An excursion in times of Corona

Neele van Laaten

Field Trip Introduction to Applied Geology 2020

Lehre zu Corona-Zeiten
Lehre zu Corona-Zeiten
Image: Nicolas Köppner

Field trips are simply part of the experience! What is otherwise a matter of course for us became a new experience for all participants against the background of the measures to contain the Corona pandemic.

In the run-up, it had to be clarified whether and how the excursion could take place at all and whether the bus would be allowed to travel. A hygiene plan and forms were drawn up, groups were reallocated and fears were expressed right up to the end.

schiefer Kirchturm Bad  Frankenhausen
schiefer Kirchturm Bad Frankenhausen
Image: Neele van Laaten

On 07. and 08. May it was then so far - in two small groups instead of a large one and with adapted program.

With mouth protection and safety distance in the bus and in the field, we could visit several stations in northern Thuringia as part of the introduction to applied geology.

Destinations in the morning were the tailings piles of potash mining in Rossleben, the Bottendorfer Hügel with its prominent, small-scale fault zones and protected habitat types as well as the Solquelle in Artern and the adjoining Solgraben, Thuringia's smallest nature reserve.

Neue Äbtissinnengrube Bad  Frankenhausen
Neue Äbtissinnengrube Bad Frankenhausen
Image: Neele van Laaten

After the masks had been briefly aired during the lunch break - after all, you have to eat something - the afternoon was spent visiting the New Abbesses' Pit and the leaning church tower in Bad Frankenhausen.

There, at the latest, one or the other realized that the skin had become quite sensitive due to the long time spent at the desk at home. The good weather did the rest, so that probably more sunburns than usual were to be registered. By the way, these are particularly attractive in mask form.

Many were happy to be out in the field again, even if it was certainly nice to be able to take off the mouth guard again at home at the end of the day. All in all, it was a successful excursion despite all adversities, also due to the great consideration of all participants, which contributed significantly to the success.