Backyard Series: Be a Geologist
“The best way to study Mars is with two hands, eyes and ears of a geologist, first at a moon orbiting Mars… and then on the surface.”
I’ve heard about a place in Arkansas where you can pay to dig for diamonds on a 37 acre plot of land, while I haven’t been to Arkansas I have been on plenty of local adventures where I have found interesting rocks! My favorite geology adventure ended on the shore of Lake Michigan with an unpolished Petoskey Stone. The Petoskey Stone is more than a rock, it is also a fossil. The Petoskey Stone is fossilized coral from the Devonian Period and it just happens to be the state stone of Michigan!
Are you ready to become a Backyard Geologist? Follow these five steps and you will be on your way…
- Find somewhere off the beaten path, near water to start, or in an open field that hasn’t been disturbed to start your exploration. (Always as permission first!)
- Bring “tools” such as…
- A magnifying glass
- Rock and Mineral Identification Book
- A bag to collect your specimens
- A sifter (you can create one or purchase one)
- A hand shovel
- A rock pick hammer (optional)
- Once you’ve found your hunting ground, begin excavating the area, use your sifter to sort through the sand or dirt.
- Bring your rocks home and begin to identify them.
- Once you have identified your rocks and minerals you can create a rock garden to display your finds!
Here is a list of books to pick up at your local library or Amazon to learn more about geology: