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STNolan

Guidelines Clarification

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"We only accept EarthCaches about building stones if the lesson is about a geological feature or structure within the building stone. Examples: Minerals, fossils, cross-bedding, and cave fill. We do not accept generic lessons about the stone’s type, formation, or origin alone."

- GSA Earthcaching Guidelines 4.5. Limiting some EarthCache types

 

Hello, looking to some of you more experienced EarthCache placers for some information regarding the above guideline. Wherein does the distinction lie between a "generic lesson about the stone's type" and a lesson about the "geologic features of the building stone?" Also I would presume that the term building stone is not limited in the strictest sense of the word to "stonework" but may also encompass statues and the like.

 

A couple of examples:

 

1) A statue made of local copper mined from a local mine. Is a lesson on the origins, geologic reasons for the selection of the material, and formation of the copper a valid earth-cache (provided of course that one can come up with acceptable logging tasks, but that's another question in and of itself.)

2) Limestone Monuments (this one in particular confuses me) I have seen many ECs (and own one myself) that utilize the formation and mining of the limestone as the primary geologic lesson. Does this not qualify as a "non-accepted" topic?

Not really looking at placing any of these caches anytime soon, this quandary just arose from reviewing the EC guidelines. I was hoping someone here might be able to shed some light.

 

Looking forward to the discussion.

-STNolan

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You'll be comforted to know that I'm struggling to interpret what that guideline means too.

 

I thought they usually provided illustrative examples of what would and would not pass muster under a specific guideline?

 

I'm afraid I can't work out what you might mean by geologic reasons for selection of the material. I imagine the reasons behind material selection would be based on material properties - and those properties might exist for geologic reasons; thus geolgic reasons are only indirectly related to selection criteria.

 

Nor do I see the process of mining being directly related to Earth Science - unless, perhaps, you might relate the way a process is undertaken being very specific to the properties of the commodity being mined / prospected?

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Just now, Team Microdot said:

You'll be comforted to know that I'm struggling to interpret what that guideline means too.

 

I thought they usually provided illustrative examples of what would and would not pass muster under a specific guideline?

 

What you see is all they've provided (at least that I can see). So I suppose I'm curious as to what delineates the difference between a "generic" lesson and a "geologic feature" of the stone. 

 

3 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I'm afraid I can't work out what you might mean by geologic reasons for selection of the material. I imagine the reasons behind material selection would be based on material properties - and those properties might exist for geologic reasons; thus geologic reasons are only indirectly related to selection criteria.

 

Geologic reasons for material selection would be based on material properties. For instance bronze is typically chosen for statues due to it's ability to rapidly expand when super-heated and fill nooks and crannies of an intricate molding. That's a physical property directly related to the material composition. However that might be considered "too weak" of a connection to validate an EC. I suppose for an EC lesson you could describe several types of sculpture materials and their properties and request that the finder identify the qualities of the material that lead to its selection. Not sure if that would be permissible.

 

8 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

Nor do I see the process of mining being directly related to Earth Science - unless, perhaps, you might relate the way a process is undertaken being very specific to the properties of the commodity being mined / prospected?

 

GC7QTEE - This is my cache and right now after reviewing the GSA Guidelines I'm not sure if it should have been published to begin with. I don't know if it has a "non-generic" lesson or if it's only focused on the building material. Regardless after reviewing it, I think I may want to re-work the questions.

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Having thought a little more I think I can express rationally some of what that guideline might be getting at.

 

It actually ties in a little bit to the sort of thing I was getting at in my Google - friend or foe? thread.

 

You might consider taking someone to an example of an exotic (almost typed erotic then, which is a quite different thing) rock, naming it and asking the cacher to describe it as an acceptable ESL (Earth Science Lesson) and that cacher would probably agree.

 

I suspect though that the reason this would be up for rejection is that GIVEN the name of the rock people could Google it and describe it from an online photograph, or a selection of online photographs.

 

I think the key word in the guideline is alone.

 

I see no reason why naming the rock and asking for a description can't be PART of the logging tasks, but I can see why TPTB would be looking for something site-specific in addition to that.

 

Although I have had logging tasks contested in a completely isolated fashion recently, rather than in the context of and methodology behind the greater ESL I'm seeking to teach - which can be frustrating.

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5 minutes ago, STNolan said:

GC7QTEE - This is my cache and right now after reviewing the GSA Guidelines I'm not sure if it should have been published to begin with. I don't know if it has a "non-generic" lesson or if it's only focused on the building material. Regardless after reviewing it, I think I may want to re-work the questions.

 

Q1 and Q2 together speak to the density of the material - which I would consider adequately Earth Science based

 

Q3 speaks to the mineral composition of the material - bringing it nicely within the parameters of the aformentioned guideline.

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8 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I suspect though that the reason this would be up for rejection is that GIVEN the name of the rock people could Google it and describe it from an online photograph, or a selection of online photographs.

 

I think the key word in the guideline is alone.

