Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Friday, February 3, 2012

Luke Sattler: A Profile of a CSMS Junior Member

My Interest in Colorado Geology

By Luke Sattler

My name is Luke Sattler, I am thirteen, and I live in Colorado. I have lived in Colorado my entire life and love living here because of its beauty, geology, and history. I’ve been interested in rocks and fossils since the age of three, and by the age of five, I had a small collection (cool rocks) that I knew nothing about.

Luke Sattler, CSMS Junior
I didn't really get interested in geology and paleontology until the age of about seven when I went to my first rock shop, “Digger’s Den” in CaƱon City, Colorado. While I was there I bought a few rocks and fossils that were the real start of my collection. After that day I was stuck on collecting fossils and minerals. Every time I went somewhere I would try to go to the local rock shops in town. Eventually over time my small collection grew from a dozen or so rocks and fossils to around 50 specimens. By the age of ten I was a serious collector and my allowance went almost entirely into the purchase of rocks.

The summer of 2008 was what really got me hooked on geology when I visited Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming—I was fascinated by the geological phenomena and fantastic formations. Then, in the summer of 2010, I went spelunking at the Glenwood Caverns in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and was spellbound by the caverns and how they were formed and are still forming. Of course, while I was there, I had to visit the only rock shop in town. It was in that rock shop where I bought my first Colorado rock hounding book; and that started yet another obsession—buying rock, mineral, and fossil books.
Luke checking out the Glenwood Caverns
The next day I went on my very first rock hounding trip to Dotsero, Colorado to look for scoria (lava), gypsum, and selenite at the Dotsero crater (cinder cone) which was one of the last volcanoes to erupt in Colorado, around 4000 years ago. From that day on I have been going rock hounding whenever possible. My knowledge in geology increased just from going on rock hounding trips and rock shops, but by the age of 12; I acquired many geology books. From reading them I am on track to know almost all of the rocks, minerals, and some fossils.

Gateway to Dotsero and collecting adventures
I have since joined the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society (CSMS), and that has helped me learn even more about rocks, minerals, and fossils, and how they form. Through a joint project with the CSMS youth program (Pebble Pups and Juniors) and the Lake George Gem and Mineral Club’s youth program, I was part of a research team that studied ancient Egyptian artifacts. I co-authored an article about these artifacts made of garnets, lapis lazuli, chalcedony, and copper that appeared in the well-known Deposits magazine that is published around the world. The article on the Egyptian artifacts won first place in a writing contest sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Federation of Mineralogical Societies (13 major mineralogical clubs from Colorado to California) and I won third place in a national writing contest sponsored by the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies.

AFMS and RMFMS awards for earth science writing
I would not be able to co-author the article without the help of my CSMS youth leader Steve Veatch, as he is the one who gave us the chance of being published authors. Without Steve, we would not have been published authors or be so interested in geology. He has kept us interested and engaged in geology by making the meetings fun, full of hands-on activities, and interesting. Steve also makes CSMS awesome by taking us on field trips to the museums and taking us rock hounding at very good sites.

I also have to thank my parents and grandparents for helping my interest in geology stay alive. They were the ones who were willing to drive out of their way just to go rock hounding, and they also partially funded my collection. I can thank my grandparents for also going rock hounding and taking me to CSMS meetings and field trips.

Welcome! This is the gateway to adventure and discovery

Through this blog pebble pups and junior members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society can access their lessons, work on assignments and projects, and receive details about field trips in the Pikes Peak Region. This Internet program is also suitable for young people who are interested in Earth science but do not live near a rock club or gem and mineral society or for young people anywhere who want a deeper dive into these topics. The only requirement is that all participants must be members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society and must fill out the CSMS membership form (under important websites) and send their registration and membership fee in. Steven Veatch is the senior instructor and will need an email from you with your name, address, phone number, and permission from your parents to participate in this program.