A Visit to an Arkansas State Park

A Visit to an Arkansas State Park*


*(Note: If you are not in Arkansas you can use state park from your vicinity as long as you keep the number of the required photos).


Purpose:  To learn, photograph and explain how the different areas of study in Earth Science operate together to form a natural environment through a field trip to an Arkansas State Park.


Requirements:  This lab requires the student to actually visit an Arkansas State Park during the semester enrolled in Earth Science.  The student must have a digital camera and be able to walk to various locations within the park (some are wheelchair accessible—check the park’s website if this is a concern.)



1)  Read the rest of the information regarding this field trip before starting the trip.

2)  Print this page so that you can refer to it as you go on the trip and as you write your report.

3)  Find a State Park from the list below which interests you and is in your area.  To find the general location and general information about these parks, you can go to the website www.arkansasstateparks.com or to www.arkansasstateparks.com/park-finder/default.aspx .  The second site shows a map of the state and you can click on a given park icon and the information for that park will come up.


Some suggested parks that have real significance to Earth Science are:


  1. a) Magazine State Park
  2. b) Petit Jean State Park
  3. c) Mammoth Spring State Park
  4. d) Nebo State Park
  5. e) Crater of Diamonds State Park
  6. f) Devil’s Den State Park
  7. g) Pinnacle Mountain State Park


4)  Once you have determined which park you will visit, plan your visit.  Remember that you must complete this lab and have it ready, so don’t wait until the end of the semester, 5) During your visit to the park you are going to have a great time (and create an annotated photo essay regarding the park for yourself and for me.)  This means that while you are in the park, you are going to take photos of various things within the park and make written notes about when, where, and what the photo shows.  Later in your lab report, you will present your photos and a paragraph description of each (explained below.)  Remember, this is an Earth Science field trip—13 photos of your spouse, kids, girlfriend, boyfriend, etc., are not really needed even if they went to the park with you.


Required photo subjects:                                          Suggested photo subjects:

3 geological features (3 different ones)                      stream bed

2 animals or insects                                                     animal tracks, signs (not road signs!)

3 plants native to park                                                 wildflowers

visitor center (each park has one)                               sunset or sunrise in park

some natural feature with you in the photo                cloud formations

stream or lake (all of the parks listed have this)         other weather related picture

one other photo (your choice)                                     unique plant life (ferns, lichen, etc.)

______________________                                        view from overlook(s)

These add to 12 required photos.


Lab Report:

This lab report will NOT follow the normal outline form, but rather will consist of your photos and short descriptions of each.  There should be an introductive paragraph stating when and where you went of your field trip.  The descriptions with each picture should tell what it is, where it is in the park, what time of day it was taken and at least one sentence describing the relationship of the subject of the photo to Earth Science.  You should write a concluding paragraph about your experience.


You can paste your photos into MS Word and write your descriptions under them. This can be submitted as an attachment to an e-mail,


find the cost of your paper