthCaches have a requirement that no physical container be associated with them. End of story. So the answer being stored in a nearby traditional or container won't work. Now if the park wants to put out a container with information and not list it as a traditional and the park has ownership of the container, I would think it would be simiar to having an informational sign or trail guide distribution site. However I am not the final say on that rule. I'm sure something could be worked out for the educational requirement without a container, though it may not be exceptionally exciting or original.

 

If a container is really what will work out best, it could be listed as a puzzle cache like the Acadia EarthCache program. I'm not sure if that is listed on the EarthCache site though. I know it doesn't come up as an EarthCache, and you would have to work with Geoaware to see if it would count for the masters program if that is a concern.

 

There can be traditionals close by just not at the exact same coordinates, nor present the same material as the EarthCache. I have a few EarthCaches just a few feet from traditionals. So long as you work with existing traditional owners everything is fine. Traditionals placed later can't be predicted.

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Well I assumed that no meant no with a physical cache, but what I'm wondering is 1) Should I (not Can I) have a traditional and physical so close together and 2) does the "proof" of attendance have to coincide with the earthcache itself? ie: There is a boardwalk viewing platform at the site. Could proof be as simple as identifying the one tree right next to the boardwalk since you learned about what kind of tree it was at the learning center? Everything you can learn about the earthcache itself is easily found online so it wouldn't be much help as a proof marker.

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Have the finder post a picture, if there are signs, answer question based on signs making sure the same info is not available online, measure water temp, tree size.

 

If you can provide additional information about the unique site, then maybe forum community can provide additional assistance. Ask again at the site for educational idea, what is the message the site wants visitors to take home?

 

Don't make it so hard, like easy, that is the hardest task.

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Well I assumed that no meant no with a physical cache, but what I'm wondering is 1) Should I (not Can I) have a traditional and physical so close together and 2) does the "proof" of attendance have to coincide with the earthcache itself? ie: There is a boardwalk viewing platform at the site. Could proof be as simple as identifying the one tree right next to the boardwalk since you learned about what kind of tree it was at the learning center? Everything you can learn about the earthcache itself is easily found online so it wouldn't be much help as a proof marker.

 

Before you get too far, does the location you have in mind have anything to do with an unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth? I don't think tree identification will qualify.

Edited by BiT
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Before you get too far, does the location you have in mind have anything to do with an unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth? I don't think tree identification will qualify.

 

Yes, although there are similar sites across the U.S., this one is singularly important for it's location. I'm going back to discuss more with the director (who was on holiday this weekend), but wanted to come prepared with some ideas as well as get some general opinion on proof requirements.

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Well I assumed that no meant no with a physical cache, but what I'm wondering is 1) Should I (not Can I) have a traditional and physical so close together and 2) does the "proof" of attendance have to coincide with the earthcache itself? ie: There is a boardwalk viewing platform at the site. Could proof be as simple as identifying the one tree right next to the boardwalk since you learned about what kind of tree it was at the learning center? Everything you can learn about the earthcache itself is easily found online so it wouldn't be much help as a proof marker.

Finding a physical cache as a requirement for finding an EarthCache would not be allowed. Having a traditional near an EarthCache would get more people to come out to the site. Since the owners sound positive even about traditionals I would go for it with ~20 foot sepearation (?). It is good to show that traditional geocaching can coexist with natural preserves/parks.

 

The question can be as simple as you state. If there is anything else in the visitor center more directly related to the geology hopefully you could use that.

 

You could have them send you coordinates along the boardwalk for when the plant community changes due to the underlying geology/hydrology. Are there no informational signs along the trail? I've seen a couple of EarthCaches use information unrelated to the geological aspect of the site as one of the questions, but also have another question related to the geology, even if they can be obtained from internet searches. The picture also provides "proof".

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The question can be as simple as you state. If there is anything else in the visitor center more directly related to the geology hopefully you could use that.

 

You could have them send you coordinates along the boardwalk for when the plant community changes due to the underlying geology/hydrology. Are there no informational signs along the trail? I've seen a couple of EarthCaches use information unrelated to the geological aspect of the site as one of the questions, but also have another question related to the geology, even if they can be obtained from internet searches. The picture also provides "proof".

 

The only informational signs are for plant life, trees, animal signs, etc. I was reading that pictures no longer constitute proof. Am I misunderstanding that? "Taking a photograph alone, having visitors sending a word from a sign, or asking people to do internet research does NOT meet these logging guidelines." - earthcache.org

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The only informational signs are for plant life, trees, animal signs, etc. I was reading that pictures no longer constitute proof. Am I misunderstanding that? "Taking a photograph alone, having visitors sending a word from a sign, or asking people to do internet research does NOT meet these logging guidelines." - earthcache.org

The key word is "alone." You can include these logging requirements along with the educational question. For example, to log the cache you must meet the following three requirements

1-post a picture of yourself and gps at the site

2- send an e-mail with the type of tree pictured on the informational sign at the coordinates

3- send an e-mail relating the amount of water seen at the end of the walkway (coordinates here), the amount of water seen at the start of the walkway (coordinates here) and the type of vegitation seen at each location.

