A few months ago I attended a geology walk in the hills above Claremont Canyon, led by UC Berkeley’s Doris Sloan. Doris is not only a great teacher of geology, but the author of a great book, Geology of the San Francisco Bay Region by UC Press. It has enough content — maps, charts, text and John Karachewski’s superb photos — for several decades worth of day trips and outings and repeat visits. (Even so, the book has little about Oakland. Sibley Volcanic Reserve is in it, of course, but that’s mostly outside the city limits.) Hanging out with Doris, I felt like Watson next to Sherlock Holmes, but then look what a great career Watson had as Conan Doyle’s ghostwriter.
My point is, it takes more than websites, more than books, more than rambling in the hills on your own to learn geology. Tagging along with experts is a great help. If you get the chance, take a walk with one. Our area is blessed with good geologists at Cal and at Cal State East Bay, at Stanford and UCSF and many other institutions.