C In-Person Class: This class will be taught in person, in the classroom at the Vineyard Church.
Enrollment: Pandemic protocols may limit the enrollment for this class.
Registrants will be informed in advance, and a waitlist will be available.
This course will focus on the geology of Michigan, principally on the unique fossils of the Michigan Basin. Our presenter, Dave Thompson, will introduce the definitions of basic terms for geological formations, the eras of geological time, and the where and when of specific fossils. We will learn about very recent Mammoth and Mastodon finds and their implications, including the recent discovery of the Dexter Mammoth. Class materials will include fossil examples, in both images and actual forms. We will discuss minerals only in connection with the larger geological formations, and there will be no mention of dinosaurs since there were none in Michigan. (The “why” of that will be explained.) Dave’s teaching approach is interactive, and class members are encouraged to bring their own fossil “finds” for identification.
David Thompson has been engaged in collecting fossils since childhood and regards it as his adult avocation, with a specialization in the invertebrate fossils of the Michigan Basin. He is a member of the Friends of the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology, has exhibited there, and has been a guest paleontologist at the Natural History Museum. Over 200 of his specimen photos are displayed on a website jointly sponsored by the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin. In 2021 Dave received the Catherine Palmer Award, a national award for amateur paleontologists.