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Northern Ecology

What's This Rock Too? Unraveling the Geologic Story of MN's Central North Shore

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Course Overview

How many times have you walked along a cobbled beach or a rocky ledge along the North Shore and wondered: What’s this rock? Where did it come from? Why is it here? Well, lace up some sturdy footwear and head into the field to be immersed in the fascinating geology of the central part of Minnesota's North Shore with UMD emeritus geology professor, Jim Miller. Like the early summer offering of “What's This Rock,” this late summer class will focus on “reading” rocks that tell part of the billion-year-old​ geological story of the Lake Superior area--a tale of fire and ice. ​However, What's This Rock Too will visit road cuts and shoreline exposures that illustrate the volcanic and glacial history of the central part of Minnesota's North Shore. After an introductory presentation on ​Friday night, the class will travel to Tettegouche State Park on Saturday morning and visit classic North Shore exposures on the way back to Grand Marais. The field trip will include stops at Tettegouche State Park, Caribou River, Sugarloaf Interpretive Center, and Temperance River State Park. Sunday morning will start out with a hike up the Cascade River, followed by viewing roadcuts of the gemstone Thomsonite, and then rock-hounding on the shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais. After this excursion, you’ll never see the North Shore the same way again, too!


Fri, May 31st, 2019  –  Sun, Jun 2nd, 2019

Course Details

Length: 2½ Days
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: Day 1: 5pm-8pm; Day 2: 8am-5pm; Day 3: 9am-2pm
Intergenerational age: 10+
Tuition: $190.00
Materials fee: $5.00


You will need the following tools for this class:

  • bag lunch for Days 2 & 3
  • appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear (sturdy!)
  • waterbottle
  • anything you need to be comfortable outdoors: sunscreen, bug nets, rain jacket, etc.

Optional Tools

Feel free to bring your favorite tools and whatever materials you might feel appropriate for this course.

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.

Meet the Instructor

North House Folk School photo of instructor, Jim Miller
Jim Miller
Thunder Bay, ONT

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What's This Rock Too? Unraveling the Geologic Story of MN's Central North Shore - 5/31/2019