This is the seventh in the 2021 Monthly Online Presentation Series!
Dr. Alan I. Benimoff
Department of Engineering and Environmental Science
College of Staten Island/CUNY
The interaction between geology and culture is represented on Staten Island by building stone, monuments, and gravestones. The corridors of the Staten Island Mall are tiled with a 160 million year old Comblanchien limestone that contains fossils of bivalves, corals and gastropods. In November of 2003 the mall was opened early so that “general education” students from the College of Staten Island could study these fossils. Since then, signage identifying select fossils has been placed around the mall directing observers to those fossils. We have developed a Staten Island mall exercise for our general education students. A nearby public school revealed an internal wall of limestone containing fossils of brachiopods, bryozoans and corals. Another school has internal walls that contain limestone exhibiting stylolites. Many of the older gravestones in the Moravian Cemetery consist of marbles, and sandstones. One of the more extraordinary gravestones, for General Stephen Weed of civil war fame, is constructed of a limestone containing crinoid fossils. Other examples include a church exterior constructed from Staten Island Serpentinite and walls constructed of Palisades diabase, In addition, clay from Staten Island was utilized for bricks. Iron ore and diabase were quarried and asbestos was mined. It is noted that straw and rose colored “amianthus” was discovered on Staten Island around 1818. According to Frondel (1988) this probably led to the first large-scale asbestos mining operation in the United States.
Please join us for an exciting evening event!
Registration opens on 1 July, watch for the email announcement.
The presentation will be followed by a geologic trivia question and answer activity for those who would like to participate!
*Bio: Dr. Alan Benimoff studies the petrogenesis of igneous, sedimentary and contact metamorphic rocks of the Newark Basin and the Staten Island Serpentinite. He is interested in studying chemical gradients in coexisting Basaltic and Trondhjemitic Magmas What are the relative diffusivities of these ions in the coexisting melts? Why didn't the two melts physically mix? Using a GIS(Geographic Information System) he studies environmental problems on Staten Island and elsewhere. He has published articles in Nature, the American Mineralogist, the Canadian Mineralogist, Journal of Geology and Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs . In 2004 he discovered a new Mineral called parvo-mangano-edenite. He was featured on the National Geographic Channel’s Known Universe in an episode entitled “Cosmic Fury”. Dr. Benimoff is a public access producer and host for the Staten Island Community Television program Geology Forum. He teaches Soils and Geohydrology and Earth Science in the Masters Program in Environmental Science and Physical Geology, Historical Geology and Environmental Geology. Professor Benimoff has taught Material Science at Cooper Union.
Ph.D. (GEOLOGY), Lehigh University, 1984
M.A. (GEOLOGY), Brooklyn College/CUNY, 1976
B.S. (GEOLOGY), Brooklyn College/CUNY, 1973
A.S. (ENGINEERING SCIENCE) College of Staten Island/CUNY, 1967
Learn more about Dr. Benimoffhere: https://www.csi.cuny.edu/campus-directory/alan-benimoff