[MSA-talk] early mineralogy interest

Powers, Laura lpowers at wje.com
Thu May 8 11:20:42 EDT 2014

My interest in mineralogy had also solidified long before I enrolled in Geology at Michigan Tech. At around age 4 or 5, I noticed that many of the gravel particles on the road past our house looked more interesting after a good rain and I began collecting them. My father indulged this interest, but since he couldn't identify the rocks himself, he did the next best thing. He gave me the gift of Saturday visits to a rock shop that was a good 20 miles away. The proprietor, Mr. Kline, was an avowed rock hound who graciously identified my treasures and talked to me for hours on end about what kinds of rocks and minerals were found in different places. He traveled and traded extensively. His rock shop had bins of rocks, many fist-sized specimens, from around the world. Apart from neatly identified rocks and minerals, he sold books, maps, magnifying lenses, rock hammers, tumblers and lapidary supplies, and much more.  One of my favorite items, was the "Rocks of ..." collections. These were small pieces of rock - often a dozen or more - glued to cardboard and identified, sometimes also listing its locale. He had these cards for nearly every state, many Canadian provinces, and various countries around the world. Needless to say, my hard-earned allowance was often spent at the rock shop. I often wondered if Mr. Kline had been a teacher. He certainly had a knack for guiding inquiring minds.

Laura Powers
Associate Principal

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
Engineers | Architects | Materials Scientists
330 Pfingsten Road, Northbrook, IL 60062
tel 847.753.6519 | mobile 262.358.2049
lpowers at wje.com<mailto:lpowers at wje.com>

From: msa-talk-bounces at minlists.org [mailto:msa-talk-bounces at minlists.org] On Behalf Of Chris Tacker
Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2014 3:18 PM
To: msa-talk at minlists.org
Subject: [MSA-talk] early mineralogy interest

Hello, group,

I'm interested in what influenced many of you to become interested
in mineralogy.

Pink feldspar gravel roads in the Black Hills of
South Dakota caught my interest, as well as the exhibits at
the South Dakota School of Mines. I had one of their
mineral collections, sold with samples of uranium ore and asbestos.
I was still interested in high school, then opted out of
pre-med in chemistry for what eventually became geochemistry.

Yes, I have an agenda: I'm interested in what role, if any,
mineral exhibits and museums played in developing your interests.
I'm interested in what moved you all into the "pipeline" and what
I can do to move younger people in that direction.

No, I won't use any personal stories without direct permission
from you. And no, I won't hit you up for any money.

Chris Tacker

R. Chris Tacker, Ph.D., P.G.
Research Curator II in Geology
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences


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