Discovering Your Surroundings: Rock, Soils, and Landscapes of the Belfast Bay Region

Instructor:  Fred Bowers

  • Thursday Afternoon
  • 1:00 – 3:00 pm
  • Recommended Text

Belfast Bay is a sub-watershed of Penobscot Bay Watershed. The view from the Belfast bridge is grand and marvelous. It invites the observer to explore and understand this complex landscape; the valleys, the terraces, and the rocky shores. The landscape is a challenge to understand and a delight to behold.

The class will introduce the student to the same concepts and strategies used by geologists and soil scientists to understand their surroundings when presented with a new terrain. The student will learn to recognize local rocks and minerals by
observing specimens. The student will learn to understand relationships between soils and geology as they relate to the various landscape features. The class will also introduce students to Geographic Information Systems and mapping software
such as Google Earth and QGis (public domain GIS mapping software), and online sources of GIS data. The student will also learn how to understand and create maps of hikes and day trips on Google Earth using “myTracks” app.

Recommended Text: Caldwell, D.W., 1998. Roadside Geology of Maine. ISBN: 978-0-87842-375-0

Fred Bowers holds a Ph.D. in Forest Soils from the University of Washington in Seattle. His research work in Tongass National Forest in Alaska necessitated learning geology, mineralogy, forest ecology. Prior to that, he earned a M.S. in agronomy and soil pedology from Rutgers University. After 27 years working as a Research Scientist for the New Jersey DEP, he retired and moved to Belfast where he has been learning to understand the geology and soils of the region.