 

I see no reason why naming the rock and asking for a description can't be PART of the logging tasks, but I can see why TPTB would be looking for something site-specific in addition to that.

 

So that makes sense, and it also covers why you see so few (if any) ECs on statues. They're easily google-able (my new terminology) and it would be difficult to come up with logging requirements that you couldn't identify from the internet. 

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2 minutes ago, STNolan said:

 

So that makes sense, and it also covers why you see so few (if any) ECs on statues. They're easily google-able (my new terminology) and it would be difficult to come up with logging requirements that you couldn't identify from the internet. 

 

I've managed it successfully on several occasions.

 

Not all of them were published on first submission though - I ended up having to rework some of them several times - one in particular I had to completely re-write - not a welcome task when you've spent a bunch of man hours over several days putting something together.

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7 hours ago, STNolan said:

Wherein does the distinction lie between a "generic lesson about the stone's type" and a lesson about the "geologic features of the building stone?" 

 

I think it goes to the overall requirement that an earthcache be unique. "This is granite, let's talk about granite" is not unique. "This is granite, check out the inclusion at these coordinates and let's discuss it" is unique.

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Here's my building material earthcache: GC4XGZ8. I focused not generally on granite but specifically on how the cobbles were formed and were continuing to weather.

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7 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

...one in particular I had to completely re-write - not a welcome task when you've spent a bunch of man hours over several days putting something together.

 

I completely understand that feeling. I've gotten lucky on my last few submissions, but I've had a few "completely re-write" ones.

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Just now, hzoi said:

I think it goes to the overall requirement that an earthcache be unique. "This is granite, let's talk about granite" is not unique. "This is granite, check out the inclusion at these coordinates and let's discuss it" is unique.

 

Bold is mine.

 

I think this is a good, clear explanation.

 

What about this is granite - what does it look like / feel like followed by what is this other rock and how do you know it's not granite?

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Just now, hzoi said:

Here's my building material earthcache: GC4XGZ8. I focused not generally on granite but specifically on how the cobbles were formed and were continuing to weather.


This one I understand. If anything I think the EC lesson is less about the actual building stone, and is actually about the erosion instead. Totally acceptable and no "Gray areas" for that EC lesson.

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4 minutes ago, STNolan said:

I completely understand that feeling. I've gotten lucky on my last few submissions, but I've had a few "completely re-write" ones.

 

Doubly frustrating though when there's another EC in the same park that's filled with misinformation and devoid of Earth Science.

 

ETA - or at least the Earth Science on the page is irrelevant to its subject.

 

Edited by Team Microdot
Clarification

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Just now, Team Microdot said:

 

Doubly frustrating though when there's another EC in the same park that's filled with misinformation and devoid of Earth Science.

 

 

When I'm bored on a 12 hour watch I find myself pulling up "archived" ECs and looking at the reason why they were archived. I found a very interesting one out in Washington State that was archived due to having "false, unscientific, and unproven" science lessons.

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5 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

What about this is granite - what does it look like / feel like followed by what is this other rock and how do you know it's not granite?

 

Maybe if there were specific features? Comparing a slab of granite with a slab of...whatever...still sounds like a "generic lesson," only based on two stones rather than one.

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Just now, STNolan said:

When I'm bored on a 12 hour watch I find myself pulling up "archived" ECs and looking at the reason why they were archived. I found a very interesting one out in Washington State that was archived due to having "false, unscientific, and unproven" science lessons.

 

They happen.

 

Like the one in Blackpool which the CO claimed was marble but was actually concrete - as revealed by the visible aggregate where skateboarders had knocked lumps off it.

 

The 'black granite' full of perfectly formed fossils - which of course cannot happen.

 

The fountain which has bits missing off it due to vandalism rather than weathering / erosion from acid rain.

 

The limestone bridge that's actually sandstone.

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3 minutes ago, hzoi said:
10 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

What about this is granite - what does it look like / feel like followed by what is this other rock and how do you know it's not granite?

 

Maybe if there were specific features? Comparing a slab of granite with a slab of...whatever...still sounds like a "generic lesson," only based on two stones rather than one.

 

I'm thinking observable and typical characteristics rather than features.

 

Take basalt, dolerite and gabbro for example - same rocks chemically but quite different in texture and appearance.

 

ETA - the ESL is about being able to deduce the type of rock you are looking at based on the characteristics observed in other rocks of same/similar/different types.

Edited by Team Microdot
Clarification

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1 minute ago, hzoi said:

 

Maybe if there were specific features?

 

GC71MAA - Another of my early EC hides. I think this one met the guideline because of the impurities question (3) but looking back now if I was the GeoAware I'm  not sure I would approve of it because of that guideline. 

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2 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

 

They happen.

 

Like the one in Blackpool which the CO claimed was marble but was actually concrete - as revealed by the visible aggregate where skateboarders had knocked lumps off it.

 

The 'black granite' full of perfectly formed fossils - which of course cannot happen.

