Creating your own VFE

  • Things to bring into the field
  • Things to do at each site
  • Putting it together 

Why VFE's?

VFE Creation

Preparing your class to go on a VFE

Support Materials for VFEs


Things to bring into the field:

  • Backpack (preferably old, the main purpose is to have something to carry rock samples)
  • In backpack:
    • First-aid kit
    • Water
    • Ziploc bags (perfect for shales and anything else that is crumbly)
    • Grocery bags (collecting other rocks)
    • Pencils (mechanical are best because they don't need to be sharpened and won't run in the rain)
    • Sharpies (to label rock samples)
  • Digital camera (make sure batteries are charged and/or you have extras)
  • GPS unit (make sure batteries are charged and/or you have extras)
  • Meter stick or other measuring device (for scale), mechanical pencils can also be used on small objects
  • A field notebook or clipboard and paper
  • A topographic map of the area, if possible
  • Rock hammer and safety glasses (fresh surface of a rock can be quite different from the weathered surface, or you may need to break rock to get a hand sample for your classes, before using a rock hammer, be sure that its okay to do so)

Things to do at each site:

  • Get coordinates from your GPS (Write down the coordinates on paper even if your GPS stores them, and don't trust the elevation it gives you)
  • Take pictures:
    • Put something for scale in each picture

      • An overview

      • Examples of weathering and erosion

      • Any changes in rock type or color

      • Bedding

      • Close-ups of typical rock

      • Anything cool, interesting or something you have questions about

    • Take as many pictures as you can, it may save you a trip back!

  • Take notes:
    • Make your own observations (think, if you brought students here, what would you want them to write about?) Download a template in MS Word.

      • Most geologists use a field notebook, but unless you are working in the rain (I don't recommend) its just as good to use a clipboard and paper.

  • Get samples:
    • Typical rocks (enough samples to show what the place looks like in terms of rock)
    • Any rock with something special like fossils
    • Atypical rocks (what's this doing here?)
    • Anything you have questions about
  • Label rocks/bags (I use the following system:)
    • L1-06-01
      • L1 stands for Location 1 (you can give places descriptive names or numbers, what ever works for you)
      • 06 stands for 2006
      • 01 stands for the first sample at this location

      Putting it all together: