Day 1: Rock
Mike Sammartano has developed learning aids for naturalists to understand and begin to identify minerals and rocks, including a look at how these different structures are formed in earth’s history. We’ll watch just two of these, which go together with particular charts, or schemes, for identifying geological finds. In order to further develop your own skills in rock and mineral identification, acquire a field guide to your area or look online for resources.
Video: “Rocks and Minerals (Mike Sammartano)” (17:04)
Video: “Identifying Minerals (Mike Sammartano)” (8:33)
Reading: “Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness”
Reading: “Properties of Common Minerals”
Reading: “Schemes for Rock Identification (Igneous-Sedimentary-Metamorphic)”
The United States Geological Service has issued several public interest instructional papers—here is a well- known one on rock collecting:
Reading: “Collecting Rocks (Barker)”
Go looking at rocks! Great places to see rocks are road cuts, quarries, streambeds, hill and mountain slopes, and the borders of agricultural fields. Try to identify rock types, and understand the geologic features and processes that may have put them there. If you use a hammer to break rocks apart, wear protective glasses that extend back to the face on all sides of the eyes.