Why take a hike with a geologist and naturalist?
Since geology is the study of the Earth and how it works, having an expert guide along can actually turn a familiar, local hike into an eye-opening adventure. Geology gives us insight into the history of the Earth, providing an understanding of past climate change and the processes currently at work in our environment. The better geologists can understand Earth’s history, the better they can foresee how events and processes of the past might influence the future.
When your guide is also a naturalist, someone who studies plants and animals as they live in nature, all the spontaneous questions that arise on a hike about the local flora and fauna can be answered right in the moment. Learning nature’s secrets can also encourage us to become more interested in the interaction of the environment, geology, animals, and plant life on one another.
A guided local hike can also inspire a sense of intrigue that brings the surrounding environment alive in a brand new way. Learning becomes fun and, according to a 2012 study in the journal Health Affairs, people who continue to learn and educate themselves tend to live longer. (usnews.com)
So the good news is, we don’t need to go back to school to reap the benefits of continuing education and increased longevity. Because nature makes a great classroom, taking a hike with geologist and naturalist like Susie Bartz can bring our local environment live as we examine the human impacts and the natural forces at play right in our own backyard.
Finding pastimes that pique our natural curiosity and offer us easy access to new, exciting information can make a student out of us at any age.
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books. ~ John Lubbock