Learning from the Rocks at Bj?rklunden

From June 21 – 26, Lawrence University’s Bj?rklunden is offering the seminar “Learning the Language of the Earth: Recognizing Rocks and Minerals” with Marcia Bjornerud.

Although rocks do not have a reputation for being particularly communicative, they have astonishing stories to share with those who know their language. This seminar is for anyone who is intrigued by the mystery of stones and would like to learn their secrets. The focus will be not only on rock and mineral identification but also on the geologic processes and events that these Earth materials record. Participants will gain experience with recognizing rocks in natural settings through outings around the Bj?rklunden property and will use a specialized microscope to see the astonishing beauty of minerals at high magnification. We will also consider the way that stones, gems, and mineral resources have shaped cultures and influenced the course of history. Participants are encouraged to bring favorite rocks for the group to identify and interpret.

Bjornerud is a professor of geology and the Shober Professor of Environmental Studies at Lawrence University. Bjornerud’s research focuses on the physics of earthquakes and mountain building, and she combines field-based studies of bedrock geology with quantitative models of rock mechanics. She is the author of Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth.

Seminar classes meet weekday mornings and some evenings with remaining free time open to exploration of the area’s many cultural and recreational opportunities or simple relaxation at Bj?rklunden’s meadows, woods, and mile-long, unspoiled Lake Michigan shoreline. For complete course descriptions, fees and registration information call 920.839.2216, email Samantha at [email protected], or visit