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Andrew Alden

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Andrew Alden is a writer, photographer, editor and blogger with a lifelong passion for rocks, minerals, fossils and the planets they come from.


Andrew spent six years with the U.S. Geological Survey, which included research excursions on land and sea. He has been a writer on geological subjects since 1981, host of the earthquakes conference on The WELL since 1992, and About.com's Geology Expert since 1997. He began leading geological tours in 2005.


Andrew holds a bachelors in Earth science from the University of New Hampshire. He has field experience with the U.S. Geological Survey and local government, and is a constantly improving amateur geologist with a growing rock collection. He is a longtime member of the Geological Society of America and AGU.

By Andrew Alden:

I believe not only that geology is the core of all sciences, but also that knowledge of geology benefits every human being of any age. I regularly attend scientific meetings and keep abreast of geological literature, and I love to translate what I learn. For updates, news and commentary that's fresh every day, make the Geology Blog your home page (or add it to your blogroll). I have a Facebook page too, aboutgeology. I think my map collection and picture gallery is the best combination of its kind on the whole Web. My e-mail newsletter goes out every Monday morning. See my fair use policy encouraging widespread free use of my pictures in school. And I enjoy hearing from readers, even if I can't always respond to every note (write to geology@aboutguide.com and be aware that I get massive amounts of spam). I welcome media inquiries, too.

Among my other activities is a weekly feature I write about San Francisco Bay area geology for KQED Science. I also blog about my home town in Oakland Geology, tweet as aboutgeology on Twitter, and have my own page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you identify this rock?

Probably, but we'll all have more fun if you go to the Geology Forum and post a photo there, along with any helpful information you have. You can be anonymous there if you want.

Can I suggest a site for you to link to? Can I ask you to review my site?

You can, but I make no promises. I look for seven qualities in a site. If yours has them, it may well be a good value for my visitors.

Can I use pictures on your site for my school papers or for presentations?

Yes, if you aren't putting them online. I say that because online copies of my photos often displace my originals in an image search. See my fair use policy for details. If you see my material on another site without attribution, it is almost certainly "borrowed," that is, stolen.

May I reprint some of your content?

For print on paper, fill out the Reprint request form, and About.com will quote you a fee for the use you propose. There is no other permissible use of my content. Again, any of my material that appears on another site is almost certainly "borrowed."

Where can I find something that I don't see listed on your site?

It might really be there. For best results, start from the Geology home page. If you can't find something in a few clicks, try the Search box that's on every page (be sure to add the word "geology" for best results). If a good search doesn't help, I hope you'll take a moment to email me. Your questions and requests help ME, because then I can create something that people want.

How can I comment about things you don't control, like ads or promotions? Who do I contact about problems with About.com?

Send a message to gethelp@aboutguide.com for anything like that.

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