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geology splendidly manifested: university of tennessee at chattanooga unveils new rock garden

Educational rock formation display.

Geology Splendidly Manifested: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Unveils New Rock Garden

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) has recently given life to the study of geology with the creation of a unique outdoor masterpiece, The Rockery. This aesthetically appealing rock garden serves not only as a natural adornment of the UTC campus but also a living classroom for education and enlightenment.

A Living Chronicle of Earth’s History

The Rockery, located just outside Grote Hall, is home to a diverse set of rocks from various origins. Through four distinct groups that include igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, each piece is a window into the past. “Rocks are more than just rocks”, says Dr. Amy Brock-Hon, the Robert Lake Wilson Professor of Geology at UTC. “They are the record of Earth’s history, and there’s no way we can understand the future without understanding the past.”

As a narrative of our planet’s trajectory, The Rockery presents these geological fragments in thoughtful collections, including an exclusive display of local Chattanooga rocks. Both the university community and the public can access this unique collection, enabling them to examine and learn about the unique properties displayed by each group of rocks unveiled.

From Vision to Reality

The creation of The Rockery has been a long-standing dream of the geology department at UTC. Decades-old rocks stored in the department’s stockpile found their way into the sunlight, thanks to the relentless efforts of Senior Environmental Geology major Samantha Doss-Watson and the UTC Geology Club. A nod to the aesthetic beauty and educational value of geology, The Rockery immediately gained a prominent place, idyllically situated on the path from campus to Mocs Alumni Drive.

The Rockery: An Open Gateway to Geological Exploration

The Rockery’s creation encompasses more than just the display of rocks. A significant part of its function is to provide an educational platform. As such, study materials and information about each rock type, its origins and formation environment, are on the horizon. This dynamic outlet enables students, as well as the general public, to learn about various geological facets outside the traditional classroom setting.

Receiving widespread acclaim for its potential as a useful educational tool, The Rockery earned praise from key university figures such as Dr. Gretchen Potts, the Department Head, who played a pivotal role in the realization of this project.

Geology Made Accessible and Fascinating

As the public relations officer of the Geology Club, Doss-Watson carries the torch of making geology accessible and interesting to a broader audience. Her love for geology and her steadfast commitment to sharing this knowledge are echoed in her efforts to promote The Rockery.

“Everyone loves rocks, honestly, at least to some degree. They’re interesting,” Doss-Watson states, charmingly reflecting on her childhood fascination with rocks. Now, as an ardent geology student, her enthusiasm has not dwindled but has rather transformed into a lifelong pursuit of academic interest.

The Rockery stands as a testament to this collective passion and dedication, not only for the members of the UTC Geology Club but for all aspiring geologists and curious minds. This rock garden marries the beauty and complexity of geology, giving us a literal touchstone to Earth’s fascinating history.

To learn more about this geological haven and other related forward-looking initiatives, visit the UTC Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science websites. For any media inquiries, please contact the UTC media relations team at HERE News Network.

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