January 2007

Stella's first agate given by proud grandfather OwenDennis Moore, your Past President of the CCGS, suggested in his term that we take our educational activities to a higher level. He suggested we start informing the community of what the Corpus Christi Geological Society has been doing in our schools for many years and to raise the awareness of care and concern the CCGS has for our local students and their education. Many of our members have worked under the radar screen for many years by going to individual schools to make presentations in classrooms. We have made some impact, but with limited resources of manpower, time and money we have not been able to talk to all the local schools. Dennis’ point was that we could have a greater, longer lasting, permanent influence on our schools and we needed to do something more.

So, I took Dennis’ plan to heart and have conceived a three prong educational attack. The first, and easiest one, is the Maps in Schools Project 2006-2007, the second is Safari in South Texas and the third one is Bring the Outcrop to the Schools. The Maps project is already well underway. The other two ideas have not been presented to the Executive Committee yet, partly because the expense will be considerably greater and we will need outside funding from companies, foundations and caring individuals in conjunction with our own CCGS member support and the Don Boyd Continuing Education Fund. But I am planting the seeds of my next two ideas at every opportunity and getting some general community awareness of the CCGS. I made a presentation to the Uptown Rotary Club in December titled “Planting the Seeds of Geologic Curiosity” and brought that organization up to speed on what the CCGS is doing and has been doing for many years. And I have scheduled another Rotary talk in early January and have been approached about doing one in Sinton and in Alice in the early spring.

I have had short meetings with two CCISD board members and the interim Superintendent and alerted them as to what we were doing and what our overall plan was and told them that the CCGS was going to be more involved in exciting our students about science in general and geology in particular in the coming year. Also, I have been talking to architects about incorporating and using more and varied rock types in the building plans of new schools and their landscaping. The CCGS can use your help and influence also—use your juice.

The Wooden Rigs—Iron Men book reached payout in December and now the profits from the remaining books to be sold can be used for educational purposes. The History Committee is planning a video documentary as a follow up to the book with details to follow.

Be sure to rent the DVD “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore. He has presented a shortened version on Oprah and I have already been asked what I thought about it. You will be shocked, or at least I was, on the quality of the lecture that Al Gore is essentially giving in the 4th highest grossing documentary ever done. The general public is watching. Oprah is watching. We geologists better see what is going on also. He claims, and I think most of us now agree, that global warming is happening—it has been happening because we have been in a interglacial period for 16,000 years—but the question is whether man’s influence has exacerbated the situation. He has some suggestions of what we could do (like change light bulbs), but I think the bigger issue is what the government should do long range—that is what Presidents are for, to look to the future, look at the big picture, change the future, do something. Let me know what you think.

Owen Hopkins 12/12/06