CNI #1: Start a Rock Collection!

Hello everyone! We are Alex Gates and Lily Johnston, also known as the CREA Nature Investigators (CNI). Both of us are CREA summer interns from Bowdoin College, where we study Earth and Oceanographic Sciences and Environmental Studies. We are also both from Maine and have spent many of our summers outdoors at summer camps – Lily at Camp Wabun and Alex at Camp Bishopswood.

Lily enjoys hiking, splitting logs for firewood, looking at rocks, and eating chocolate chip cookies with lots of dark chocolate. Alex likes to explore the outdoors, looking for things he has never seen before (including cool, new rocks). We’ve been working hard to prepare some amazing activities for you and are excited to invite you to explore the outdoors with us this summer!

Our first activity is ready for you! Today, we set out to begin our very own rock collections. We have studied rocks in college and collecting really cool rocks is one of our favorite hobbies. In addition to finding rocks, learning how to sketch them is a valuable skill even expert geologists and scientists need to know. Join us on our adventure by watching this short video, where we walk you through the steps to starting your collection and drawing what you see!

We also have a written description of today’s activity, which you can find here. Print it out as a guide you can take ‘on the go’ as you explore your backyard, neighborhood, or local preserve.

For a deeper dive into the world of rocks, the Maine Geologic Survey’s website, link here, has much more information on local rocks and geology. They have a virtual tour of photos showing some of the minerals found in Maine, the State’s mining history, and the hobby of mineral collecting. This link also gets you to their online edition of the Collector’s Guide to Maine Minerals!

Another great resource is the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum’s website which has information about and links to information about rocks and minerals.

We hope you find some cool rocks and can’t wait to see you for our next adventure!

                                      – Alex and Lily