Nick Zentner the geologist and geology books

I recently started listening to a geologist podcast, The “Nick Zentner Geology Podcast” and in the very first episode he brings up that in his class one of the things he always brings up around day one is that he’s a Catholic and believes in science and that they are not this black and white at war subject. I tried to look him up in the “ BioLogos in site search” but nothing caked up.

The podcast is really good. It’s focused on North American geology with a emphasis on the NW. Though not next year for 2021 but maybe in 2022 I really want to focus on learning geology and going on fossil hunts, looking for minerals and rocks and so on. My typical habit it to do mini side hobbies each year or so and leading up to it I try to spend a year reading, studying, and networking with others so that I am not completely lagging behind when I start to center my hikes around those things.

So I have a few questions basically.

Has anyone heard of Nick?

Has anyone found any other good podcasts or books focused on geology or paleontology?

Are there any particularly good sites in USA to look for cool minerals and fossils that you’ve come across?

The book I have been recommended several times is focused in Alabama, which is Jim Lacefield’s “Lost Words in Alabama rocks”.

Also does anyone know any good books that breaches the ethics of looking for these things? Obviously you always want to be careful of things like habitat destruction, and I’m aware that if you find things from ancient burial grounds or arrowhead rocks you should alert the appropriate people and return it and that you can’t just take stuff from national parks unless it’s ok and so on. But I always like to make sure I am able to be considerate of anything I may be missing. Like I never knew it was wrong to take seeds from a nature preserve until someone thankfully talked to me about it.

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Thanks for the connection! We will look him up. We don’t have a lot of Catholic influence on our site right now, something we are hoping to improve in the coming years. They seem to have their own science and faith organizations, though.

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One geology blog I enjoy is the Geochristian. Geology is fascinating to me also. Thanks for the podcast rec.


Thanks for the one you mentioned as well. I’ll have to look for it also.

I have always been slightly interested in geology but mostly it was just in the background of botany. Like a cool fact that this plant only grows here , or this subspecies is only found here because it’s a different soil type because of different rocks that are being weathered down.

Like on the southern western side of a mountain it may predominantly be sandstone and lots of lime and some marble because of all marine life that use to be there because the ocean came up to that point. But you travel north 4 miles and then head back down and find a spot that’s predominantly a serpentine area with endemic plants there.

But I don’t know anywhere near enough about this. I want to “dig” into this subject to plan future hikes around different soil types created by different parent rocks from different periods and so on. Just keep adding layers to my understanding of habitats and ecology. Plus I want to start collecting minerals and fossils. I get nerdy about things others won’t even notice.

Like I want to build bookshelves out of different types of trees that had their family evolve during this or that era and then line it with rocks more
Common from that area and so on.

Here is another geology blog. It also links to a blog of neat photos of rocks and rock formations.


There are a variety of good regional guides to geology and collecting sites. Be sure to check for up to date information on access to sites, and don’t make a mess - many formerly open sites are closed due to destructive digging and the like. Increased red tape is also a problem - fewer and fewer quarries allow access.

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I wanted to emphasize that as well. It’s why I mentioned any books on the ethics of it and noted a few examples incase anyone here gets excited about it and heads into it passionately, but also destructively.

Road cuts are often accessible and good at showing fresh cross-sections of the underlying geology. I enjoy the "roadside geology of " series.

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I’ll definitely look it up.

They don’t have one for Alabama but I see one for florida and George and so I’ll try to hit those areas up as well. Even if I don’t visit for a while I can read them and use google earth and see if I can create a layer following any data cutting through Alabama in addition to other books focused on here.

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