Sep 08


Reading NDeRC Fellow Kate Rueff’s latest blog, I was reminded of how big a role the study of rocks and minerals played in the development of my own love of science. From the kits I worked with as a grade school student to my freshman year Earth Science class, the beauty of rocks and minerals captured my interest. My first substantial computer program (a project in my second-semester introduction to the Basic programming language) was an interactive classification key for all rocks and minerals found in the state of Connecticut. (In the mid-1970’s we used yellow ticker-tape to store the program, since the hard disk had not yet been invented; the user interface was just a series of yes or no answers to short questions typed on a computer terminal.) Those were good days.

If astrogeology were as developed in my high school days as it is now, I might well have chosen to major in that area (rather than chemistry, which was my undergraduate major.) Check out this interactive introduction to solar system geology (courtesy of USGS) by clicking on the image below. Way cool.