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Geology/Tips for field


Sir, I've done my BS (Geology) recently and I feel that I am really bad at recognizing geological features in field. Give me some tips to improve my Field observations and interpretations. Specially for igneous and metamorphic rocks i can't even identify the rock with confidence.

Hi Haider,
This is a common question and many students have similar problems. The reason is limited exposure to field work, especially international field work.
The best suggestion I can give you is to try to go on as many field trips as possible. Ask your university if you can tag along on any of their excursions.
Another possibility is to join professional organisations and even rock and mineral clubs. These offer field trips on a regular basis. Sign up if you can and join them.
If you are able to travel internationally I would highly recommend for you to attend international meetings of various geoscience organisations, such as the GSA (American Geological Association). These meetings have literally dozens of field trips that are offered. (I am leading one of these field trips for the GSA this year in Colorado). If money for travel or attendance is a problem there a grants available. You just have to search and apply and the GSA and many other organisations will give reduced fee or fee waivers for qualifying individuals.
If you can, sign up for a summer geoscience field camp. Many universities offer these outstanding opportunities (including ours) and you will learn a lot.
Bottom line: The more you see, the more you learn and your experience grows. But you will need to find a way to get into the great outdoors under the direction of professionals or other geologists that can point things out to you.
And when you do, carry a field notebook and take meticulous notes. They will refresh your memory when you come back to them.
Hope this will help you and good luck in your educational endeavors.


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Uwe Richard Kackstaetter, Ph.D. (Dr.K)


I can answer questions concerning minerals, mineralogy, gems, metals, groundwater, national and international geoscience field trips and anything that has to do with geology. As a public service and part as training for new geoscientists, our university department provides detailed FREE mineral identification for individuals with available non-destructive and destructive analytical procedures and a several page report. Please contact me for details or go to for details..


I am a professor of applied geology and mineralogy with many hours of field experience. Furthermore, I enjoy recreational gold prospecting and mineral collecting. As a professor I am engaged in research concerning minerals, their identification and their occurrence. I am currently developing inexpensive, accurate mineral identification procedures to be used by experts and lay people alike.

Member of the GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America) as well as the Association of Environmental Geochemists. Member of the GSA (Geologic Society of America) Member of the AIPG (American Institute of Professional Geologists)

Here is a small sampling: Mineral-rock handbook: Rapid-easy mineral-rock determination : written for anyone interested in minerals and rocks - Proctor, Peterson, and Kackstaetter;Macmillan Pub. Co. (New York and Toronto and New York) Physical Geology Laboratory e-Manual with 20 Lab Exercises [now available for FREE]: Colorado Front Range Self-Guided Geology Field Trips [FREE download] Kackstaetter, U.R. (2014): A Rapid, Inexpensive and Portable Field and Laboratory Method to Accurately Determine the Specific Gravity of Rocks and Minerals. The Professional Geologist, Vol. 51, No.2, AIPG. Kackstaetter, U.R. (2014): SEDMIN - Microsoft Excel (TM) spreadsheet for calculating fine-grained sedimentary rock mineralogy from bulk geochemical analysis. Cent. Eur. J. Geosci. DOI: 10.2478/s13533-012-0170-3

Ph.D. in Applied Geology and Mineralogy. I am actively teaching courses in mineralogy, igneous & metamorphic petrology, applied volcanology and a variety of national and international field courses with mineral collecting opportunities. Background in precious metal exploration and groundwater (hydrogeology).

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