Islands have a lot of Exposed Rock!

GE335 Visit to Allen Island

Our GE335 (Geologic Field Methods) spent the weekend of September 29–October 1 on Allen Island. The group consisted of: Associate Professor Walter A. (Bill) Sullivan, Alyson Churchill (’18), Kaci Kus, (’18), Patt Lamom (’18J), David Miller (’19), and Zena Robert (’18). Assistant Professor Bess Koffman also joined the group on Saturday evening and Sunday. The students used this opportunity to identify and document different rock units, interpret the complex cross-cutting relationships between these units, and make detailed geologic maps of the southern half of the island. These observations and data will provide the basis for written reports in this W-2 course. Bess enjoyed her introduction to the Island and scouted for a possible future field trip. We were gifted with spectacular weather, and everyone enjoyed the sunsets and sunrises as well as the camaraderie in the bunkhouse. As always, Jake and Jim were helpful and kind. Below our the students’ reflections on our experience.

“My overall experience visiting Allen Island was very positive. Not only is the island beautiful, but the housing accommodations are very clean and well taken care of. Jim, the man who ferried us to the island, was very friendly and helpful in loading and unloading our belongings on and off of the boat. As for the geology of the island, it is really interesting and easily accessible, which made mapping a very enjoyable experience. Luckily we had good weather for both days of our excursions. I think the small area of the island was very conductive to working as a small group in the field, and I was able to learn a lot by being able to experience the geology in person alongside my peers. I had a lot of fun and would definitely be happy to visit again for another field trip in the future!”—Kaci Kus (’18)

“Allen Island is a great site to practice field mapping. Our trip to Allen Island was a great experience. We had comfortable and clean accommodations. There was a golf cart that we were allowed to use on the island. The rock formations on Allen Island were very interesting. Our original plan was to map the coastline and the inland exposure of the whole island, but once we got to explore the area we realized that with this vast amount of information we would not be able to do that. We thus could only map about 2/3 of the island, mostly the coastline on the southern part. I found multiple interesting geologic features as well as rich and diverse ecosystem there. This place is truly unique, and I hope that more students will come and grab this valuable educational opportunity it has to offer.”—Patt Lamom (’18-J)

“Spending the last weekend of September on Allen Island was incredible, from our boat ride out to our boat ride back. The caretaker and boat driver, Jim, was a great resource with knowledge of the island’s past and present. Living in the bunkhouse is much more of a real life experience than living in a college dorm because you have to organize, do chores, and work together. The classroom is set up very nicely for a group of students to learn background information, etc. before going out exploring and studying the island. The ease of walking or driving around the entire island is fantastic. It provides an amazing study site on an isolated oasis. The island itself is beautiful and was definitely hard to leave.”—David Miller (’19)

“The time my class spent on Allen Island was a valuable educational experience. We have learned so much during our time here at Colby, and I believe that it is important to take our knowledge and apply it to different situations. Geologists need to be versatile in their studies of new areas, and Allen Island gave us the opportunity to study somewhere where we haven’t been before. We were able to view various geological features that we have learned about in the classroom on a beautiful island, which is an experience that some students will not have the opportunity to have in their college careers. The trip also gave my class the opportunity to bond as we worked together to study along the coastline. I am very thankful and appreciative to have been able to study geology on Allen Island. It is an experience I will never forget.”—Zena Robert (’18)