TTU’s GeoConclave team “rocks” annual competition

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The Tech GeoConclave team members are, front row from left, Lexi Bowen, Allison Bohanon, Todd Wisor, Sydney Belton, back row, Zoe Fred, Dylan Preston, Steven Clements, Alex Guerra, Gabrielle Burke, and Amanda Hitchcock.

From rock classification, mineral identification, and other geological knowledge being thrown around, members of Tennessee Tech’s GeoConclave team shined at the 36th annual GeoConclave held the weekend of September 27-29.

Together, the team won first place in the overall competition and second place in the Rock Bowl.

“Tech has participated in the GeoConclave for 36 years,” said Jeannette Wolak, earth sciences associate professor and GeoClub adviser. “Of those, the Tech team has won the overall championship trophy 19 times.”

Tech’s most recent win was in 2017.

The event, held in Harrison Bay State Park outside of Chattanooga, also featured teams from Austin Peay State University, University of Tennessee Martin, University of Tennessee Knoxville, and University of Memphis.

Academic events during the competition include fossil identification, rock identification, mineral identification, pace and compass, environmental geology, and geologic mapping. The non-academic events include men’s and women’s rock hammer throw for distance, men’s and women’s rock hammer throw for accuracy, men’s and women’s geode roll for distance, and men’s and women’s geode roll for accuracy.

Team members are all earth sciences majors, even though that is not required to be a member of the club.

Individual winners include senior Allison Bohanon from Waverly winning first place in environmental geology and junior Alex Guerra from Puerto Rico winning first place in pace and compass.

The team took second place in the Rock Bowl, an elimination-style tournament of geologic knowledge. Rock Bowl members, along with Bohanon, include team captain Lexi Bowen, from Manchester, junior Zoe Fred from Lenoir City, and senior Amanda Hitchcock from Spencer.

Next September, the event will be held in Fall Creek Falls State Park.