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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

Next Rockin' Workshop

Science Educators: Registration now open for the 2017 session! Contact Cynthia Connolly (see below) for an application.

Rockin’ Around New Mexico
July 12-14, 2017
Socorro, New Mexico

Rockin’ Around NM: Geology workshop for teachers (with an optional Masters of Science for Teachers graduate credit through the ST-540 course)

This workshop is for teachers interested in expanding their knowledge about geoscience and natural hazards and is based out of the Socorro area this year. 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. The theme and topics will be:

  • Our theme this year will be Citizen Science and we will explore the many ways that teachers and students can participate in data sharing to contribute to earthquake and public safety outreach, climate research, and other studies.
  • The Rio Grande Rift geologic history includes volcanism and faulting that began between 24 to 36 million years ago and continues today. Exploring along the Quebradas Back Country Byway, located east of Socorro, teachers will stop at classic spots to see landscape features that define the Rio Grande rift.   
  • All of the field sites will contribute to the theme of Citizen Science and we will explore ways to gather and submit data to local and global networks. In the field we will conduct several demonstrations, including how to make well-water-level measurements, capabilities of unmanned aircrafts “drones” for aerial mapping and hazard assessment, and measuring fault characteristics to estimate the magnitude and timing of historic earthquakes to compare with more recent earthquakes. We will also discuss how “Did You Feel It?” reports of seismic events from citizens contribute to the understanding of the extent and impact of earthquakes around the world.

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 George Becker at 575-835-5470 if you would like information about the Masters of Science for Teachers Program at New Mexico Tech.

To apply for the next workshop or 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) 835-5624
e-mail:
Valle Grande
At the Valles Caldera Overlook, geologists present the eruptive history of the caldera in 2012. Photo courtesy of Linda Brown.