Introduction to Geology

For the past few years, since we hired Chris Koteas out of UMass where he was a Sheila Seaman student, I have been teaching Introduction to Geology almost exclusively. It is always energizing to be engaged at the most eye-opening level. I have continued my willingness to stop trying to be encyclopedic, and now enjoy the luxury of letting myself get off on tangents to share my own excitement over continuing to learn how everything ties together.

We were in a McDonald’s parking lot for a bathroom stop on an intro field trip a 25 years back when I called the group over to show them spectacular poikiolitic hornblendes in large gabbro blocks bordering the property, launching off into how well the rocks preserved the discontinuous part of Bowen’s reaction series by trapping early-formed crystals. As I finished up, one of my students piped up, “I just realized, you can do this anywhere, can’t you.” In fact, it’s hard not to, even with strangers walking past a statue made of megacrystic porphyry, or any other weird and wonderful stuff.

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