DPS Teacher Co-leads Field Program in Geology

posted Aug 10, 2015, 5:13 PM by Linda Tugurian

Jordan teacher Rob Greenberg is co-leading a geology field program and is inviting DPS teachers to participate.  If interested, please contact me Rob Greenberg at

rgreengeology@gmail.com.  The cost is $35.

Mineral and Gem Collecting in the Spruce Pine Mining District of the Blue Ridge Mountains


Meeting Time: 11:00 am

Meeting Place: Parking lot of the Museum of North Carolina Minerals

79 Parkway Maintenance Rd
Spruce Pine, NC 28777

(828) 765-2761

Here's a map link to the meeting place: https://goo.gl/maps/LzssN

Cost: $70/student with a sibling discount - any additional child beyond the first will be charged $55.  Cost to teachers is $35

We'll start our tour with a look at the hands-on, interactive exhibits that explore the creation of the Blue Ridge Mountains and a wide variety of minerals at the Mineral Museum.

After this orientation, our friend, a leader and career expert with decades of experience in Spruce Pine Mining District, will host us for a full day of collecting at sites, most of which are off-limits to the general public.  The Hoot Owl Mine contains pegmatite deposits from which we can collect classic and unique 'book' specimens of muscovite mica, plus feldspar and quartz pegmatite. Graphic granite can also be found here. 

Muscovite, feldspar and quartz pegmatite

Our next stop will be the dolomitic marble from the renowned Bandana Mine. This sparkly, coarsely-crystalline, pure-white marble resembles glacial ice! Wollastonite and sphene specimens can also be found here.

Wollastonite on white dolomitic marble

We hope to visit the Crabtree Emerald Mine as our third stop. Abundant minerals can be found here including: emeralds, tourmaline, quartz, feldspar and schorl.

Emerald crystal in smokey quartz and mica matrix

After these stops, if you are still mineral-hungry, you are welcome to join us at Emerald Village. Buckets of gemstones and mineral specimens are available to be panned on their sluice lines. Buckets start at $10 and up. We will be there to help you identify and put a name on your treasures.

You may decide to make a mountain getaway weekend out of it. You may be one of the lucky ones bringing home an emerald from this trip!

Easy to moderate hiking involved. You may tailor this trip to fit your schedule. 

Here are some things to know about the trip.

  • Wear sturdy shoes.
  • Bring water, sunscreen and bug spray (yes, ticks can be out even in the early spring!)
  • Bring plastic or cloth bags to take home your rock and mineral specimens. 
  • Bring rock hammers (if you have them), and protective eye cover.  We will supply some for the group.
  • Please be prompt. If you happen to run late, we can be reached at  919-270-0028.

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