Summer Happenings! north central Texas on US Highway 84. There are multiple ways to get there, depending

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  • The TESTA Share-A-Thon is

    an excellent way to partici-

    pate in providing professional

    development to teachers

    without committing to a full

    workshop. We are always in

    need of members to present—

    the more the better. This is

    a great way for new teachers

    to start building your PDAS

    as a presenter at a State con-

    ference. Please contact us if

    you would like to be a part of

    the Share-A-Thon.

    Thank you to everyone who answered

    the call to present a workshop or short

    course at CAST 2015 in Fort Worth.

    Hopefully all proposals were submitted

    on time and will be accepted by the

    proposal committee. Notifications of

    acceptance are slated to be sent out on

    July 15th.

    If everyone who contacted me sub-

    mitted their proposal and they are ac-

    cepted, we should have 11 workshops

    and three short-courses as part of our

    strand. This will be a fantastic display

    of our members earth science

    knowledge and our commitment to

    providing quality professional develop-

    ment opportunities to Texas teachers.

    TESTA will be at the following

    conferences this summer!

     Central Texas Mini-CAST—

    Austin, TX—June 13, 2015

     TESTA Fossil Hunt—

    Brownwood, TX—June 14 & 15,


     Brookhaven Community Col-

    lege— (Dallas) - Geology on

    the Bus North Sulphur River—

    June 16, 2015

     Panhandle Math & Science

    Conference - WTAMU—

    Canyon, TX. - August 4th &

    CAST 2015 Strand:



    Central Texas



    TESTA Fossil



    Get On The




    Math & Sci-



    to the Gulf


    Lunar & Plane-

    tary Institute


    AGI 11

    Summer Happenings!

    S U M M E R 2 0 1 5

    The TESTA Tailings S P E C I A L P O I N T S O F I N T E R E S T :

     CAST 2015 prepa-


     Upcoming Events—

    Check inside for

    more details!

  • P A G E 2

    TESTA Fossil Hunt!

    TESTA will be presenting

    three workshops during

    this conference. One will

    be on the Physical and

    Chemical Properties of

    Minerals for Identifica-

    tion. Another workshop

    will be basically the same

    format but will cover Igne-

    ous, Sedimentary, and Met-

    amorphic Rocks along with the

    Rock Cycle. The last workshop

    will focus on Topography. TES-

    TA will also have a table in the

    Local Resources room to pro-

    vide information about our or-


    For more information or to reg-

    ister -


    plan is to stay the night in

    Austin and then drive to

    Brownwood on Sunday morn-

    ing of June 14th. There are

    a couple of good collecting

    sites between Austin and

    Brownwood that we do not

    want to miss. We plan to be

    in the Brownwood area on

    Sunday afternoon. We will

    then collect in the Brown-

    wood area the rest of the

    day. (Continue—page 3)

    Lexy Bienek, TESTA

    President, has invited

    TESTA members to join

    her in Brownwood, TX for

    a fossil hunt around

    Brown County. Due to

    health issues, we were

    unable to schedule the

    trip during Spring

    Break. TESTA is going

    to be busy at the Mini-

    CAST in Austin on Satur-

    day, June 13th. So the

    Family and

    children are


    T H E T E S T A T A I L I N G S

  • Fossil Hunting ...

    P A G E 3 T E S T A T A I L I N G S

    We will then stay Brownwood on Sunday

    night and then collect again on Monday

    morning. Our plan is to stay at the Gate

    One Inn in Brownwood. We stayed there

    last time and the rooms are large, clean and

    cheap! Here is their website:

    There are many sites around the area to

    collect at and where we go will be dependent

    upon how full the lake is at the dam and how

    areas have dried out after all of the rain.

    The goods news is that all of this rain

    should have exposed lots of new fossils!

    Our plan is leave on Monday afternoon and

    drive on to Dallas to join the “Geology on

    the Bus” trip to the Sulphur River being

    conducted by Brookhaven College on Tues-

    day, June 16th. As far as we know at this

    time, this trip is still on with the hope that

    the river will be accessible.

    Please read on the next page about this ad-

    Older children are welcome, but you MUST supervise them closely as we will be in some

    areas where you can get hurt (or worse) if you are not careful. There will be some very

    steep and rocky terrain that can have falling rocks that we will be collecting fossils from

    so be careful. Depending on the weather, you may also find some hazardous Texas critters-

    -such as rattlesnakes, scorpions, spiders, red ants, etc. You will need to keep an eye out if

    it is warm.

    Where is Brownwood and how do I get there?Brownwood is located in Brown County in

    north central Texas on US Highway 84. There are multiple ways to get there, depending on

    your own personal preference. Pull out your map or look at a map online. I usually find my

    way to TX Hwy 36 via I-10 or US 290. I take Hwy 36 to the Belton/Temple area, then US

    190 over to Lampasas, then US 183 (which merges with US 84 at Goldthwaite) to Brown-

    wood. You can choose your own route depending on what you want to see and where you

    want to stop along the way. I like to look for fossil collecting opportunities along the way.

    There are some obvious places in Copperas Cove and just south of Lometa. There are Zeb-

    ras in Zephyr. It is approximately 290 miles from Houston. It takes roughly 5 hours to

    drive from Houston, depending on your starting point and how many stops you make on the


    What you need to know!,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNFHwcZ_slNUBO0bahCmZlyiBCkmMQ&ust

  • Fossil Hunting ...

    P A G E 4 T E S T A T A I L I N G S

    How much does it cost?

    This trip is free, but you are responsible

    for your own transportation, food, and

    lodging costs. You might want to get a

    group together to carpool, share an ice

    chest for lunch stuff and drinks, share a

    hotel room, etc. This is just a group getting

    together to see what we can find – nothing

    formal! We will all meet up at a set loca-

    tion and then caravan to the collecting sites.

    I want to come, what should I do? Email

    me or call me at 281-460-2026 to let me

    know. Use my personal email since school

    will be out -

    Where do I stay?

    There are several hotels in Brownwood and

    the Flagship Inn out by Lake Brown-

    wood. There also are camping options at

    Lake Brownwood State Park. Google it and

    make your reservations based upon your

    needs and budget. We stayed last year at

    Gate One Inn and it was fine. Has a large

    pool too so bring your suit! Breakfast is on

    your own, lunch is whatever you pack and

    bring (although we ended up at a local burg-

    er joint last year) and we will probably

    meet up somewhere for dinner on Sun-

    day night.

    What will I find there?

    Primarily fossils of sea life, including urchin pieces,

    gastropods, bivalves, corals, brachiopods, the

    occasional rare shark tooth, sponges and other

    goodies, and possibly some plants from the

    Pennsylvanian period. There possibly could be some

    Permian fossils and Cretaceous fossils too.

    If you want to see a lot of pictures of fossils and trip reports from some of past HGMS

    trips there, go to and search the Hunting Trips forum for

    Brownwood. I think you probably have to be signed in to view most of the pictures, so

    create an account and sign in. You'll like it.

    Crinoid Stems from our last


  • Fossil Hunting ...

    P A G E 5 T E S T A T A I L I N G S

    What do I need to take with me?

    Appropriate clothing: Check the weather

    forecast for Brownwood before you leave.

    You may need T-shirts and shorts, long

    sleeve shirts and jeans to keep the sun off

    of you. Be prepared. Seriously, bring extra

    shoes—it could be very muddy or dry or

    both depending upon the site. I usually

    take more than I need, but I have it if I