 

The fountain which has bits missing off it due to vandalism rather than weathering / erosion from acid rain.

 

The limestone bridge that's actually sandstone.

 

This one was showing evidence of a "mass flood" based on biblical-esque scientific rationale. 

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1 minute ago, STNolan said:

This one was showing evidence of a "mass flood" based on biblical-esque scientific rationale. 

 

That one could have been made to fly with a bit of effort.

 

Compare / contrast current scientific belief with (for example) beliefs inherent in young earth creationism - @hzoi may even remember a previous thread around that very topic?

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1 minute ago, Team Microdot said:

 

That one could have been made to fly with a bit of effort.

 

Compare / contrast current scientific belief with (for example) beliefs inherent in young earth creationism - @hzoi may even remember a previous thread around that very topic?


I've been on night shift for a few months... so I've went back and read a lot of the threads here in the EC forum. I remember that one... but this guy presented this EC as fact not as a "compare/contrast."

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5 minutes ago, STNolan said:

 

GC71MAA - Another of my early EC hides. I think this one met the guideline because of the impurities question (3) but looking back now if I was the GeoAware I'm  not sure I would approve of it because of that guideline. 

 

I'm not sure I would either - I've only quickly scanned the ESL I'll admit - but I can't see any suggestion in there about what I might infer.

 

Am I looking for colour that might clue me in to what minerals are in there?

 

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Just now, Team Microdot said:

 

I'm not sure I would either - I've only quickly scanned the ESL I'll admit - but I can't see any suggestion in there about what I might infer.

 

Am I looking for colour that might clue me in to what minerals are in there?

 


Yes; maybe that'll be my next night watch activity... fixing up that EC to be more specific in how the impurities entered the marble et al.

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1 minute ago, STNolan said:
2 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

 

That one could have been made to fly with a bit of effort.

 

Compare / contrast current scientific belief with (for example) beliefs inherent in young earth creationism - @hzoi may even remember a previous thread around that very topic?


I've been on night shift for a few months... so I've went back and read a lot of the threads here in the EC forum. I remember that one... but this guy presented this EC as fact not as a "compare/contrast."

 

That was never going to happen then.

 

Earthcaches must be about (current) Earth Science. That's a fundamental requirement.

 

I added (current) because science updates itself all the time. I was reading an article the other day where scientists have now concluded that the core of the earth is in fact solid rather than, as has been considered fact for a very long time, molten.

 

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1 minute ago, Team Microdot said:

 

That was never going to happen then.

 

Earthcaches must be about (current) Earth Science. That's a fundamental requirement.

 

Well it took quite a while before it was archived. Not sure how it got through initial publication to begin with...

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3 minutes ago, STNolan said:

I found a very interesting one out in Washington State that was archived due to having "false, unscientific, and unproven" science lessons.

 

Is that the one based on some super lake? I think I remember that one, or at least one similar.

 

Anyway.

 

I'm on a phone and quoting is difficult, so I will just say that under the revised guidelines I don't know that either of your examples in your opening post would be enough, without focusing on a specific, unique aspect.  I think both used to be adequate but would no longer be.

 

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5 hours ago, STNolan said:
5 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

 

I'm not sure I would either - I've only quickly scanned the ESL I'll admit - but I can't see any suggestion in there about what I might infer.

 

Am I looking for colour that might clue me in to what minerals are in there?

 


Yes; maybe that'll be my next night watch activity... fixing up that EC to be more specific in how the impurities entered the marble et al.

 

I missed this earlier.

 

I used to think that rocks were 'made' all in one go. I now know that rocks have usually undergone a number of processes over an extended period of time to get to the way we see them today.

 

I think that identifying minerals by colour could make a good 'generic-but-site-specific' logging task i.e. teach about a number of different minerals and their colours and then ask which mineral is present in this rock - or in the veins therein. Or, if there's more than one example of said rock in various shades - which one has the highest / lowest concentration.

 

Maybe @hzoi 's Help My Earthcache thread could develop along these lines - a bank of example Logging Tasks which remain specific to their subject AND generic enough to be used at differing locations with the same sorts of properties?

 

It could still take a Q&A form i.e. here's a description of my location and what's interesting about it - what might be some good Logging Tasks that would be acceptable to a Geoaware?

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7 hours ago, hzoi said:

 

Is that the one based on some super lake? I think I remember that one, or at least one similar.

 

 

Yup that’s the one!

1 hour ago, Team Microdot said:

 

Maybe @hzoi 's Help My Earthcache thread could develop along these lines - a bank of example Logging Tasks which remain specific to their subject AND generic enough to be used at differing locations with the same sorts of properties?

 

It could still take a Q&A form i.e. here's a description of my location and what's interesting about it - what might be some good Logging Tasks that would be acceptable to a Geoaware?

 

This! This seems like the most productive use of that thread. As much fun as it was to get feedback on a fully fledged out EC, getting some good startting point questions may be better for the thread overall.

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