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The Magna Defender

Geoaware

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How were the Geoaware reviewers selected? and/or how do you nominate people who would be good at it? ie have a degree in geology and have done lots of earthcaches?

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How were the Geoaware reviewers selected? and/or how do you nominate people who would be good at it? ie have a degree in geology and have done lots of earthcaches?

General reference to this sort of question can be found at the following link:

 

Becoming a Community Volunteer Reviewer

 

I'm guessing that fulfilling the requirements outlined in the article would be a good start. An advanced degree in the specialty and having Found lots of Earthcaches might be considered "icing on the cake", but not to the exclusion of other admiral traits.

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Ultimately the GSA, Groundspeak, and the reviewer working there now would need to agree that there was a need. That would be the first step.

 

There are tons of people that would be great at being a reviewer, but if there is not a need the call will never come.

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Given my recent experience trying to get an earthcache published, I'd say there's a need. It takes 1-2 weeks just to get a reviewer to look at your proposed cache, and another 1-2 weeks to get him to look at it again. I'd also like the reviewer to be a geocacher himself. I'm getting the impression so far that my reviewer looks at an earthcache like it's in some sort of classroom. These guys do realize people are reading these caches on tiny gps screens on top of a mountain? I want mine to be an adventure, not a field lab, but it looks like I'm going to have to abandon it or make it boring enough to pass inspection.

 

In other words, I want someone who understands backcountry caching to review my proposal, not a university professor.

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Given my recent experience trying to get an earthcache published, I'd say there's a need. It takes 1-2 weeks just to get a reviewer to look at your proposed cache, and another 1-2 weeks to get him to look at it again. I'd also like the reviewer to be a geocacher himself. I'm getting the impression so far that my reviewer looks at an earthcache like it's in some sort of classroom. These guys do realize people are reading these caches on tiny gps screens on top of a mountain? I want mine to be an adventure, not a field lab, but it looks like I'm going to have to abandon it or make it boring enough to pass inspection.

 

In other words, I want someone who understands backcountry caching to review my proposal, not a university professor.

 

I've had very little difficulty getting approval for the five earthcaches we published this year. Once I have permission from the landowner, the geoaware review has been pretty quick. There was a longer delay over the summer, but I suspect that's because the world was submitting earthcaches in order to make it easier for folks to get related souvenirs. We have tried our best to strike the balance between teaching a science lesson and keeping true to geocaching when designing our logging questions. Haven't gotten any complaints that I recall.

 

Feel free to take a look at what we have submitted and to take whatever information you need if it helps get your caches published.

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Given my recent experience trying to get an earthcache published, I'd say there's a need. It takes 1-2 weeks just to get a reviewer to look at your proposed cache, and another 1-2 weeks to get him to look at it again. I'd also like the reviewer to be a geocacher himself. I'm getting the impression so far that my reviewer looks at an earthcache like it's in some sort of classroom. These guys do realize people are reading these caches on tiny gps screens on top of a mountain? I want mine to be an adventure, not a field lab, but it looks like I'm going to have to abandon it or make it boring enough to pass inspection.

 

In other words, I want someone who understands backcountry caching to review my proposal, not a university professor.

 

There has always been a balance between the various aspects an Earthcache. The first two guidelines from the GSA emphasize that Earthcaches must provide an earth science lesson and be educational - so in that sense it might be like "some sort of a classroom," although one that assumes no prior knowledge of geology and is written for someone who reads at a level appropriate for a 14-year old. It need not be boring to pass inspection - many of the best earthcaches I have done involve "hands on" experience that is fun to do. So I am not sure of the distinction you make between an adventure and a field lab, but to me it points to how important it is to work with the reviewer - I am sure that any reviewer wants your Earthcache to be an adventure that is interesting to all concerned.

 

Given this, there is a need for thoughtful and consistent review. I have had land managers take several months to approve earthcaches. Although I have experienced the 1-2 week delays you cite for the geoaware review, it does not strike me as being unreasonable.

 

While it is a subject for a different thread, I have thought about how people complete earthcaches if they just use a tiny low-resolution gpsr screen that does not support graphics. Even with high terrain earthcaches, I bring a caching app with a full html display - and I generally read the description beforehand, so that the information I use on site is more of a reminder than the sole way that I learn about earth science. While a full-featured smartphone app should not be required, backcountry earthcaches were published before "paperless" gpsrs were used. In those days I used a pda or a Treo phone so perhaps I became used to earthcaching with something in addition to my gpsr. There are still many gpsr devices that are used for backcountry caching that are not paperless and there has to be enough information so that the educational aspect of the Earthcache is not lost.

