October 4, 2022, Monthly Meeting

On Tuesday, October 4, 2022, at 7:00 p.m., we’ll be having our monthly meeting live and in person, featuring…

Solo Geotourism in Ticino, Switzerland
with BMC Member Steve Kukla

The details…

For our second live monthly BMC meeting, after the long spell of virtual meetings during the pandemic, we will hear from one of our own. Steve Kukla is one of our long-distance members and has never been to one of our live meetings at Harvard, but he has agreed to join us to talk about some mineral tourism he did last year in Europe.

His talk will discuss a September 2021 solo rockhounding/trekking adventure he took to two classic metamorphic mineral localities deep in the Lepontine Alps in Ticino, Switzerland. He opted to travel ultralight, living out of a single backpack and relying exclusively on public transit, borrowing collecting tools on location. He arranged a visit to the ETH geological analytics lab, toured their department, and viewed their private teaching collection. He then obtained the required Swiss rockhounding permits, downloaded GPS trail routes and augmented reality mountain ID apps, and relied on the Google Translate app for real-time German and Italian translation of signs, menus, etc., and to help during conversations (when hand waving didn’t work). He made new friends, found a few cool specimens, and had a grand and educational time. His talk will be a tale of experiences gained, and lessons learned, as he shares his travelogue, a little metamorphic geology, and some of the realities of collecting far from home and exploring geotourism sites.

As usual, the meeting will be held in Haller Hall at the Harvard Museum of Natural History at 24 Oxford Street in Cambridge. The museum’s mineral hall should be available for viewing from around 6:30, most folks gather for socializing and buying mineral raffle tickets by 7:00, a short business meeting begins around 7:30, and then the speaker talk starts at 8:00. The mineral raffle occurs after the talk, and we like to wrap up by 9:30.

About the presenter…

Steve Kukla is currently retired in Litchfield, Connecticut, but has become active in rockhounding for the last seven years. In addition to being a member of the BMC, he is active in the Bristol (CT) and Meriden (CT) clubs. Some of you may recall his article in the recent June issue of the BMC News, which featured his wonderful stone carvings. Steve may be a relative novice to mineral collecting, but he more than makes up for it with his enthusiasm for learning and a desire to get out to see the rocks in person.