Meet the instructor – Harlan Clare

Educator Harlan Clare

Educator Harlan Clare

Ken Marich

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a rock and a mineral? How gem stones are formed and why do some minerals fluoresce under ultraviolet light? Well, a new member of the ILR faculty is Harlan Clare, an educator in geology and mineralogy. Harlan was born in Visalia, California, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. He moved with his family to Pennsylvania in his senior year in high school. Harlan earned a B.S. Biology Education degree in 1970 from Pennsylvania State University. Continuing his education, he earned Earth and Space certification (1975) and a M.S. degree (1981) from the University of Pittsburgh.

He is a lifelong educator and for 32 years taught eighth grade Earth and Space Science in the Plum Borough School District (PBSD) near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From 2000 to 2005 he served as the K-12 District Science Department Chairman. After retirement from PBSD, he extended his love of mineralogy and geology by teaching many courses at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute at University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University (2007 to 2015). His teaching experience during this time period included classes in geology and mineralogy for public and private school teachers, geology merit badge for the Boy Scouts and a special course on Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tsunamis.

Harlan married the love of his life, Bobbie, in 1973 and they have two children. They bought a home in SaddleBrooke in 2012 and he has been busy ever since. In addition to teaching in the ILR program, he is a sports enthusiast and plays pickleball, tennis and golf. And let’s not forget his primary hobby, collecting more and more specimens of beautiful and unusual rocks and minerals. We are proud to have Harlan on the ILR faculty bringing us a better understanding of the basic elements that form the earth. For more information on the Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) go to