Exploring Your Universe 2012
For the 4th year in a row the UCLA physical sciences hosted “Exploring Your Universe,” a day of interactive demonstrations and displays explaining the science of the universe for the local school children. As in the past, the Department of Earth and Space Sciences arranged and manned several themed rooms in the Geology building. This year, BGS members Dallon Stang, Kevin Coffey and Robin Reith put together the “Exploring Your Earth!” room, with some of the department’s best samples arranged into igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic tables, and labeled with their names, types and interesting facts. The room also featured an “Earth Materials” display, which paired everyday items, such as wiring, samples ofdrywall and fuel, with its corresponding raw earth form, such as copper, gypsum and crude oil. A running flume let the children experiment with erosion while getting their hands dirty.
Other inspiring features of the room included: a sand dune simulator, a dissecting scope with olivine and basalt sand samples, and a montage of fieldtrip photos from ESS geology field classes. Evan Wolf, Dallon Stang and Kevin Coffey manned the room from 9 to 5, during which it was visited by hundreds of local school children – a successful day of geologic education and entertainment!
Geology Merit Badge Day
Scouts from Boy Scouts of America Troop 854 gathered at the family house of BGS Vice President and former troop member Kevin Coffey to earn their Geology merit badges. The day began with such basics as “What is science?” and “What is geology?” and continued with the rock cycle, different properties of minerals, and the origin, extraction and use of all sorts of Earth materials—from oil to clay to rare-earth metals. An extensive sample collection gave the scouts a chance to examine various rocks and minerals. Armed with their new knowledge, a streak plate, a hand lens, and a pile of pennies and nails, they were able to identify and classify multiple rock types. A trip to White Point / Royal Palms County Beaches gave the scouts a chance to see geology first-hand. A short hike along the shore featured an angular unconformity, differential erosion, alteration and secondary mineralization along fractures, tar seeps, and spectacular folding, all within the Altamira Shale of the Miocene Monterey Formation. The hike also provided an excellent view of the 2011 White Point Landslide and an ideal spot for a picnic lunch. Scouts used a local geologic map to locate themselves and the landslide, and matched the lithology and bedding orientation with those on the map.