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Understanding the EarthCache Guidelines Presented by GeoawareHQ (Matt) and GeoawareCA (Sandra) 1:30 – 2:15 p.m.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding the EarthCache Guidelines Presented by GeoawareHQ (Matt) and GeoawareCA (Sandra) 1:30 – 2:15 p.m."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding the EarthCache Guidelines Presented by GeoawareHQ (Matt) and GeoawareCA (Sandra) 1:30 – 2:15 p.m.

2 1. EarthCache sites must provide Earth Science lessons. They take people to sites that can help explain the formation of landscapes or to sites of interesting phenomena such as folds, faults, intrusions. EarthCaches can also help reveal scientists' understanding our Earth (such as fossil sites etc.) Please note that sites with a major focus on biological, ecological, or archeological features, will not be published.

3 2. EarthCaches should highlight a unique feature. EarthCaches that duplicate existing EarthCache information about the site or related sites may be rejected. EarthCaches should be developed to provide a unique experience to the location's visitors, and to teach a unique lesson about the feature at the site. Multiple EarthCaches on the same feature should be avoided and content, rather than proximity, will be the guiding principle of EarthCache reviewers.

4 3. EarthCache sites must be educational. They provide accurate, but simple explanations of what visitors will experience at the site. Cache page text must assume no previous knowledge of the relevant Earth Science. The educational notes must be written to a reading age of an upper middle school (14 year old) student. Additional technical or scientific notes can be provided for the scientific community at the end of the listing. All notes must be submitted in the local language. Additional languages are encouraged. You may be requested to provide the notes in English to assist with the reviewing process. Respect trademarks and copyright and only use images or logos in your description if you have permission. Avoid direct plagiarism and quote sources of information where appropriate.

5 4. EarthCache sites can be a single site, or a multiple site. No items, box, or physical cache can be left at the site. You must have visited the site recently (within two months), checked that the site is safe and have taken multiple GPS readings to ensure accuracy of coordinates. You are responsible for disabling an EarthCache if conditions regarding access, safety or other issues, change.

6 5. EarthCache sites follow the geocaching principles and adhere to the principles of Leave No Trace outdoor ethics. In addition, use waypoints to ensure cachers take appropriate pathways. Use established trails only. Do not create new trails to a site in order to concentrate use impacts. EarthCache sites will highlight the principle of collect photos - not samples.

7 6. Logging an EarthCache requires that visitors undertake an educational task relating to the specific Earth Science at the site. Examples of logging tasks include measuring or estimating the size of the geological feature, collecting and recording data (such as time of a tidal bore), or answering Earth Science related questions from information available only at the site. Tasks should teach or reinforce the site-specific lesson and should be the cache owner¹s proof that the cacher has visited the site. Taking a photograph at the site, or asking people to do internet research does NOT meet the logging task requirement. Answers to logging tasks MUST be placed in a 'Reviewer Note' at time of submission.

8 7. Requests for photographs must be optional. Exceptions to this guideline will only be considered if the requested photograph is related to an Earth Science logging activity such as recording a phenomenon. This particular guidelines was updated on 1 January 2011. All EarthCaches must conform to this guideline as photo requests are considered "optional tasks" and follow the guidelines set forth by Existing EarthCaches that do not meet this guideline must be updated to comply. Cache owners may not delete the cacher's log based solely on optional tasks.

9 8. All EarthCache sites developed must have prior approval of the landowners before submission (depending on local country laws and customs). The developed text should be sent to the landholder/manager for approval. When applicable the cache owner must have written permission from the owner or appropriate land-managing agency. The name, title and contact details of the person that authorized this EarthCache MUST be given at the time of submission in a "Reviewer Note". If permission is not required, please provide the reason, i.e. public road pull-off in a " Reviewer Note". If information about permission is not provided, the submission may not be published.

10 9. All EarthCache sites will be reviewed by the EarthCache Team… …to ensure appropriateness of the site and educational standard of the notes, and logging requirements.

11 10. Damage to the site is unacceptable. Please be mindful of fragile ecosystems. (EarthCachers are encouraged to use “Leave No Trace” (LNT) principles (

12 11. The Geological Society of America and the EarthCache Team retains the right to edit, modify, reject or archive any EarthCache that does not adhere to these guidelines, or for any other purpose that the Team deems as appropriate.

13 3.3 List of Acceptable Sciences EarthCaches focus on the solid earth and the processes that shape it. For the purpose of EarthCaches, "Earth science" includes geology, mineralology, paleontology, landforms, physical geography etc. It does not include ecology, biology, anthropology, history, etc. Acceptable : * Geological materials - Rocks, minerals, fossils, sands, soils etc. * Geological processes - erosion, weathering, deposition, volcanic activity, glacial action etc. * Geological land form evolution - ie glacial valleys, reverse topography due to rock properties etc, waterfalls with geological explanations * Use of geological materials - building stones etc. * Geological phenomena (not included above) - impact craters, geysers, mineral springs, etc. Tools used by geologists - index fossils, rocks, historical geology sites (

14 Not Acceptable Sciences Not Acceptable: * Biology, botany, zoology * Ecology * Atmospheric observations * Oceanographic observations not tied to a geology theme * Geodesy if NOT tied to the site * Archeology * History, unless it has a geology theme * Buildings without a geology lesson Engineering unless it has a geology theme (

15 3.4 EarthCache Types That are No Longer Accepted Certain types of EarthCaches have many examples already in existance and as such we are no longer accepting new submissions in that category. US river gauging stations, watershed divides unless it is a major divide, and river confluences unless it is a major confluence. (

16 3.5 EarthCache Types That Have Been Widely Used Waterfall Classification: We no longer accept EarthCache submissions featuring the various types of waterfalls with a logging task asking to identify the type of waterfall at a particular location. … Artesian Wells/Springs: … The EarthCache should include details about the geological conditions that caused the artesian well/spring to be formed at the selected location. Glacial Erratics: … No longer acceptable will be logging tasks that just ask for dimensions of erratic blocks, or the calculation of the weight of the blocks. You need to work a lesson around the specific site that relates the geology of the blocks to the surrounding geology and some task that links those blocks to the action of the glaciers that brought them here. (

17 Other Topics  Autoresponders  Indoor EarthCaches  Plagiarism  Redeveloping archived EarthCaches  EarthCache maintenance

18 EarthCaching Resources  EarthCache Home:  Geocaching Home:  Guidelines:  FAQ:  Forum:  Official Languages:  Knowledge Book:  German Info:  Leave No Trace (LNT):

19 Thank You!  Groundspeak  EarthCache Review Team  EarthCache Owners and Finders  And YOU!

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