Field Trip Chairs
Lisa Morgan

Steve Quane
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General Info
Pre-Meeting Trips
Trips During the Meeting
Post-Meeting Trips

Field Trips

Before the Meeting

401. A Geologic and Anthropogenic Journey from the Precambrian to the New Energy Economy through the San Juan Volcanic Field
Wed.–Sat., 27–30 Oct. US$460 (B, L, D, R, 3ON).
Cosponsors: USGS; NTS Group; Fort Lewis College; CDPHE.
Leaders: Douglas B. Yager, USGS Mineral Resources Program; Alison Burchell; Raymond H. Johnson; Austin Buckingham.
The San Juan volcanic field comprises 25,000 km2 of intermediate composition, mid-Tertiary volcanics and dacitic to rhyolitic calderas, including the La Garita caldera (75 km diameter) super-volcano. The region is famous for geological, ecological, hydrological, archeological, and climatological diversity, characteristics that supported ancestral Puebloan populations. The area is also important for mineral wealth, which once fueled economic vitality. Today, mitigating impacts of mining and establishing the region as a climate base-station are the research focus. Studies include advanced water treatment, the acid-neutralizing capacity (ANC) of propylitic bedrock for use in mine cleanup, the use of soil amendments, including biochar from beetle-kill pines to aid re-vegetation by incorporation into soils to reduce erosion and improve productivity and moisture retention and the natural terrestrial carbon sequestration (NTS) potential of volcanic soils to help offset atmospheric CO2 emissions. This field trip will examine the volcanic and cultural history of the area, including its structures, economic deposits and impacts, recent mitigation measures, and associated climate research. Field-trip stops include the Summitville superfund site to explore quartz alunite-Au mineralization, associated alteration, and new water-quality mitigation strategies; the historical Creed epithermal-polymetallic-vein district, with its remarkably preserved resurgent calderas, keystone-graben and moat-sediments; sunset at Mesa Verde; the historical mining town of Silverton, located in the nested San Juan–Silverton caldera complex, which exhibits base-metal-Au-Ag mineralization and is the site of ANC and NTS studies. The return to Denver will traverse Grand Mesa, a high-NTS area with Neogene basalt-derived soils, with a stop to soak in the geothermal waters of the Aspen Anomaly at Glenwood Springs.
402. Lewis and Clark Line, Montana: Tectonic Evolution of a Crustal-Scale Structure of the Rocky Mountains
Wed.–Fri., 27–29 Oct. US$347 (L, R, 4ON).
Leaders: James Sears, University of Montana; Jeff Lonn; Katie M. McDonald.
The trip will focus on the tectonic evolution of the Lewis and Clark line from its initiation as a crustal-scale fracture in the Mesoproterozoic Belt basin through its function as a sinistral transpressive shear zone during the Laramide orogeny to its re-activation as a dextral transtensional shear zone in the Eocene and Miocene. The trip will examine structures in Precambrian through Cretaceous sedimentary rocks as well as Cretaceous granitic intrusions and associated contact metamorphism, and Eocene volcanic rocks. The trip will begin and end in Missoula; we will be based out of a single hotel and return to Missoula each night.
403
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403. Late Cenozoic Evolution of the Colorado Rockies: Interplay between Uplift, Climate, and Drainage Integration
Thurs.–Sat., 28–30 Oct. US$306 (L, R, 2ON).
Cosponsor: GSA Quaternary Geology & Geomorphology Division.
Leaders: Andres Aslan., Mesa State College; Karl Karlstrom; Laura Crossey.
The Colorado River system, as the single river system that drains the western slope of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, is a sensitive gauge of the uplift history and landscape evolution of the western U.S. This trip focuses on the Upper Colorado River basin and evaluates the hypothesis that the river system and modern Colorado Rockies are being shaped by neotectonic epeirogenic uplift of the Colorado Rockies, interacting with climatic and geomorphic forcings. In the context of key outcrops and new data, we will discuss (1) geomorphic analysis of river profiles; (2) new incision rates showing differential incision and important transient knickzones along the river system; (3) effects of isostatic response to denudation; (4) thermochronologic evidence for broad epeirogenic uplift starting 20–6 Ma; (5) new mantle tomographic images of the Aspen Anomaly that may be driving surface uplift; (6) evidence for mantle- derived 3He in Colorado hot springs as evidence for mantle- to-surface interconnections; and (7) terrace chronologies that reveal climatic influences on river aggradation and incision superimposed on longer-term tectonic signals. Trip stops in the upper Colorado and Yampa River valleys include the Gore Range, Glenwood Canyon, Lava Creek B ash at Dotsero, salt-collapse near Carbondale, Miocene lava flows at Grand Mesa, Colorado River terraces, and Browns Park Formation near Yampa. Includes two nights at Glenwood Springs with complimentary access to the hot springs.
