California Rocks is a colorful quick identification guide to rocks and minerals in California. While accurate identification of rocks and minerals often requires extensive laboratory techniques, many are easily identified by unique combinations of features. This guide bases identification of rocks and minerals on color, hardness, crystal shape, and unique features.
The rocks and minerals in this guide have been chosen specifically because they are either unique to California or commonly available and easily identified. The guide also provides brief descriptions of the different classes of rocks, differences between rocks and minerals, and accepted mineral groupings.
This waterproof, pocket-sized quick reference also contains information on proper collection and documentation of specimens you may find, and rules and regulations concerning such activities. Collectors of every level will find this information helpful. This guide is a must-have for anyone who wants a quick and easy way to identify rocks and minerals they may encounter in their outdoor activities.
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David Trexler is a research scientist whose career has focused on dinosaurs and their environments. He and his family are known for major paleontological discoveries including Maiasaura peeblesorum. His current research focuses on comparisons between past and present climate and its effects on animal life.
David was born and raised in Montana. He spent his early years working in his family’s rock shop where he learned rock, mineral, and fossil identification. Growing up along the Rocky Mountain Front, Dave learned firsthand the interactions between geologic, climatic, and biologic processes in a largely undisturbed environment. This background sparked an interest that has continued throughout his career. He always enjoyed sharing his love of rocks and fossils, and in 1985 began teaching field programs for the general public. In 1990, he began teaching college level courses in field paleontology and geology. Dave received dual undergraduate degrees in Biology and Earth Sciences in Montana, and a graduate degree in Vertebrate Paleontology in Alberta, Canada.
A driving force throughout his career has been providing participation in scientific research for the general public. Dave has conducted research and training throughout western North America. He has served as the staff paleontologist for several museums and currently works for the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center in Montana. Dave’s research includes climate and climate change from a paleontological perspective. His work has identified long-term cycles that have a major impact on present day events. A portion of this work is explained in his book, “Becoming Dinosaurs: a Paleontologic Perspective on Climate Change Today.”