Rocks and Minerals B/C

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soobsession
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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Postby soobsession » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:49 pm

So Regionals approaches and I still haven't decided on a pretty important thing: field guide.

Normally, I would borrow all the books related to the subject (R&M, Fossils, Birds, etc.) from the library, figure out what I like, and then buy it. However, my library seems to be short on good R&M field guides I can sample.

I was looking on Amazon and took a look at the Smithsonian, Peterson, Audubon, and Simon & Schuster guides. I've worked with the Audubon and Peterson guides before for different events, so I have a general idea of their format (i.e. Audubon has pictures and information separated), but I have no idea about the other two and Amazon doesn't help that much.

If anyone could give me a general description of the aforementioned guides, how they're organized, what information they provide, how much writing space, how many images/what kinds, illustrations vs. photos, etc. I'd be extremely thankful. I have a general opinion of what a "good" guide is to me, so all I really need is a description if any of you can provide one.

Thanks in advance

EDIT1: Just an afterthought, dunno if it's Copyright infringment in which case don't do it, but just an image of a random specimen's page is good too.

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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Postby tuftedtitmouse12 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:24 pm

Oh, I was thinking of an updated copy of Simon and Schusters, since we've got an older version. The thing I don't really like about it is that it doesn't have a range map...(do R&M field guides even have range maps?)
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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Postby soobsession » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:09 pm

I'm not entirely sure myself. I do have a random guide (that's about 50 pages and was published in the 1950s... still talks about the "Dawn of the space age" in present tense) that has a US map with dots all over it for different specimen. I assume the dots are quarries or localities or where they are commonly found, so the answer may be yes.

What kind of info and pictures/organization does Simon & Schusters have?

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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Postby tuftedtitmouse12 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:13 pm

Pictures, about one or two per rock or mineral. The information is nice, because it gives you the basics, types of formations, and theres tons of info about rocks and minerals in general, as well as each individual type of rock, with good explanations. the copy we have is old and slightly worn, with pages falling out, so a new copy is something we're going to get.
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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Postby quizbowl » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:22 am

Before I answer, please note my aforementioned response - USE A BINDER! Not only can you organize it to your own discretion, you can learn the facts and pseudo-memorize them as you create your sheets. (Plus it's great for general geology/petrology/mineralogy notes) But that's just me.

If you're into field guides, however...

Simon and Schuster: Definitely the best one of them all. Okay pictures, a lot of information, and has great notes in the start of each section. I think it's quite concise and efficient - very reliable. Not the easiest read, but definitely numero uno. Hands down.
Peterson: Ehh, a not-so-close second, but a clear silver medalist here. Not as informative as S&S, but does have nice pictures and good ID tips. I like the layout. Good backup.
Audubon: Personally, I think this guide shouldn't be used - first of all, I hate it when the notes are just crammed together tightly on pages. The pictures are iffy, and the information was a bit outdated even in the most recent version. Find something else.
Smithsonian: This one is great for learning how to ID the rocks, but once you get past that, its use and value drops considerably. Not a terrible start, though.
The Complete Guide to Rocks and Minerals: A bit similar to that of Smithsonian, but at least goes a bit in depth. Seems quite large to carry around while running to stations - might as well just use a binder.

So, in short, if you're just starting off, try Peterson or Smithsonian. Once you've mastered some of the general basics, try your hand at Simon and Schuster. But why use them when you can have a lovely binder?
2010: 5th in NYS
2011: 4th in NYS
2012: 3rd in NYS

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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Postby soobsession » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:11 am

Thanks guys!

quizbowl wrote:Before I answer, please note my aforementioned response - USE A BINDER! Not only can you organize it to your own discretion, you can learn the facts and pseudo-memorize them as you create your sheets. (Plus it's great for general geology/petrology/mineralogy notes) But that's just me.


Don't worry about it Quiz, I'm right with you on that one. I'd take a well made, organized binder over any field guide any day. But the rules do say we can have both, so I might as well take advantage of that.

Thanks again!

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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Postby tuftedtitmouse12 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:52 pm

Thank you quiz!

(Now time to order that Simon and Schuster's field guide...)
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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Postby quizbowl » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:37 am

tuftedtitmouse12 wrote:Thank you quiz!

(Now time to order that Simon and Schuster's field guide...)

No problem! If you have any questions, you can send me a PM (or if you really want some great advice, send one to gneissisnice). Rocks rock!
2010: 5th in NYS
2011: 4th in NYS
2012: 3rd in NYS

<quizbowl> ey kid ya want some shortbread
<EASTstroudsburg13> I don't know why, but I just can't bring myself to delete this post.

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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Postby gneissisnice » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:22 am

quizbowl wrote:
tuftedtitmouse12 wrote:Thank you quiz!

(Now time to order that Simon and Schuster's field guide...)

No problem! If you have any questions, you can send me a PM (or if you really want some great advice, send one to gneissisnice). Rocks rock!


Aww, thanks Quizbowl, you're too kind :lol:
2009 events:
Fossils: 1st @ reg. 3rd @ states (stupid dinosaurs...) 5th @ nats.
Dynamic: 1st @ reg. 19thish @ states, 18th @ nats
Herpetology (NOT the study of herpes): NA
Enviro Chem: 39th @ states =(
Cell Bio: 9th @ reg. 18th @ nats
Remote: 6th @ states 3rd @ Nats
Ecology: 5th @ Nats

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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Postby hexagonaria » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:14 am

Heads up if your'e going to buy the simon and schuster guide, a bunch of the rocks on the list aren't in it. shale for example. and two of the types of coal. so just make sure that you have good rock info in your binder. It has pretty good entries on minerals already.
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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Postby tuftedtitmouse12 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:24 am

Yeah. It misses Amazonite as well.
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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Postby hexagonaria » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:35 am

Amazonite is a type of microcline, i think. Check page 255.

despite it's shortcomings, i would prefer it to the audubon guide that i used to use, just because the audubon is so difficult to use. so i guess you guys didn't totally lead me astray when i bought it on sunday. I'm really excited for this event :D
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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Postby hexagonaria » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:25 pm

hey, rock and mineral people! I've seen interweb pictures of gabbro and diorite that are extremely similar. does anyone have any tips on distinguishing them that i can use in my notes?
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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Postby quizbowl » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:50 pm

hexagonaria wrote:hey, rock and mineral people! I've seen interweb pictures of gabbro and diorite that are extremely similar. does anyone have any tips on distinguishing them that i can use in my notes?

Gabbro is a mafic rock, so it is quite dark-looking. However, Diorite is only an intermediate, so it is usually a much lighter shade of pale.
2010: 5th in NYS
2011: 4th in NYS
2012: 3rd in NYS

<quizbowl> ey kid ya want some shortbread
<EASTstroudsburg13> I don't know why, but I just can't bring myself to delete this post.

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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Postby hexagonaria » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:22 am

quizbowl wrote:
hexagonaria wrote:hey, rock and mineral people! I've seen interweb pictures of gabbro and diorite that are extremely similar. does anyone have any tips on distinguishing them that i can use in my notes?

Gabbro is a mafic rock, so it is quite dark-looking. However, Diorite is only an intermediate, so it is usually a much lighter shade of pale.

Noted. Thanks :D
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