Edited by geodarts
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I'm not sure why a well written Earthcahe with thoughtful Logging Requirements and adventure can't go together. Sounds more like laziness to me.

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Geodarts asked how people complete ECs.

 

I always print the EC listing page because it is much easier to find the questions on paper than on a tiny screen (especially if I remember to highlight them before setting out). I also write the answers on the same paper so I can remember them later.

 

I do the same with virtuals and some multis.

 

When I did my 6-week Alaska and Canada tour I had a stack of paper over 1" thick.

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Our Geoaware in the UK is absolutely fantastic and is a normal reviewer on top of that too. He publishes earthcaches relatively quickly except when he goes on holiday (which can be a month at a time).

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I'd also like the reviewer to be a geocacher himself.

 

I just wanted to note that all EarthCache reviewers are avid geocachers. Being an enthusiastic geocacher is the #1 requirement to being an EarthCache reviewer.

 

I guess I'd also point out that a large portion of university professors in the geosciences have quite a lot of backcountry experience :) [Albeit, probably not with geocaching!]

 

Cheers,

Matt Dawson, GSA

(GeoawareHQ)

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I believe there's a need for at least another Geoaware in my area as well. As far as I know, there's only one in my whole state.

 

I would personally love to be one. I have a vast knowledge of earth science and geology and it is a huge passion of mine. Every Earthcache I own was published on the first or second try and with minimal changes needed, like the way things were worded.

 

Like you said, it takes a week or two to get it published and even longer when you have an issue. The Geoaware is also a regular reviewer for my area and he's the only one that does it as far as I know. One other occasionally but he hasn't published a cache around here in a long time.

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I believe there's a need for at least another Geoaware in my area as well. As far as I know, there's only one in my whole state.

 

I would personally love to be one. I have a vast knowledge of earth science and geology and it is a huge passion of mine. Every Earthcache I own was published on the first or second try and with minimal changes needed, like the way things were worded.

 

Like you said, it takes a week or two to get it published and even longer when you have an issue. The Geoaware is also a regular reviewer for my area and he's the only one that does it as far as I know. One other occasionally but he hasn't published a cache around here in a long time.

Thanks for offering!

 

Yes, I do cover the entire State of CA, as well as OR, and WA, along with 6 or 7 other States. Currently there are zero submissions in my territory awaiting a Review, and zero submissions awaiting a second look after corrections.

 

Of your 4 currently active Earthcaches, it appears I Reviewed all of them. All were Published on the same day that they were submitted. There are two additional Listings that you submitted and later Archived after I requested changes to bring them more in line with the Guidelines.

 

I check the Earthcache Queue at least once a day, and more often twice a day. Looking just now, there are about a dozen Listings awaiting Review for the entire U.S., and just judging from the Titles I see, about 4 of those will need some work, or appear to have nothing to do with geology.

 

Just based on my experience, the hold up of the Reviewing process is usually on the cache owner end of things. If it's a simple revision, like some minor wording issues, like you had in your case, it's usually pretty quick. If it's a rewriting issue, or permission from a land owner/manager issue, it can take longer. Of the Listings I have to reject, I usually only see about 1/3 come back with corrections and/or clarification.

 

Thanks for contributing to Earthcaching!

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Given my recent experience trying to get an earthcache published, I'd say there's a need. It takes 1-2 weeks just to get a reviewer to look at your proposed cache, and another 1-2 weeks to get him to look at it again. I'd also like the reviewer to be a geocacher himself. I'm getting the impression so far that my reviewer looks at an earthcache like it's in some sort of classroom. These guys do realize people are reading these caches on tiny gps screens on top of a mountain? I want mine to be an adventure, not a field lab, but it looks like I'm going to have to abandon it or make it boring enough to pass inspection.

 

In other words, I want someone who understands backcountry caching to review my proposal, not a university professor.

 

It's unwise to visit any Earthcache - particularly one in the back-country - without thoroughly reviewing the listing in advance. Earthcaches often involve data collection and observation that may require special equipment, or may need to be done over a period of time. If someone is reading an Earthcache listing on the top of a mountain for the first time, that's just poor planning.

