Explore N.C. geology in new Surry CC course

Staff Report

DOBSON — Surry Community College will offer a new, two-part personal enrichment course focused on the geology of North Carolina starting in February at The Pilot Center, 612 E. Main St., Pilot Mountain.

The purpose of “Geology of North Carolina – A Journey Through Time from Mountains to Shore” is to provide interested parties with a foundational understanding of geologic materials, processes and landforms thereby providing students with an informed perspective for appreciating the beauty and intricacies of the scientific processes happening around them every day.

“Over the years, when I talked to people about my profession, they often expressed enthusiasm and interest in hearing more about rocks and our planet,” course instructor Bert Meijboom said. “I thought that by introducing a personal enrichment course, we could do just that — no homework, no exams, just plain fun discovering more about rocks.”

Meijboom is a well-traveled, expert in his field. After obtaining his doctoral degree in geology from the State University in Leiden, Netherlands, with minors in sedimentology and oceanography, Meijboom began an impressive career in the geologic industry. He initially worked for the Geological Survey in South Africa, followed by a position as an exploration geologist for Shell Coal in South Africa, before joining BP Coal where he worked in Colombia, Botswana, Madagascar, Northern Ireland and Indonesia. Meijboom eventually left BP to join Marlin Granite in South Africa, which led him to North Carolina to conduct exploration for new granite quarries. He has since worked independently for a geological consulting firm, and started teaching introductory geology classes at Forsyth Technical Community College in 2010.

Basic Geology, Part I of Surry’s new course, will focus on introducing participants to the intricacies of rocks by covering what rocks are made of, why rocks can vary so greatly in different locations, what causes rocks to break down and the types of rocks commonly found in North Carolina. Additionally, students will learn about the movement of rocks over time and the consequences these movements have on the world as it is today. Part I will take place on Tuesdays, Feb. 13 through March 20 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Students will learn more about the physical processes that shaped the surface of the planet caused by the power of water in its various forms during Physical Processes, Part II of SCC’s exciting course. Meijboom will reveal how certain landmarks and locations were formed and teach students how to read topographic maps. Part II will also cover the different geological ages and how to assign rocks throughout the world to the correct time period. Part II will take place on Tuesdays, April 3 through May 8 from 9 a.m. to noon.

“Living in the shadow of one of the major geologic icons of North Carolina — Pilot Mountain — people have a great opportunity to learn and unravel the secrets about their mountain and the many other incredible geological wonders of the state,” Meijboom said.

Advanced registration and payment of $71 are required for each part of the course. Call 336-386-3637 for more information.

Staff Report