404
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404. Behind Colorado’s Front Range—A New Look at Laramide Basin Subsidence, Sedimentation, and Deformation in Central Colorado
Fri.–Sat., 29–30 Oct. US$179 (L, R, 1ON).
Cosponsor: GSA Sedimentary Geology Division.
Leaders: James C. Cole, USGS; James H. Trexler Jr.; Patricia Cashman.
The early Tertiary uplift history of the Colorado Front Range has been well documented by detailed studies of stratigraphy, sedimentology, and paleobotany from the Laramide-age Denver Basin along the eastern range flank. This field trip will examine contrasting and comparative evidence from the “back-side” of the Front Range in the elongate structural basin underlying the Middle Park and North Park physiographic areas. We will visit sections in the Paleogene Middle Park Formation and (largely coeval) Coalmont Formation to examine evidence of sedimentation, depositional environments, source areas, paleogeography, isotopic ages, paleobotany, and related topics. This excursion will present results from an entirely new, interdisciplinary investigation of the area that challenges major elements of conventional thinking about the timing and structural controls of basement-block uplift during the Laramide orogeny. For example, internal unconformities within the Middle Park Formation suggest that local basement blocks adjoining the broad structural swale were moving independent of each other, chiefly in vertical directions. Additional stops will explore sedimentology of the Coalmont Formation within the North Park basin, including lacustrine delta complexes and coal mires. The geometry of post-Coalmont folding and faulting will be described in the context of uplift of surrounding basement blocks. Oil and gas exploration from 1925–1980 was marginally successful in targeting structural traps in Cretaceous rocks. New exploration in the last two years has produced oil from stratigraphic targets that hints at wider potential in the basin. Friday night poster presentations and discussions at accommodations in Walden, Colorado, will cover wide-ranging topics including Neogene volcanism, drainage integration, and Quaternary history of the region. All field-trip stops are roadside; limited walking/hiking is involved. Great scenery is included.
405. Quaternary Geology and Geochronology of the Uppermost Arkansas Valley—Glaciers, Ice Dams, Landslides, Floods
Fri.–Sat., 29–30 Oct. US$228 (L, D, R, 1ON).
Cosponsors: GSA Quaternary Geology & Geomorphology Division; Crestone Science Center.
Leaders: James P. McCalpin, GEO-HAZ Consulting, Inc.; Jason Briner; Nicolás E. Young; Eric Leonard; C.A. Ruleman.
Day one of this two-day trip will highlight recent findings from STATEMAP 1:24,000-scale mapping in the Climax and Leadville South 7.5' quadrangles, at the head of the Rio Grande rift. Previous smaller-scale mapping underestimated the extent of landsliding, which is widespread but often subtle. Following an overnight in Leadville, Colorado, day two will focus on the cosmogenic exposure dating chronology of Pinedale glaciation and associated outburst flood deposits. Beryllium-10 ages from massive moraines deposited by glaciers believed to have dammed the upper Arkansas River date to the Pinedale Glaciation and contain age modes that are remarkably similar to 10Be ages from downstream flood terrace boulders. The broader Pinedale history is constrained by 10Be ages from glacier-sculpted bedrock behind the moraines to constrain the timing of glacier retreat upvalley. We will visit giant boulders on the flood terraces, moraines, and glacier sculpted bedrock sites. The field trip is staged beneath Colorado’s highest peaks in an area renowned for excellent hiking, fishing, and of course, moraine sequences.
406. Boulder Creek: A Stream Ecosystem in an Urban Landscape
Sat., 30 Oct. US$87 (L, R).
Cosponsors: U.S. Geological Survey; GSA Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division.
Leaders: Sheila Murphy, USGS; Philip L. Verplanck; Pete Birkeland; John Pitlick; Sarah Spaulding; Larry Barber.
