COMMUNICATING COMPLEX GEOLOGICAL CONCEPTS TO A DIVERSE AUDIENCE, EXAMPLES FROM “ETCHED IN STONE: THE GEOLOGY OF CITY OF ROCKS NATIONAL RESERVE AND CASTLE ROCKS STATE PARK”
Concepts such as the structural evolution of metamorphic core complexes and the geomorphic evolution of tor and bornhardt landscapes, which are critical to understanding the geology of the parks, are complicated and difficult to effectively communicate to non-geologists. The book uses several different approaches to reach out to a broad-based audience with diverse educational backgrounds. One section is devoted to large-format artistic photographs of characteristic geologic features. Each photo has an expanded caption that provides a simplified description of the features displayed. This coffee table section is designed to attract casual readers and tempt them to search within the main text for more detailed explanations. Global Positioning System (GPS) waypoints are provided for each photograph, enabling readers with GPS receivers to visit the sites. The main text of the book is simplified for non-geologists, but it still provides a detailed and comprehensive overview, including geologic maps, cross-sections, and stratigraphic columns. Geologic terms that may be unfamiliar are italicized where they first appear in the text, indicating their inclusion in the glossary section. The text frequently refers the reader to sequential diagrams that are the framework for the explanations of many critical concepts. These diagrams, mostly cross-sections, are used to illustrate concepts that range in scale from regional tectonic history to the development of outcrop-scale landforms.