Wheaton College Color Logo

Retiring Wheaton Professor Shares His Passion for Geology Through the Wheaton College GeoSale

April 4, 2019

The Wheaton College GeoSale is this Saturday, April 6, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the lower level of Wheaton’s Meyer Science Building. Prices start at $1 for 3 rocks and/or minerals. The sale will also include microscopes, maps, and other equipment.

380x253 Jeff GreenbergRetiring Wheaton College Professor of Geology Dr. Jeffrey Greenberg views the upcoming Wheaton College GeoSale as a way of giving back.

After years of collecting rocks and minerals, the Geology Department’s display cases and cabinets are overflowing. The sale, which Greenberg is curating, aims to spread the wealth while also raising scholarship funds for geology students.

“I’m not a big believer in people taking really nice stuff and hiding it away,” Greenberg said. Instead, he hopes the sale of glittering quartz, gem stones, phosphates, gold-bearing ores and more will spark an interest in geology among young kids. 

When Greenberg was a kid growing up in Miami, he started his collection of seashells and other minerals, but the geological features of North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains, where Greenberg’s family took vacations, were what really captivated him. “I loved the outdoors and geology of the Smokies,” he said.

Those vacations informed his decision to attend Western Carolina University with its mountain-town location, and that’s where he came to a life-altering discovery. “I found that I could study science—but do it outside,” he said. “I tried geology, and it stuck, and I wish more young people realized how fun it is.”

Greenberg sees the GeoSale as an opportunity to introduce kids to the beauty and diversity of rocks and minerals. When asked if he had a favorite specimen, Greenberg laughed. “It’s like asking about your favorite child.” 

“All of this is part of creation; this is God doing things in different colors and shapes and sizes and clarity,” Greenberg said, referring to the variety of rocks and minerals up for sale. “Why do people like jewelry? Why do people like to snorkel in the coral reefs? Why are we impressed by flowers? It’s all that creativity of God that shows up in those things, so this sale is one way of showcasing and spreading the creativity of God—and helping kids realize how important nature really is.”

Wheaton College geology students will help run this Saturday’s GeoSale, and Greenberg said that most have asked to be paid for their time in rocks. The proceeds will fund scholarships for the summer practicum, a required fieldwork course for geology students, hosted at the Wheaton College Science Station in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

The Wheaton College GeoSale is this coming Saturday, April 6, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the lower level of Wheaton’s Meyer Science Building. Prices start at $1 for 3 rocks and/or minerals. The sale will also include microscopes, maps, and other equipment.