The Boulder Creek Watershed, like many western watersheds, is comprised of a high-gradient upper reach mostly fed by snowmelt, a substantial change in gradient at the range front, and an urban corridor within the lower section. Water from Boulder Creek provides drinking water, crop irrigation, power plant cooling, wastewater disposal, recreation, and aquatic life habitat. A multi-use path follows Boulder Creek through the city of Boulder, serving as a link to parks, schools, a hospital, a library, public transportation, and businesses, and provides the opportunity to observe many of the important uses and features of the Boulder Creek corridor. This 16-mile field trip will follow this path, using rented bicycles, to explore the hydrology and geochemistry of Boulder and South Boulder Creeks. Topics will include flood frequency and hazards, aqueous geochemistry of the watershed, and potential impacts of invasive species, nonpoint source pollution, and emerging contaminants on stream ecology.
407. Mechanisms of Post-Laramide Fracturing in the Rockies: Insights from Outcrops and Industry Data from the Northern Denver Basin, Colorado
Sat., 30 Oct. US$88 (L, R).
Cosponsors: GSA Structural Geology and Tectonics Division; GSA Geophysics Division.
Leaders: Eric A. Erslev, University of Wyoming; Cody Lee Allen; Bryan W. Richter.
The orientations and intensities of open fractures are critically important to water and petroleum production as well as CO2 sequestration in the U.S. Rocky Mountains. Post-Laramide fractures commonly form dominant fluid pathways, and a better understanding of their mechanisms is needed to predict reservoir heterogeneities and site horizontal wells. Unfortunately, a multitude of potential fracture-forming processes has been documented, including several periods of regional extension and more localized backsliding on Laramide thrusts, gravity detachments into basins, petroleum maturation, and erosional denudation. This field trip will examine extensional fractures in outcrops of the Niobrara Formation and adjacent units along the Front Range between Boulder and Fort Collins. The Niobrara Formation is an important resource play due to in situ trapping of oil generated in its source beds. Moderate walks to excellent exposures will show a complex fracture history, with minor faults, splitting fractures and styolites due to Laramide shortening overprinted by, and sometimes reactivated by, post-Laramide normal faults and extensional fractures. We will also present 3-D seismic and well data from the Denver Basin showing the fundamentally different orientations and styles of fracturing on the western and eastern sides. The results of other industry-academic collaborations from elsewhere in the Rockies will be used to demonstrate the multiple ages and mechanisms of Rocky Mountain fracturing. These hypotheses will be debated on the outcrop – a lively discussion in beautiful scenery is guaranteed!
408. A Hike through Geologic Time at Red Rocks and Dinosaur Ridge
Sat., 30 Oct. US$93 (L, R).
Cosponsor: Friends of Dinosaur Ridge, GSA Sedimentary Geology Division.
Leaders: Chris Carroll, Friends of Dinosaur Ridge; Tim Connors.
The Front Range near Denver contains bedrock geologic exposures from the Precambrian through the Pliocene. Join the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge geologists on a hike through geologic time. We will hike from the Red Rocks Amphitheater to Green Mountain over Dinosaur Ridge. At Red Rocks, we will observe the unconformable contact between the Pennsylvanian-age Fountain Formation and underlying Precambrian rocks. We will hike downhill but upsection through the conglomeratic facies of the Fountain through the Penn-Permian-age Lyons Sandstone and Triassic Lykins Formation. The main hike emphasis will be on the Mesozoic stratigraphy and dinosaur tracks and bones in the Jurassic Morrison Formation (type-section) and Cretaceous Dakota Sandstone on Dinosaur Ridge. Our lunch stop will be at the Dinosaur Ridge Visitor's Center located in the Cretaceous Pierre Shale, followed by an afternoon hike to observe the latest Cretaceous Fox Hills Sandstone and Laramie Formation exposures and the Tertiary stratigraphy preserved on Green Mountain. Participants must be able to hike up to 2 miles on mostly downhill paved roadways, but van support will also be provided.
409. Garden of the Gods at Colorado Springs: Paleozoic and Mesozoic Sedimentation and Tectonics
Sat., 30 Oct. US$69 (L, R).
Cosponsor: GSA Sedimentary Geology Division
Leaders: Timothy L. Clarey, Delta College; John H. Whitmore; Marcus R. Ross; William A. Hoesch; Steven A. Austin.
