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Backyard Series: Be a Geologist

Backyard Series: Be a Geologist

Backyard Series: Be a Geologist - little boy playing with rocks and a toy truck

“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.”

Buzz Aldrin

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…

  1. 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!) 
  2. Bring “tools” such as…
    1. A magnifying glass
    2. Rock and Mineral Identification Book
    3. A bag to collect your specimens
    4. A sifter (you can create one or purchase one)
    5. A hand shovel
    6. A rock pick hammer (optional)
  3. Once you’ve found your hunting ground, begin excavating the area, use your sifter to sort through the sand or dirt.
  4. Bring your rocks home and begin to identify them.
  5. 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:


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