Ontario Rocks!

Science Literacy Week 2016 – Ontario Rocks! See Ontario’s Rock Stars at the “Rock Walk”

Article by: Nina S Rafeek

Join Professor Nick Eyles at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus for an educational and attractive display of Ontario’s most ancient rocks.  The Rock Walk will feature a display of the principal rock types found across our beautiful province.  Through a guided walk of the display, participants will have the opportunity to travel through the immense geological timeline of Ontario, beginning from as far as 2 billion years ago.

The collection of the rock types at the event includes the tillite, which is the oldest known recorded glaciation in Canada (1.8 billion years old), the gneisses (2 billion) to the richly fossiliferous limestones and sandstones from the Niagara Escarpment (4 million).

Nick Eyles is a Professor of Geology and has taught at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus for more than 33 years.  Eyles created the Rock Walk and will be facilitating a 15-minute guided tour.  Here’s what he had to say about the Rock Walk:

“This is a landscaped display of large boulders of the principal rock types found across our amazing province which will function as an outside laboratory capable of serving large numbers of undergraduate and graduate students in various environmental science courses. It will also allow the wider UTSC community to reflect on Ontario’s past and create an area for students and staff to relax outside the building, learning something as they do.”

 The Rock Walk is unique because the casual walker or the curious student will be able to learn about the history of Ontario through a selection of about a dozen large, physically appealing boulders in one place.  The display is a beautiful addition to the space next to the AA building at UTSC.  Each boulder contains its own set of special characteristics and was personally selected by Professor Eyles.

The Rock Walk will take place at 2pm on Thursday, September 22nd.  Everyone is welcome!

Also, check out the Earth-Sci Fair: Geology Rocks and Earth Talks at the Department of Earth Sciences booth at the Gerstein Lobby, on Wednesday, September 22nd at 11:30am! There is no registration necessary, just drop by!

Professor Neil Banerjee is an associate professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Western University. In an interview with Research2Reality, he explained what we can learn from rocks:

“Rocks record the entire history of the Earth.  They’re like a book, and if you know how to read the pages in that book, you can understand how the earth is formed.”

Alan Lambden, MSc. (Applied Geology) designs pedagogical resources and tools for the Engineering department at Queen’s University.  He gave some examples of how the work of a geologist plays a role in our everyday lives:

“Geology is a multifaceted discipline that plays a significant role in your daily routine. Our highways and buildings use stone and aggregate for reinforcing structures that must be scientifically assessed by a geologist. The water you drink will have been monitored by an environmental geologist. Our symbols of eternal love, silver, gold and diamond rings, and the versatile metals that produce instruments to garner clean energy were extracted from the sub-surface by a mining geologist.”

Do not miss these exciting and informative events happening around our campuses for Science Literacy Week!