The first international gathering of EarthCache enthusiasts will take place in New Gloucester (near Portland), Maine, USA, on Sunday, 2 September 2012. The global EarthCache program, run by the Geological Society of America, is an educational subset of geocaching with the important difference that instead of finding a container of trinkets, the treasure at an EarthCache site is a lesson about the Earth itself. Participants complete a task to prove they have been observing and learning from each visit, and log their experiences. Multiple visits can earn participants rewards, such as the EarthCache Discovery Awards.
The September gathering will be a unique opportunity for participants to learn about new EarthCache sites, meet EarthCache reviewers and share their stories with like-minded explorers. A variety of activities will include learning seminars, opportunities to trade geocoins and tags, meet vendors of geocaching merchandise, and meet and mingle with geocachers who are interested in EarthCaches from around the globe.
A special reception is planned to recognize high-level EarthCache Masters as well as a forum for participants to show off their best EarthCache submissions.
The family-friendly event is being held at Pineland Farms, an educational and recreational venue that welcomes visitors to enjoy beautiful rural landscapes and walking trails through farm and forest lands. The day will include activities for geokids including farm visits.
Registration opens 15 February 2012. Event updates will be posted at www.earthcacheevent.org.
"The EarthCache community is growing," says program Director Gary Lewis, "and providing a venue for camaraderie and celebrating the wonders of Earth is very important to us."
"We want to encourage people to keep learning and to share their enthusiasm—it's contagious!" said Lewis.
The first EarthCache site was developed by Lewis in 2004 on a headland in New South Wales, Australia. It leads to evidence in the rocks of an ancient ice age and amazing fossils to discover. Since then over 12,500 sites have been placed by geocachers around the globe and a staggering 2,250,000 people have visited those sites to date. EarthCache discoveries lie on every continent, and accommodate every age and outdoor skill level. Sites are added on a daily basis.
For more information about the EarthCache event or general program information contact:
Senior Director, GSA Education & Outreach
IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE at www.geosociety.org/news/pr/12-08.htm
The Geological Society of America, founded in 1888, is a scientific society with more than 25,000 members from academia, government, and industry in 103 countries around the world. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of its members and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, GSA encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social scientists, fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues, and supports all levels of earth science education.
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