November 2001

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Rock of Ages
Collectors Young and Old Take In Clinic

APEGGA Public Relations Coordinator

Rock and fossil collectors of all ages rolled down to the Provincial Museum of Alberta on Oct. 13. The day marked the kick off of Science and Technology Week and, for APEGGA, the eighth annual Rock and Fossil Clinic. Some people arrived with one rock, others with

Rock Critic
Yashica Dodsworth, P.Geol., an employee of the Alberta Department of Energy, examines one of the many rock specimens brought to the clinic.

show boxes and brief cases full. Still others came empty handed to see the specimens on display.

After three hours, it was clear that most of the rocks didn't have much dollar value - but plenty of story value. Each rock or fossil spoke of Planet Earth and where, when and how it was found.

One couple walked in with what they thought was a slab of meteorite; it turned out not be, but the couple simply shrugged it off. They said that they'll just have to look harder.

A young boy arrived with a marble bag full of his precious jewels and inside was a petrified horse's tooth, thousands of years old. Another couple brought in petrified bison teeth and bone.

A young girl and her mother who have been collecting for years had a box brimming with everything from petrified dinosaur bones to quartz and pebbles. Apparently, that box contained only half of their collection; the rest of them were left at home.

The collection was about to grow bigger still. An older man had inherited his treasures from a family member. The girl stood and listened eagerly to the history of what his shoebox held. After all of his rocks were identified he gave the box to the girl, saying that he wanted them to go somewhere were they'd be appreciated.

She looked at him and then at her mother who nodded that it was OK. With an ear-to-ear smile, she thanked the man.

The Rock and Fossil Clinic is a chance for people to bring down their rock collections or found rocks for identification by university geologists, professional geologists and museum staff. The clinic is designed to teach people about the earth and to provide them with the opportunity to talk with experts in the field.

Keep your eye open for next year's clinic in October at the Provincial Museum of Alberta.
And thanks to all the volunteers who made this year's event another huge success.

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