One of the distinctive features of Dickinson’s campus is the stone–in buildings, walls, outcrops, and gardens. The primary rock type is limestone, which Dickinson as adopted this into their ceremonies, for example, by phrasing graduation as going “beyond the limestone.” Limestone is the traditional building material, making up even the newest campus buildings. In exploration of the prevalence of limestone and other local rocks on campus, I have adopted the task of mapping and locating decorative rocks and outcrops, as well as the main buildings, at Dickinson (see first image below). This map can be used to aid instruction on outcrops within Dickinson’s Department of Earth Sciences and by campus tour guides for aid in describing the history and prevalence of limestone and other rock materials on campus.
Data was either extracted from the Dickinson GIS server (ESRI, Dickinson) or collected using a handheld Garmin GPS. Dickinson building, walkway, and street shapefiles were uploaded and modified from the server. Rock points were collected using the Garmin, and outcrop polygons were digitized by connecting points taken around the perimeter of each outcrop. All information from the GIS server files, including rock type, construction date, and building name, was retained and modified only for readability purposes (see second image below). Information on rocks and outcrops–rock type, location, and special feature–was interpreted in the field using personal knowledge of rock types and structures (see third image below).
Results and Discussion
It is clear by the map that the majority of Dickinson’s lithology is limestone that occasionally contains calcite veins. Special features are mostly limited to Kaufman’s rock garden to the west of the building–this garden is the main spot on campus used in instruction by Dickinson’s Department of Earth Sciences. Limestone and marble are also present elsewhere in small quantity. Knowing the locations of individual rocks or outcrops and the lithology of rocks, outcrops, and buildings can be used by the Department of Earth Sciences for demonstration of field observations of lithology, and even by tour guides to demonstrate Dickinson’s fidelity to the limestone tradition.