The seemingly lifeless science of rocks and minerals is inextricably linked to biology. Life is among the most powerful agents of geological change. We cannot understand our planet's history without a keen sense of the coevolution of the geosphere and the biosphere.
USC students and spring break have stereotypical incarnations as bacchanalia at places like Cabo San Lucas, but this spring break I had the pleasure of sharing a day with a group of USC students who were spending their week volunteering for the National Park Service in Death Valley.
Apollo 15 landed in the moon's Apennine Mountains, near the edge of Hadley Rille, a canyon over a thousand feet deep. If I had the choice of visiting only one spot on the moon, I know I'd go to Hadley Rille.
Okay, so now on to what I came for in the first place -- the meteorites! Touchable meteorites always get me excited, because those hunks of stone and iron are the oldest things it's possible to touch -- the ancient leftovers of the formation of our solar system.