Connecting the environment of the ancient past with the natural and cultural history of yesterday and today.



Waldron Shale Project:

An Educational Initiative For the Science Classroom

A collaboration of the Falls of the Ohio State Park

and Bellarmine University

Goals and Objective


Trimurus trilobite from the Waldron shaleProject Goal: 

Utilize fossil-rich Waldron Shale as a classroom tool to explore science with a multidisciplinary approach that leads to a better understanding of the scientific processes and while contributing to a better understanding of the Silurian Waldron Shale by collecting usable data for scientific research.


Trimurus delphinocephalus


Educational Objectives: Coiled Myelodactylis crinoid from the Waldron Shale

Students will investigate the Waldron Shale to become familiar with the processes of science and its connections to math, writing, language arts, and visual arts.

Students will develop a feeling of ownership contributing to project as a scientist, illustrator or author.



Coiled crinoid Myelodactylis

Fardenia subplana brachiopod from the Waldron ShaleResearch Objectives:

Better understanding of the distribution of

skeletal and trace fossils with comparisons

to the classic Waldron investigations.

Document types and frequency of epizoans /

symbionts among the fossils.

Look for new or poorly described species.

Fardenia subplana brachiopod (with pyrite)

Website ObjectivesCyrtocone cephalopod from the Waldron Shale - Undescribed?

The Waldron Shale Project website will contain:

  • Uploading database files that can be integrated into others and remain individual for future comparative work
  • Each class can upload their fossil identification guide
  • An art-space where student drawings can be shared
  • Virtual Museum showing the best fossils in each class
  • Research report upload site where each class can submit a summary of their own classroom writing, art, photography, etc., that will be shared among schools involved in the project

Unidentified cyrtocone cephalopod 

Geologists measure the Waldron Shale thickness at Sellersburg QuarryAbout the Waldron Shale to be used in is project:

Clark County, Indiana deposits were first exposed in 1994 at the Atkins and Sellersburg Quarries and have not been the subject of scientific research.


College class investigates the Waldron Shale

How to participate

The project is still in the early stages of development. Our goal is to select no more than six teachers in Indiana and six in Kentucky to test the lessons in the 2015-16 school year. We are creating and will test the activities this spring will have a professional development this summer to train the selected educators.

We are gathering names of educators for future participation. Using Indiana Academic Standards for Science and Kentucky Next Gen Standards, we are targeting the third, fourth, and seventh grades. We will expand into the high school level in the future.

Please copy and paste this information into an email. Send it to

Name: ____________________________

School: ___________________________

Email address:______________________

Grade you teach: ___________________

This will fit into my lessons in:

__Fossils / History of Life

__Science application / processes


__Ecology studies


Tools and Information

The geology of the Waldron Shale in Indiana

Basic Waldron ID Sheets

Used by the Falls of the Ohio staff for labs


Species List


Photo Gallery

The Waldron Shale Project Committee

Waldron Shale Project Committee

Melissa Martin, Geneva Fry, Brian Brewer, Debbie Jinks (K-12 educators),

Gary Potter (IUS) and Dr. Kate Bulinski (Bellarmine University)

Not shown: Alan Goldstein (IDNR)

Waldron Shale being removed at the Atkins Quarry

Total thickness of the Waldron Shale in Clark County, Indiana is 10-feet.

This exposure is in the bottom of the Atkins Quarry.

Created January 30, 2015, Updated February 1, 2017.