Local author pens pictorial on history, geology of the dunes

2013-06-10T17:45:00Z 2013-06-10T22:51:10Z Local author pens pictorial on history, geology of the dunesLauri Harvey Keagle lauri.keagle@nwi.com, (219) 852-4311 nwitimes.com

Ken Schoon made a career of teaching science, but found one area lacked the materials needed to bring it home to students.

"So much local history and local science is not included in textbooks," Schoon said. "Teachers can't give local examples."

Schoon vowed to change that. His latest book, "Dreams of Duneland: A Pictorial History of the Indiana Dunes Region," aims to provide the links between history and geology right here in the region.

The book boasts more than 400 images of the dunes that help tell the story of its history through the landscape.

The book, which begins with a foreword by outgoing Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Superintendent Constantine Dillon, is divided into two parts: scenes and stories.

Schoon recently retired from Indiana University Northwest, where he served as a science education professor.

"Before I was at the university, I taught in the harbor in East Chicago and I was flabbergasted at how many students had never seen Lake Michigan."

"Dreams of Duneland," published by Indiana University Press, is Schoon's fifth book and his second on the subject of the dunes. His first, "Calumet Beginnings: Ancient Shorelines and Settlements at the South End of Lake Michigan," also is available through Indiana University Press.

Schoon said his intended audience for his latest book isn't just science teachers.

"I would hope that everyone that lives in this area and wants to know more would be interested," he said. "You can't care about something you don't' know about. I hope to inform people who may not know about the unique wonders that are there right in our backyard."

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