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The Practical Geologist [Paperback]

Dougal Dixon
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 10.18 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Aug 1992
An introduction to the world of geology, with basic principles, instructions on how to put them into practice and how to collect specimens.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall & IBD (1 Aug 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671746979
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671746971
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 19 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 916,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars essential 24 Sep 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I use it to introduce students to basic physical geology. It is written at a basic level but the concepts are not oversimplified. The diagrams and text provide just the right amount of information- non- major students are informed but not overwhelmed. The Practical Geologist is a perfect supplement to the historical geology texts, and can serve as an informal and affordably priced lab manual.
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1.0 out of 5 stars OK for kids 2 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ok for kids but if you know anything much about geology don bother with this and get the Open University "Geological Field Techniques"
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Good for beginners. 16 May 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Today we were at 12000 feet looking into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and we decided we needed a book. Any book. A good book. A book that keeps you reading. The Practical Geologist was just the book! We read all night, and the night's not over yet! We learned about geology, and also came a little closer to God. I highly recommend it! p.s. I used to work for Borders.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  38 reviews
62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars essential 24 Sep 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I use it to introduce students to basic physical geology. It is written at a basic level but the concepts are not oversimplified. The diagrams and text provide just the right amount of information- non- major students are informed but not overwhelmed. The Practical Geologist is a perfect supplement to the historical geology texts, and can serve as an informal and affordably priced lab manual.
53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book for the Beginning Geologist 6 Aug 2004
By E. A.B Phelps - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a wonderful book for the beginning geologist or anyone interested in earth sciences. It presents the fundamental concepts of geology in a way that is accessible to the non-specialist, but without being oversimplified or condescending. It's full of lots of great pictures, and the best part of the book is the section where it tells you how to collect and label specimens of rock yourself. People of any age interested in science, especially go out and get grubby do it yourself science, will find this book an excellent addition to their libraries.
65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice book for the beginner 4 July 2000
By Atheen M. Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have the habit of buying anything with geology, paleontology, history, etc. in the title, sometimes without thought to where I'm at with my knowledge base. This was one of those times! The book is a lovely, well illustrated, practical guide to geology for the beginner. Much of what the authors dedicate a single paragraph or page to I have had whole courses in already, so needless to say, I was not quite as enthused over the material as a new comer to the field might be. Certainly for the beginner, especially the Junior High natural science enthusiast, this would be a wonderful gift. It might even make a good text for a high school natual science course, as it covers considerable information on the earth sciences. I plan on giving my copy to a close friend with children interested in these subjects.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven material 27 Nov 2006
By Gary Sprandel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book provides a fair introduction to geology with fairly clear diagrams and introduction to basics such as geological time scale and plate tectonics. The book tries to emphasize the practical side of geology: what can be seen and picked up. The introduction to common minerals was perhaps not as practical as I'd hoped, for some of the minerals without picture and just a description of chemical structure, hardness, and gravity I could not identify them. The information level was uneven: "a backpack full of rocks can be heavy" to arcane (The chemical reaction with feldspar to produce clay minerals). The section on different rock types was well done, but the section of mapping didn't seem practical (I couldn't really map a bed of coal). I think this book might be best if used with a very local or state geology guide.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rocky read 27 Jan 2008
By mrliteral - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Among my many interests, geology has always been lurking in the background, one that I never really pursued but nonetheless seemed worth knowing about. For this reason, I finally got around to getting a book on the topic, and picked out The Practical Geologist by Dougal Dixon. Although it isn't a bad book, it was also not the wisest choice for me.

As the title indicates, this is a book for the practical geologist, one that goes out to sites to assess the landscape: the types of rocks, the shape of the hills, et cetera. There are plenty of illustrations and photographs to assist the reader, along with information about how to write up notes and set up displays.

All this is wonderful in its own way, but for the true geological layman like myself, it is a bit more than what I wanted. That is to say, as an introduction to geology, this book is not wholly successful: while never getting overly technical, it also doesn't offer enough in the way of explanation. Instead, it just presents the facts and moves onto the next topic. It reads a bit more like a reference book than a regular science book.

The back of the book describes The Practical Geologist as the "perfect introduction to the world of earth science". This is not really the case. Nonetheless, I am giving this book four stars: I think that what this book does, it does well. If you're looking for a first book on geology, however, I would search elsewhere.
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