Scarborough Bluffs show off rock star

For U of T geology professor Nick Eyles there is nothing more exciting than the story rocks can tell.

He passed on some of that excitement to a Scarborough audience of 60 at Bendale Public Library last month.

On Feb. 23, the Scarborough Historical Society hosted Toronto Rocks, a geological look at the city, examining significant parts of the city, like Scarborough Bluffs.

“The Scarborough Bluffs are world-class cliffs that tell a lot about ancient climate,” said Eyles. “People who live in Scarborough are sometimes surprised they have something that famous in their own backyard,”

Since 1981, Eyles has taught in Toronto and written more than 150 publications. His passion for geology has taken him on fieldwork from the Arctic to the Antarctic, most recently to Brazil and Australia.

But after all of this time, Eyles is still excited about rocks. One thing he found surprising was the crowd’s reaction: like a rock, each person is unique, intriguing and has something to say.

“The crowd was very attentive and I found it amazing, the level of interest.,” Eyles said. “It’s tremendous fun when people are genuinely interested in their own backyard.

“I’ve given three talks in the last month to public groups and the question sessions could go on all evening. I like talking to people about rocks and their history and I wouldn’t do it if it weren’t interesting” Eyles said.

Having studied the history behind rocks for so many years, Eyles said that the story rocks can tell is a bit like science fiction.

“If I had could have someone take away just one thing from my presentation it would be change,” Eyles said. “Over the last billion years, there have been tremendous changes.”

Humans are the latest tenants on the earth, he said.  “One day our occupancy will expire but rocks will be the landlords to tell our story.”

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By: Angela Rotundo
Posted: Mar 4 2010 10:54 am
Filed under: Arts & Life