The Blue Ridge Bachelor? A Day with the Schuyler Sisters

By Chuck Bailey

Saturday, Feb. 26th was a day like no other.

I participated in both a William & Mary departmental field trip while simultaneously ‘hosting’ an episode of the Bachelor as we rolled across the Blue Ridge foothills in central Virginia.

The Geology department runs a field trip every semester that is open to all – from Fresh Peeps to Super Seniors. In the Spring semester, Geology majors typically lead the trip and highlight their research findings to their peers – it’s uniquely fun.

The Schuyler Sisters decided to spice things up by having the field trip broadly-themed around the long-running TV series the Bachelor. At each of our stops, one of the Schuyler Sisters guided our discussion, asked questions of the participants, and ultimately gifted a piece of rose quartz to somebody special!

The Blue Ridge Bachelor - Will you accept this rose quartz?

Promotional materials for the Schuyler Sisters department field trip.

As host, I tried to keep everything on the rails. Unfortunately, I had to intervene as one of the participants was there ‘for the wrong reasons’.  The participant was originally banished, but the Sisters showed mercy and let them return (albeit wearing the hat of shame:). The full ‘episode’ is still in production, but trust me – it’ll be a must-see spectacle when released! Here’s a short video snippet to pique your interest.

The first three outcrops told the story of rifting and volcanism which, by the early Cambrian had, spawned a new ocean basin – the Iapetus. Armand and Bernice Theiblot welcomed us to Quarry Gardens where we lunched and then explored the old soapstone quarries which now flourish as native plant gardens. We finished the day by crossing The Great Unconformity and venturing further back in time to see the Blue Ridge basement complex.

About 3 dozen smiling participants and one dog standing and sitting around quarried rocks

William & Mary geologists at Quarry Gardens.

These out-of-classroom experiences are a big part of what makes Geology at William & Mary special.

More Field Trip Pics!

students gathered around a map affixed to a van.

The Schuyler Sisters discuss their geologic map as the field trip begins.

Geologists at an outcrop.

Haley Meyrowitz impressing the crowd at Stop #2

Geologists at an outcrop.

Terri Zach gesticulates about the Grenvillian basement complex in the Blue Ridge. Note: Johnny Peters wearing the Hat of Shame!

Categories: Campus Life, Faculty & Staff Blogs, Research, Traditions & Events Tags: , , ,
1 Comment
  1. Katie Cullen

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