Geology Rocks: Understanding the Stories in Rock Formations

By Jayne de Guzman

Geology rocks! I mean that both literally and figuratively — School of Rock 2019 has officially begun, and it’s already proving to be an amazing workshop. Our group consists of educators from various fields, but our enthusiasm for this program is something we all have in common. Lead by Sharon Cooper, Richard Norris, and Lisa White at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, we quickly set off and dug into things.

The day started with a tour of the Core Locker. The cooler is home to the D tubes, which contain the cores, and we stayed for a short visit while some cores were selected to study. After making selections, we crowded around a table and took a look at them. Did we know what we were looking at? No, but the instructors’ lecture helped us see the story written in the cores. We felt the differences between the cores, and how the years can change its textures. We learned how geology helps us read the story of earth’s history.

Next we took a walk down the Scripps Beach Outcrops for light field work. Although the waves tried to distract us, the cliffs and rock formations were the star of the show. Now armed with some knowledge on how to read the geology here, we could see the cliff face offered up a story. Professor Norris took a bite of the rock (literally) and broke down the layers for us. The history of California’s coast unfolded and the evidence stood there for us to see (and taste, if we wanted).

Are we learning about rocks? Yes, and they tell so much! We just need to learn how to read them. If you want to know too, then I invite you to read along with us.


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