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An EarthCache is a type of geocache that involves learning basic geology in the field.
"An Earthcache is a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth. EarthCaches include a set of educational notes and the details about where to find the location (latitude and longitude). Visitors to EarthCaches can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage the resources and how scientists gather evidence to learn about the Earth. For more information about EarthCaches, visit http://www.earthcache.org/."
Earthcaches are a variation on the Virtual Cache that involves completion of a geology-related lesson while on-site, as opposed to just grabbing a piece of information. Many times, the lessons involve gathering information by performing a task. There is no container to find in the end. Due to this, and the lesson based atmosphere, Earthcaches are the only cache type other than event caches that the National Park System will approve for placement within a National Park (provided you have received approval from the land manager).
EarthCaches also have their own achievement awards, separate from standard Geocaching.
EarthCache Master Series
The first set is the EarthCache master series, awarded for increasing numbers of EarthCaches visited and created. The four levels are:
- Bronze EarthCache Master, awarded for visiting three or more EarthCaches, which have to be in two or more countries, provinces or states;
- Silver EarthCache Master, awarded for both (1) visiting six or more EarthCaches, which have to be in three or more countries, provinces or states, and (2) developing one or more EarthCaches;
- Gold EarthCache Master, awarded for both (1) visiting 12 or more EarthCaches, which have to be in four or more countries, provinces or states, and (2) developing two or more EarthCaches;
- Platinum EarthCache Master, awarded for both (1) visiting 20 or more EarthCaches, which have to be in five or more countries, provinces or states, and (2) developing three or more EarthCaches.
EarthCache Discovery Awards
These awards are simply for the number of EarthCaches visited. The five levels are:
- Quartz, for finding 50 or more EarthCaches;
- Mica, for finding 100 or more EarthCaches;
- Garnet, for finding 250 or more EarthCaches;
- Emerald, for finding 500 or more EarthCaches;
- Diamond, for finding 1,000 or more EarthCaches;
The two types of awards are not linked to each other, and EarthCache finds can be used for both.
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