For more than three decades, Thomas Disselkamp has served 3M Company in St. Paul, Minnesota, as a product development specialist. In this position, Tom Disselkamp has received a number of awards, including an Engineering Achievement Award in recognition of his optical electronic process monitoring system. Thomas Allen Disselkamp maintains a number of interests outside of his professional life. In addition to landscaping and home improvement projects, he enjoys agate hunting.
Agates, beautifully colored rocks, are most commonly found along riverbeds or at the shorelines of lakes and oceans. While agate hunting is generally a peaceful and low-energy hobby, explorers must remain vigilant of changing tides, particularly when searching for agates on the beach. Approximately every 25 hours the ocean’s tide rises and falls twice, and uninformed explorers can find themselves dangerously far from shore at the wrong time if are not careful.
In order to minimize the danger of incoming tides, agate hunters should travel with a Hatfield Marine Science Center tide chart. Perhaps more importantly, hunters should familiarize themselves with the day’s weather forecast and with the region where they are hunting. Certain geographic features and weather patterns can enhance or expedite an incoming tide, causing potentially serious problems for an unprepared agate hunter.