 

Earthcaching isn't for everyone. Unfortunately, many geocachers jump into it thinking it's an easy way to pump out a no-maintenance cache in a spot they'll never visit again, but that's not the case.

 

Kudos to the geoaware team for maintaining quality Earthcache listings over all these years.

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Given my recent experience trying to get an earthcache published, I'd say there's a need. It takes 1-2 weeks just to get a reviewer to look at your proposed cache, and another 1-2 weeks to get him to look at it again. I'd also like the reviewer to be a geocacher himself. I'm getting the impression so far that my reviewer looks at an earthcache like it's in some sort of classroom. These guys do realize people are reading these caches on tiny gps screens on top of a mountain? I want mine to be an adventure, not a field lab, but it looks like I'm going to have to abandon it or make it boring enough to pass inspection.

 

In other words, I want someone who understands backcountry caching to review my proposal, not a university professor.

 

I have geology degree , and can vouch for the fact that (in the UK at least) anyone who studies geology at university does extensive practical fieldwork. This will be in the kind of places where lots of rock is exposed, i.e mountains , sea cliffs etc. As a student I always found our lecturers (even the ones who seemed quite old)disturbingly outdoorsy and likely to add a strenuous diversion to a walk just because they thought we would like the view , or appreciate some industrial archaeology unrelated to the field trip .

 

I vividly recall one guy urging us to follow him along an abandoned mine adit on the Isle of Man which was ankle deep in water, with the promise of a spectacularly deep unfenced open vertical mine shaft and some derelict machinery to admire at the end of it ... oh, and does anyone else have a torch ? I declined the offer, and stayed out in the swirling sleet. Thinking about it now, that adit would have made a great high terrain GZ, I wonder if it's still open ... must look for my field note book ...

 

A large part of the joy of geology for me was precisely that, the practical nature of the study, not just books to read, but actual rocks and fossils and structures to study first hand, out in the field.

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I believe there's a need for at least another Geoaware in my area as well. As far as I know, there's only one in my whole state.

 

I would personally love to be one. I have a vast knowledge of earth science and geology and it is a huge passion of mine. Every Earthcache I own was published on the first or second try and with minimal changes needed, like the way things were worded.

 

Like you said, it takes a week or two to get it published and even longer when you have an issue. The Geoaware is also a regular reviewer for my area and he's the only one that does it as far as I know. One other occasionally but he hasn't published a cache around here in a long time.

Thanks for offering!

 

Yes, I do cover the entire State of CA, as well as OR, and WA, along with 6 or 7 other States. Currently there are zero submissions in my territory awaiting a Review, and zero submissions awaiting a second look after corrections.

 

Of your 4 currently active Earthcaches, it appears I Reviewed all of them. All were Published on the same day that they were submitted. There are two additional Listings that you submitted and later Archived after I requested changes to bring them more in line with the Guidelines.

I check the Earthcache Queue at least once a day, and more often twice a day. Looking just now, there are about a dozen Listings awaiting Review for the entire U.S., and just judging from the Titles I see, about 4 of those will need some work, or appear to have nothing to do with geology.

 

Just based on my experience, the hold up of the Reviewing process is usually on the cache owner end of things. If it's a simple revision, like some minor wording issues, like you had in your case, it's usually pretty quick. If it's a rewriting issue, or permission from a land owner/manager issue, it can take longer. Of the Listings I have to reject, I usually only see about 1/3 come back with corrections and/or clarification.

 

Thanks for contributing to Earthcaching!

I didn't note this at the time, but I have to admire this wonderfully diplomatic response.

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I believe there's a need for at least another Geoaware in my area as well. As far as I know, there's only one in my whole state.

 

I would personally love to be one. I have a vast knowledge of earth science and geology and it is a huge passion of mine. Every Earthcache I own was published on the first or second try and with minimal changes needed, like the way things were worded.

 

Like you said, it takes a week or two to get it published and even longer when you have an issue. The Geoaware is also a regular reviewer for my area and he's the only one that does it as far as I know. One other occasionally but he hasn't published a cache around here in a long time.

Thanks for offering!

 

Yes, I do cover the entire State of CA, as well as OR, and WA, along with 6 or 7 other States. Currently there are zero submissions in my territory awaiting a Review, and zero submissions awaiting a second look after corrections.

