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Rockin' Around New Mexico
An Annual Geologic Workshop for K-12 Teachers

Each summer, the New Mexico Bureau of Geology conducts a 3-day geology workshop for teachers. The workshop is based at a new location each year and includes hands-on sessions along with field trips to explore local geology. Topics include mineral resources and mining, environmental geology, paleontology, seismic hazards and mitigation, and school earthquake safety. An optional one-hour graduate credit through the Master of Science for Teachers program at New Mexico Tech is available. Enrollment fee for the workshop is $40. Curriculum materials and a few meals will be provided. Travel and lodging are paid up front by participants, with possible reimbursement through a yearly grant. Mark your calendar and join us this summer (teachers only, please!)

Silver Creek
Silver Creek's fascinating sequence of upturned beds on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Preserve presented a mystery for the teachers at the 2013 Rockin' session based in Socorro. Photo courtesy of Linda Brown.

Regular sponsors for Rockin’ Around New Mexico include the New Mexico Bureau of Geology, New Mexico Tech, New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, New Mexico Mining Association, and the New Mexico Geological Society. Locations for some recent sessions are as follows:

Recent Rockin' Workshops:

  • 2010: Socorro
  • 2011: Jemez Springs
  • 2012: Jemez Springs
  • 2013: Socorro
  • 2014: Silver City
  • 2015: Socorro
  • 2016: Las Vegas
  • 2017: Socorro
  • 2018: Truth or Consequences

Next Rockin' Workshop

Science Educators:
Register now for the 2019 session!

Rockin’ Around New Mexico — Geology workshop for teachers
(with an optional Masters of Science for Teachers graduate credit through the ST-540 course)
Socorro, New Mexico
July 10-12, 2019
(PDF flyer available)

This workshop is designed for teachers interested in expanding their knowledge about geoscience and natural hazards and this year is based out of the Socorro, New Mexico. During the workshop, the participants will have in-class and field instruction about the relationships between earthquakes, magma bodies, and faults in determining landscape dynamics and stability in New Mexico. Special environmental geology topics will include a continuation of our studies about the important relationship between hydrology and subsurface structural features, including sediments, faults, and fractures.

Our theme this year will be Water: past, present, and future. Teachers will collect real field data that will be used assess riparian recovery from the Tiffany Fire. In the field, teachers will assist measuring well-water-and relative surface water levels and in the classroom they will use collected and archived data to determine flow direction.

The Rio Grande Rift volcanism and faulting began 24 to 36 million years ago, and continues today. Along the Quebradas Back Country Byway, teachers will hike .25 miles down to Bursum Springs to study landscape features including folding and faulting that define the Rio Grande rift in Socorro County. We will then drive to the Chupadera Copper Mine, where we will discuss groundwater geochemistry and how it formed the deposits of chalcocite. Subsequent uplift and weathering has altered some of the chalcocite to azurite and malachite as part of the natural weathering of the deposit. In class, teachers will identify collected rock samples.

On day three, we will examine seismic risks in New Mexico, including those caused by liquefaction, and how to prepare for tremors by learning how to “Shake Out”. We will also discuss how phone apps such as “My Shake” can turn users into walking seismometers and assist with earthquake detection and warning.

This workshop is open to educators who are actively teaching, and pre-service teachers. All participants must submit the NM Bureau of Geology registration form so we can keep you informed and help you plan for the workshop. Non-credit participants need to send the $40 fee for materials with the application. Participants receiving credit will have the $40 fee covered by the tuition/fees scholarship through the MST office, unless otherwise noted.

Participants are responsible for their own food and lodging during the workshop. They will then be reimbursed for per diem plus mileage (for those who drive more than 35 miles to the workshop) by NM Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Only New Mexico teachers can apply for travel reimbursements.

Although graduate credit is optional, first priority for registration will be given to students at New Mexico Tech.  The course is ST-540 Rockin’ Around New Mexico.  Call Megha Khandelwal at 575-835-5470 or email megha.khandelwal@nmt.edu if you would like information about the Masters of Science for Teachers Program at New Mexico Tech. To register as a professional development class, please contact Cynthia Connolly (see below).

For more information, contact:

Cynthia Connolly - Rockin' Around New Mexico
New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources
New Mexico Tech
801 Leroy Place
Socorro NM 87801 

phone: (575) 835-5264
e-mail:
Valle Grande
At the Valles Caldera Overlook, geologists present the eruptive history of the caldera in 2012. Photo courtesy of Linda Brown.