Learning to Love Geology at Kent State GeaugaPosted Oct. 4, 2013
By Christina Porter
Joseph Peterlin is passionate about science and his enthusiasm is infectious. He doesn't just teach earth science and geology, he takes pains to exhibit the intriguing details of these subjects. One way he does this is to take his students on field trips for the lab portion of his class. Recently, he took his geology class to Hell Hollow in Lake County where they descended the 262 timber steps down into the creek valley to study Chagrin and Cleveland shale in the ravine carved thousands of years ago by glaciers. Hell Hollow's name refers to the steep rugged descent into the hollow, which is easy enough to get into but much harder to exit. Once in the valley, the massive sandstone wall amazed students as they explored the strata of rocks and learned how the silt layers formed. The class also captured sensitive organisms in the rapidly running stream to complete a field stream analysis of macro invertebrates. The stream was found to be of excellent quality as more than 26 specimens were caught and released. Many of the students had never heard of Hell Hollow before, but most were inspired to return to the park to continue their scientific studies on their own.