Geology Club officers Kleimin Pena, left, Emily Kentta and Chris Day display a huge sample of halite.
If you’re looking for something special for a gift this holiday season, how about giving a rock? Sacramento State’s Geology Club (http://bit.ly/1hjo6kw) will have more than 150 samples of rocks, gemstones and fossils at its 10th annual Rock Auction, 6-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at the Alumni Center, 6000 J St.
Pieces range from small gemstones to sizable rocks and minerals suitable for decorating your garden.
The evening will begin with a silent auction that will run throughout the event. An always-spirited live auction will start at 6:40 p.m. with about 15 high-quality pieces. This year’s star attraction is a 4-by-2-foot sample of white crystalized halite with pink highlights.
In addition to the auction action, there will be games and other activities for children (including a balloon “sculptor” who will be making balloon rock hammers), door prizes and light appetizers.
To celebrate the auction’s 10th year, the Geology Club has invited a number of guest auctioneers who have graced the auction block over the years, including former Geology Department Chair Dave Evans and various geology alumni.
Admission and parking are free.
Funds raised by the auction benefit all students in the Geology Program. Geology students frequently participate in field trips as part of their coursework. This often involves camping and general roughing it in less-than-comfortable environs. Funds raised from the Rock Auction help subsidize student costs for these opportunities. Geology students recently traveled to the Poleta Folds area near Bishop and camped for five days at the White Mountain Research Station.
The club also creates “rock boxes” – boxes of various mineral examples – to be distributed to schools in the Sacramento area. This helps youngsters learn about minerals and rocks when they take earth science in sixth grade.
Geology students are passionate about their field and the opportunities it gives them.
“It’s 50 percent science and 50 percent adventure,” says club President Chris Day. “I get to see some amazing earth as a geologist. I see snow-capped mountains. I see layers of giant cliff sides falling off in sections – and understand why that’s happening.”
Club Secretary Kleimin Pena notes that geology can lead to careers in areas such as mining, oil exploration, water quality and conservation.
And club Treasurer Emily Kentta appreciates how they’re able to inform others about the workings of our planet. “We have the opportunity to be the Earth’s translator and tell people how things got to be the way they are,” she says.
The group is still taking donations, so if you wish to contribute to a fun evening and help expand our knowledge of the world, contact the Geology Department at (916) 278-6337. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156. – Craig Koscho