Friday, October 26, 2012

Far Western Section Field Guide for the Sonora Pass Region available at Sunbelt Publishing!

(Cross-posted from Geotripper)
Our field guide to the geology of the Sonora Pass region and the eastern Sierra Nevada region is now available for sale at Sunbelt Publishing for $24.95 (here is the link)! This was the roadguide for our recent meeting of the Far Western Section of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. There are quite a few geological road guides out there for the eastern Sierra Nevada, especially around the Mono Lake area, but there have been fewer guides for the area to the north. It is a fascinating area, with wide areas of Miocene volcanism, faulting and Pleistocene glaciations (the largest glaciers of the eastern Sierra Nevada traversed the West Walker River gorge).
One of California's most intriguing ghost towns can be found at Bodie (above), and one can also find a strange "fluvial forest" in the West Walker River, a group of long-dead Ponderosa pines that provide evidence of a century-long mega drought only a thousand years ago (below).
The western slope of the Sierra along the Stanislaus River hides some geological treasures as well, including the Columns of the Giants and the Natural Bridges in the cave country north of Columbia State Park (below).
Here is the table of contents...

A Geographical Sketch of the Central Sierra Nevada
A Brief Overview of the Basement Rocks of the Central Sierra Nevada

Trip 1: The Sierra Crest Graben: A Miocene Walker Lane Pull-Apart in the Ancestral
Cascades Arc at Sonora Pass
by Cathy Busby, Alice Koerner, Jeanette Hagan, and Graham Andrews at the University of California, Santa Barbara
Trip 2: A Guide to the Geology of the Eastern Sierra Nevada between Sonora Pass
and June Lake, California
by Garry Hayes, Modesto Junior College
Trip 3: Geology and Climatology of the Saddlebag Lake Region near
Tioga Pass
, CA by Laura and Ryan Hollister
Trip 4: Sword Lake Debris Flow by Jeff Tolhurst, Columbia College
Trip 5: Unique Geology along the Stanislaus River, Western Central Sierra Nevada by Noah Hughes, Modesto Junior College
 Appendix A: The Flora of Central California: Central Valley to the Great Basin by Mary Cook

A reminder: Sales of this guide will fund the scholarship program of the Far Western Section of the NAGT, which supports geology majors throughout California, Nevada and Hawaii. Check it out!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Evolving Earth Foundation student research grants announced

The 2013 cycle of the annual Evolving Earth Foundation student research
grant program has started. A total of ten grants are available, for amounts
of up to $3000 per grant. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and
post-doctoral researchers at accredited U.S. colleges and universities or
research institutions are eligible to apply for grants.

The Evolving Earth Foundation is dedicated to an increased understanding and
awareness of the geologic and biologic processes that shape our earth. Award
emphasis will be on research topics that relate to the mission and
priorities of the foundation.

Please visit the grant section of the Evolving Earth Foundation Web site for
full grant program details:


Evolving Earth Foundation

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Alaska Travel Opportunity with NAGT Geology Teachers! July 31-August 10, 2013

Long-time members Wendy Van Norden and Greg Wheeler want to show you the HEART OF ALASKA on an 11 day van trip to some of the most beautiful, unusual, biologically, and geologically significant wilderness in the world. The trip begins in Anchorage Alaska and goes by van to the Wrangell-Saint Elias Wilderness Area (the largest Wilderness Area in the United States). Participants will see the place which once made Kennecott Copper the largest copper mining company in the world, spend a day on the Root Glacier, and hike in the wilderness around McCarthy. They will then drive to Paxson for an afternoon and overnight in log cabins at the beginning of the Denali Highway. The adventure continues for two days of van camping along the Denali Highway on the way to Denali National Park. At the entrance to Denali, they will raft the Nenana River and stay at the Nenana cabins.They will have two adventure filled days in Denali. The last night is in cabins at Beyer’s Lake. The group returns to Anchorage on August 10.

You will see true wilderness, spectacular glaciers, moose, caribou, grizzly bear, and Dall sheep. You will learn about the geology, and biology of this wild part of America AND you will do it, while tent (except for three nights in cabins) and van supported camping. For more information, please download this information sheet.