University of Vermont

Virtual Field Study


Calvert County, MD  

study area    The first step in any scientific study is the identification of a location that will best serve the purpose of your research.  For her doctoral dissertation at Harvard University, Patricia Kelley selected the rocks exposed on the shoreline of Chesapeake Bay, Maryland to collect her fossils.  Calvert County is located on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay, and is an ideal place to study the evolution of mollusk fossil communities due to good outcrop exposure, abundant fossild to sample, as well as well defined local stratigraphy.  The best sampling locations are located in the large sea cliffs along the western shore of the peninsula.  These cliffs contain three distinct rock formations, from which samples were extracted and studied.  The following section of the module discusses these three formations, their age, composition, fossil content, and how paleontologists have used the clues preserved within them to study evolutionary relationships over time.  For more maps of Maryland, and Calvert County, check out the links below.  To continue on the field trip click the Next button.

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calvert county, maryland  Map of Calvert County, MD:      Calvert County  Map of sampling locations:

Maps courtesy of the Palentological Research Institution (

Last modified October 06 2008 02:23 PM

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