 

Two non-educational requirements and one educational one.

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The only informational signs are for plant life, trees, animal signs, etc. I was reading that pictures no longer constitute proof. Am I misunderstanding that? "Taking a photograph alone, having visitors sending a word from a sign, or asking people to do internet research does NOT meet these logging guidelines." - earthcache.org

The key word is "alone." You can include these logging requirements along with the educational question. For example, to log the cache you must meet the following three requirements

1-post a picture of yourself and gps at the site

2- send an e-mail with the type of tree pictured on the informational sign at the coordinates

3- send an e-mail relating the amount of water seen at the end of the walkway (coordinates here), the amount of water seen at the start of the walkway (coordinates here) and the type of vegitation seen at each location.

 

Two non-educational requirements and one educational one.

 

Excellent, thanks! :)

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The only informational signs are for plant life, trees, animal signs, etc. I was reading that pictures no longer constitute proof. Am I misunderstanding that? "Taking a photograph alone, having visitors sending a word from a sign, or asking people to do internet research does NOT meet these logging guidelines." - earthcache.org

The key word is "alone." You can include these logging requirements along with the educational question. For example, to log the cache you must meet the following three requirements

1-post a picture of yourself and gps at the site

2- send an e-mail with the type of tree pictured on the informational sign at the coordinates

3- send an e-mail relating the amount of water seen at the end of the walkway (coordinates here), the amount of water seen at the start of the walkway (coordinates here) and the type of vegitation seen at each location.

 

Two non-educational requirements and one educational one.

 

...however, the logging requirement must be earth science (geology, physical geography etc) related, and NOT biological, as in this example.

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The only informational signs are for plant life, trees, animal signs, etc. I was reading that pictures no longer constitute proof. Am I misunderstanding that? "Taking a photograph alone, having visitors sending a word from a sign, or asking people to do internet research does NOT meet these logging guidelines." - earthcache.org

The key word is "alone." You can include these logging requirements along with the educational question. For example, to log the cache you must meet the following three requirements

1-post a picture of yourself and gps at the site

2- send an e-mail with the type of tree pictured on the informational sign at the coordinates

3- send an e-mail relating the amount of water seen at the end of the walkway (coordinates here), the amount of water seen at the start of the walkway (coordinates here) and the type of vegitation seen at each location.

 

Two non-educational requirements and one educational one.

 

...however, the logging requirement must be earth science (geology, physical geography etc) related, and NOT biological, as in this example.

True. I that one would have been bumped back to me to rework my writeup :) .

 

My assuption is that the site's geologic concept is related to ground water, surface water, and soil type relationships as would be in a bog/fen (that would require a boardwalk). Without destructive testing/digging, one of the ways to identify very shallow ground water would be the plant communities in the area.

 

A better question then may be to predict the relative depth to ground water at point a vs point b based on the plant community at each location. (At least I hope that would pass :) )

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The only informational signs are for plant life, trees, animal signs, etc. I was reading that pictures no longer constitute proof. Am I misunderstanding that? "Taking a photograph alone, having visitors sending a word from a sign, or asking people to do internet research does NOT meet these logging guidelines." - earthcache.org

The key word is "alone." You can include these logging requirements along with the educational question. For example, to log the cache you must meet the following three requirements

1-post a picture of yourself and gps at the site

2- send an e-mail with the type of tree pictured on the informational sign at the coordinates

3- send an e-mail relating the amount of water seen at the end of the walkway (coordinates here), the amount of water seen at the start of the walkway (coordinates here) and the type of vegitation seen at each location.

 

Two non-educational requirements and one educational one.

 

...however, the logging requirement must be earth science (geology, physical geography etc) related, and NOT biological, as in this example.

 

:laughing: Why? If a site includes both geology and biology points of interest why would one be required over the other? Aren't they directly related anyway?

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:laughing: Why? If a site includes both geology and biology points of interest why would one be required over the other? Aren't they directly related anyway?

You have to show that relationship with the geology and make the educational question related to the geological aspect of the relationship.

 

This program is sponsored by the Geological Society of America, so it has to stay within the society’s area of expertise and charter. Some line has to be drawn to keep the definition of EarthCaches from drifting off their charter.

 

Some day I plan to get up to the Cuesta Ridge Botanic Area near San Luis Obispo CA to set up an EarthCache. This area is a unique community of plants that only grow on soil derived from serpentine. While the biology of the area is why the area was set aside, the biology is only there because of the geology. The focus of the EarthCache will have to be the rocks and the soil that forms from it. The question(s) may be identifying where the serpentine ends based based on the types of plants and then hopefully finding an outcrop of a different type of rock beneath the other plant community. I haven't been there yet, so I'm not yet sure what I'll do. If someone else gets there first, even better, I'll have another one to find.

