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Prof's Mineral Web Site Remains Popular

By Kendra Knutson
UWRF University Communications

OCT. 13, 2006--Rocks rock the world of University of Wisconsin-River Falls geology Professor William Cordua. So much so that one day he dreamed of creating a teaching guide about the state's rocks, minerals, and other geological structures so that other people could grow a passion as deep as his for geology.

Now, 10 years later, Cordua has completed that dream. His Web site, Mineralogy in Wisconsin, receives thousands of visits each year and lists all the different types of minerals that can be found in the state.

Sparkling diamonds, lustrous pearls, gleaming gold, or shimmering topaz all have one thing in common, says Cordua. They have all been found in Wisconsin. Not necessarily discovered here, he says, but they have been located in different counties throughout the state.

"My Web site is basically a one-stop shop to learn about minerals and rocks," said Cordua. On the Web site, visitors can find which counties possess each mineral, along with descriptions of the minerals.

Pictures also serve as a useful learning tool, Cordua says, so he has included some of his photographs as well as photos from other photographers by permission.

Cordua has compiled all the descriptions and has very thorough information as well as a bibliography citing his sources.

"I literally found everything I could about Wisconsin minerals," said Cordua. So after 10 years of working on this project, which was completed officially in 2004, he has succeeded in using the site not only as a teaching tool to his students but also to other students, teachers, rockhounds and others across the world.  

The Web site has been receiving a lot of visitors since it was created. Cordua says this is probably due to the fact that geology teachers assign students a certain unique mineral and they are directed to his Web site through a search engine.

Cordua says he has several goals for his Web site: keeping it current; adding more pictures of minerals so people can easily recognize them; and having some fun links. For example, there are links to amateur geological clubs throughout the state so that someone who finds a rock or mineral can help get it identified. There is also a list of Wisconsin geological attractions, minerals first reported in the state, mineral uses, and more.

Although the site has not won any awards directly, Cordua has received a couple recent awards for newsletters and journals he has written on specific geological topics, including a second place in the Midwest and a seventh place nationally.   

So if you think you've found gold in your backyard, but aren't really sure, check out the Wisconsin Mineralogy Database at .  


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:07:40 Central Daylight Time


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