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Greetings from Virginia!

I just joined the REI Co-op after shopping at REI for years. I am a biologist and a recovering Federal govie in between careers with quality time on my hands. I'm looking forward to hitting the trails on a regular basis.

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@Rob6  Am I remembering correctly that your daughter is also an archaeologist? 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hi @REI-JohnJ@Mark5150 , @coastalxplorer , and everyone else.

Welcome to the Community @Mark5150 !

You are correct John.  She just received her diploma from Durham University in England, but has not yet been able to secure a job in the field.  

Anne Arundel County in Maryland has a archaeologic non-profit called The Lost Towns Project, that relies heavily on volunteer involvement.

My daughter and I have volunteered on several digs with them (pre-Covid).  

Do keep in mind that archaeology is the study of human history, not natural history, but does include finding bones. Both human and animal.

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Both Virginia and Maryland are great states for fossil hunting. The general rule is that fossil collecting is prohibited at federal parks. Unless there are parks with an exception (i.e. permission, university sponsored study, etc...). When it comes to federal parks I just assume no fossil hunting.


State parks vary and will post whether it's allowable or not. If it's not listed on a site then assume no collecting. 


Calvert county makes it very clear where not to collect. There are areas with heavy erosion around cliff areas but those areas tend to be restricted to university research.


In Virginia, Fredericksburg is a good area for gastropods. Supposedly sharks teeth can be found in Occoquan, but I haven't personally seen them. Only examples from other people's collections.


I've planned for gold once but I can't remember where in Virginia because it was so long ago and it was with a rock and mineral club. 


One thing I've always wanted to do was explore a quarry. Especially a limestone quarry for fossils.

Chippokes has a “fossil beach” and each person is allowed to take one they find.  The fossils end up on the beach after eroding from the cliffs above.  Check out their website for details and guided walk schedule (summer).  At Westmoreland SP, you can take as many sharks teeth as you can find on park property.  Venturing onto adjoining private property is strictly prohibited.  Having a colander to sift beach sand and pebbles is extremely helpful (although I used the mesh in my trucker hat effectively in a pinch). 

You can follow my exploits on Instagram @coastalxplorer and my backpacking blog

Got the notice that I was mentioned in a post, Figured I would update the Nick Zentner activity on YouTube... Will do that on the page you linked to... Nick has been showing some new paths... He finished the 101st Episode in the Nick at Home livestream series Today.

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