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geology_rockwall_t2.jpgAn unusual rock wall is being constructed inside Rankin Science Building at Appalachian State University. Comprised of rock specimens from North Carolina and the Appalachian region, the wall will be a teaching tool for professors in the Department of Geology. The indoor rock lab will be used when inclement weather prohibits visits to the department’s Fred Webb Jr. Outdoor Geology Laboratory that is adjacent to the building. “Every specimen on the wall is local to the Appalachian region,” said Andy Heckert, an assistant professor in the geology department, pictured. The wall includes samples of metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary rocks and includes samples containing fool’s gold and fossils. In addition to the rock wall, funding from Vulcan Materials Inc. has been provided to develop additional exhibits called “G.E.M.S.” for Geology, Economics, Mining and Society. Two computers and big screens will run real-time reviews and previews for introductory labs to help prepare them for the lab. In addition, the department has acquired vintage geologic maps and maps created by the latest technology to demonstrate how critical geological resources are to society, and how geologic mapping helped make the industrial revolution possible. (Appalachian photo by University Photographer Marie Freeman)