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I guess I misunderstood the point of an earthcache then. When earthcache.org says "the formation of landscapes or to sites of interesting phenomena" they're only talking about the geology part of planetary science then? That seems a bit contradictory to me, but hey I'm new at this. How do sites like peatbogs make it onto the listings then? :laughing:

 

Hey, maybe that could be a whole new caching category! Bio-sites :laughing:

Edited by fox-and-the-hound
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I guess I misunderstood the point of an earthcache then. When earthcache.org says "the formation of landscapes or to sites of interesting phenomena" they're only talking about the geology part of planetary science then? That seems a bit contradictory to me, but hey I'm new at this. How do sites like peatbogs make it onto the listings then? :laughing:

 

Hey, maybe that could be a whole new caching category! Bio-sites :laughing:

This is just a guess but I would say that it can be listed as peat is consitered a soil type. Much like diotamatious earth.

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...When I asked them if they knew of a particularly good "lesson" to be learned and used as proof of a visit, they weren't sure, but suggested we leave a small cache hidden nearby with an informational about their park and everything that could be learned there that could contain a code or some other proof that they would be happy to provide. Now what? :laughing:

 

Simple. You have a happy land owner wanting a cache. Place one that fits their criteria. Egads man! This is not a dilemma!

 

Then if you still feel the need to place an EarthCache that meets the EarthCache program requirments, ask them if you may also list an EarthCache to reach a wider audience. Odds are they will say "Ok". There is no proximity rule on an EarthCache and a Regular Cache that happens to teach Geology even if the lesson is redundant.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/nearest.asp...lng=-115.858767

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I guess I misunderstood the point of an earthcache then. ...

 

The focus of earth caches (I hereby claim the generic term for the common good and benefit of all cachers) seems to be physical geology. They are willing to stretch it to things caused by the geology. A desert wouldn't count. A pocket desert created because it's on the leeward side of a huge mountain, maybe. But then the lesson would have to focus on the microclimate limits and not so much the desert itself. That's just a WAG though.

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I guess I misunderstood the point of an earthcache then. When earthcache.org says "the formation of landscapes or to sites of interesting phenomena" they're only talking about the geology part of planetary science then? That seems a bit contradictory to me, but hey I'm new at this. How do sites like peatbogs make it onto the listings then? :laughing:

 

Hey, maybe that could be a whole new caching category! Bio-sites :D

This is just a guess but I would say that it can be listed as peat is consitered a soil type. Much like diotamatious earth.

 

Well that's kinda what threw me. Earth or rather "soil" is organic. How can you separate one from the other? The're not called "geology" caches. Even that would be misleading because geology includes biology as a discipline. I see earthcaches listed as hydro, geological, glacial, and a bunch of others. I've taken more than a couple earth science courses in school and college and biology was always a big part of it so I just leaped to the idea that biology was part of earthcaches as well. It's actually good that it isn't maybe, because I'd love to see a whole new category of caches dedicated to biology specific. Think of all the possibilities! :laughing:

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I guess I misunderstood the point of an earthcache then. When earthcache.org says "the formation of landscapes or to sites of interesting phenomena" they're only talking about the geology part of planetary science then? That seems a bit contradictory to me, but hey I'm new at this. How do sites like peatbogs make it onto the listings then? :(

 

Hey, maybe that could be a whole new caching category! Bio-sites :)

This is just a guess but I would say that it can be listed as peat is consitered a soil type. Much like diotamatious earth.

Well that's kinda what threw me. Earth or rather "soil" is organic. How can you separate one from the other? The're not called "geology" caches. Even that would be misleading because geology includes biology as a discipline. I see earthcaches listed as hydro, geological, glacial, and a bunch of others. I've taken more than a couple earth science courses in school and college and biology was always a big part of it so I just leaped to the idea that biology was part of earthcaches as well. It's actually good that it isn't maybe, because I'd love to see a whole new category of caches dedicated to biology specific. Think of all the possibilities! :laughing:

Where did you go to school? It must have been a very enlightened place. At my college, there was a rather stiff division between the Biology Department, the Chemistry Department, and the Geology Department, and they were somewhat competitive with one another. The Geology folks were often made to feel like the poor step-children of the other Sciences. I had a Biology professor ask me why I "wasted" all my talent with the "Earth-Dirt" people.

 

That said, we recently did two rather nice EarthCaches in New Jersey that deal with peat bogs:

GCPXWQ Why is the Water Brown and GCPXH4 Bog Iron EarthCache

and I've been to several nice EarthCaches that deal with wetlands in general. It's all in the approach. Focus on how the geology impacted the land to create the feature and it meets the requirements for an EarthCache.

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...Where did you go to school? It must have been a very enlightened place. At my college, there was a rather stiff division between the Biology Department, the Chemistry Department, and the Geology Department, and they were somewhat competitive with one another...

The competition I've seen, but the thing I found the most interesting was that they all blend. Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Astronomy, Biology. They all blend. The lines of competition may be sharp but the lines separating the fields are fuzzyier than a politician talking.

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Actually, geoscience is the application of all the sciences to try and understand how our planet works, how we can use its resources, how we can manage its environments and how we can keep safe from its hazards.

 

Geoscience is the unifying science - it pulls all the others together in a practical way.

 

Not that i am biased at all :blink:

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