 

Of your 4 currently active Earthcaches, it appears I Reviewed all of them. All were Published on the same day that they were submitted. There are two additional Listings that you submitted and later Archived after I requested changes to bring them more in line with the Guidelines.

 

I check the Earthcache Queue at least once a day, and more often twice a day. Looking just now, there are about a dozen Listings awaiting Review for the entire U.S., and just judging from the Titles I see, about 4 of those will need some work, or appear to have nothing to do with geology.

 

Just based on my experience, the hold up of the Reviewing process is usually on the cache owner end of things. If it's a simple revision, like some minor wording issues, like you had in your case, it's usually pretty quick. If it's a rewriting issue, or permission from a land owner/manager issue, it can take longer. Of the Listings I have to reject, I usually only see about 1/3 come back with corrections and/or clarification.

 

Thanks for contributing to Earthcaching!

 

Oh wow. I'm embarrassed lol.. I didn't think you would see that. Well I guess I've upped my count of owned ECs since I posted that. I seriously appreciate your work! I hope you didn't think I was putting you down or anything. I just thought you needed a little lighter of a work load, but I'm glad you have it better than I thought.

 

I absolutely love geology and Earth science. They were always my favorite classes in school (besides music class) and I learn about science in general, as much as I possibly can. When I learned that Earthcaches were a type when I started caching, I got extremely excited. I always try my best to make everything as scientific as possible when I create an Earthcache.

 

I honestly wasn't trying to offer to be a Geoaware, although I'd love to be one, I doubt that it would ever happen. Especially after you stating the somewhat small amount of Earthcaches in the entire country waiting to be reviewed. However if I were offered, I would accept.

 

I just want to thank you again for the work you do. I really appreciate it. If it weren't for you and other reviewers, the sport wouldn't be possible. You've had to sit through my long lessons more than a few times now, and I thank you greatly for that lol.

 

You've taught me a lot too. I couldn't have asked for a better Geoaware for my area.

Edited by Rapaladude
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Great answer Rapaladude :) And you have a great variation of ECs. Wish I was in the area to go and find them. Please do keep on going. :) (and no, I cannot see reviewer notes and unpublished caches).

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Great answer Rapaladude :) And you have a great variation of ECs. Wish I was in the area to go and find them. Please do keep on going. :) (and no, I cannot see reviewer notes and unpublished caches).

 

Thanks :D I do my best. I have a lot more in the works as well. I love geology so much, I'm really glad I get to teach people about the earth through EarthCaches, it actually means quite a bit to me to be able to contribute in that way.

 

Who knows? Maybe it'll happen for me someday because of it.

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Given my recent experience trying to get an earthcache published, I'd say there's a need. It takes 1-2 weeks just to get a reviewer to look at your proposed cache, and another 1-2 weeks to get him to look at it again. I'd also like the reviewer to be a geocacher himself. I'm getting the impression so far that my reviewer looks at an earthcache like it's in some sort of classroom. These guys do realize people are reading these caches on tiny gps screens on top of a mountain? I want mine to be an adventure, not a field lab, but it looks like I'm going to have to abandon it or make it boring enough to pass inspection.

 

In other words, I want someone who understands backcountry caching to review my proposal, not a university professor.

 

It's unwise to visit any Earthcache - particularly one in the back-country - without thoroughly reviewing the listing in advance. Earthcaches often involve data collection and observation that may require special equipment, or may need to be done over a period of time. If someone is reading an Earthcache listing on the top of a mountain for the first time, that's just poor planning.

 

Earthcaching isn't for everyone. Unfortunately, many geocachers jump into it thinking it's an easy way to pump out a no-maintenance cache in a spot they'll never visit again, but that's not the case.

 

Kudos to the geoaware team for maintaining quality Earthcache listings over all these years.

 

You got that right.....yesterday it was me on that mountain and it was 111 deg in the shade ( there was no shade )....there were 7 questions some of which had as many as 4 " sub questions " so about 20 or more head scratching questions ( nothing posted at site ).

I took my picture with my GPS and decided to DNF and bail......as is often said all cachers do not have to find all caches. My only complaint really was I feel it should have been rated 3-4 diff instead of 1 1/2. When you're on the road for weeks its hard enough to keep up with the PQ's and routes so ratings are important...they let me know if a cache fits my time constraints. Around home I can do more preparation and would never walk away from an EC no matter how incorrectly rated.

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