Participants in this eight-hour field trip will visit five sites along the Rampart Range and Ute Pass fault zones west of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The purpose is to observe and discuss the processes of sedimentation and tectonics at superb exposures near the Garden of the Gods. Only short hikes will be made from the vehicles. Five sites are to be visited: (1) a nonconformity below Cambrian strata at the base of the Sauk Sequence; (3) coarse clastic sedimentation in the late Paleozoic Fountain Formation; (3) marine sandstones and shales as evidence of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway; (4) clastic dikes (sand “injectites”) within the fault hanging wall; and (5) upturned strata at Garden of the Gods in association with Laramide tectonics on the Rampart Range fault.
410. Geology and Natural Hazards of Golden
Sat., 30 Oct. US$50, For Students Only. (L, R).
Cosponsor: GSA Engineering Geology Division.
Leaders: Paul Santi, Colorado School of Mines; Jerry Higgins.
GSA's Engineering Geology Division is pleased to sponsor this field trip, which is designed especially for students with interests in environmental, applied, and engineering geology. The trip will visit sites around the city of Golden, west of Denver, to learn the local geology and observe landslides, rockfall areas, debris flow hazards, heaving bedrock damage, and mine settlement and collapse. We will make a short lunch stop in downtown Golden (not included in the trip fee). The day will finish with another student classic: a short tour of the Coors brewery — straight to the sampling room! The first 33 student registrants for the "Geology and Natural Hazards of Golden" field trip will be reimbursed US$20 after the meeting by the Engineering Geology Division. You must pay the full field-trip fee when registering.
Trail up Morrison Slide
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411. Subaru Outback Mountain Biking & Discovery Adventure — with Trek & Globe Trekker
Sat., 30 Oct. US$85 (L, R).
Cosponsor: Subaru.
Leaders: Laurie Brandt, BuckhornGeotech; Abana Jacobs, Subaru; Matt Morgan, Colorado Geological Survey; Martin Lockley, University of Colorado–Denver Dinosaur Tracks Museum
Ride in a Subaru Outback to the Matthews/Winters Park Open Space in Denver's foothills, where the Rocky Mountains dramatically uplift Paleozoic deposits of the Ancestral Rockies and younger Mesozoic strata into steeply dipping hogbacks. Learn the geology of the Front Range while riding a Trek mountain bike and hiking on trails on Dinosaur Ridge. The trails are easy to moderately strenuous, and we will be stopping often to observe and discuss landforms, features in the formations, and the area's geologic history. The hike will also include a newly discovered tracksite. A brief review of mountain bike skills will be offered, and the ride will be on guided trails for further geological exploration. While half of the group is riding on the Red Rock Trails viewing the Fountain, Lyons, and Lykins Formations, laid down during the uplift and erosion of the late Paleozoic Ancestral Rockies and later tilted into steeply dipping hogbacks during the Laramide Orogeny, the other half of the group will be hiking on Dinosaur Ridge, observing the resource-rich of Mesozoic-aged Morrison Formation and Dakota Group. Uranium, oil and gas, gravel, clay, gypsum, landslides, groundwater, and dinosaur tracks and fossils are found in these formations.  Participants must be willing to appear on film. Bring sturdy hiking and/or riding shoes, helmet, pack, comfortable layered clothes, and outer gear for inclement weather. You must be willing to appear on film.
412
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412. To Reactivate or Not to Reactivate: Nature and Varied Behavior of Structural Inheritance in the Proterozoic Basement of the Eastern Colorado Mineral Belt over ~1.7 Billion Years of Geologic Time
Sat., 30 Oct. US$85 (L, R).
Cosponsors: GSA Structural Geology and Tectonics Division; U.S. Geological Survey; Society of Economic Geologists.
Leaders: Jonathan Saul Caine, USGS; John Ridley; Zachary R. Wessel.
The eastern Rocky Mountain Front Range of Colorado has long been a region of geologic interest because of Laramide-age hydrothermal polymetallic vein-hosted ores and associated hypotheses regarding structural inheritance. The mineralized areas are collectively termed the Colorado Mineral Belt (CMB) and are interpreted to have been localized along a persistent and deep-seated zone of weakness in the North American Proterozoic crust. The region hosts a well-exposed array of geologic structures associated with ductile and brittle deformation, which record crustal strain over a period of ~1.7 billion years. The Front Range Proterozoic, basement-cored surface uplift has been mapped at numerous scales, resulting in an exceptional structural geologic dataset. However, detailed controls on location, orientation, kinematics, density, permeability, and relative strength of various geological structures in relation to mineral deposit formation are poorly understood. As part of ongoing research, structures resulting from protracted deformation in the Front Range are being reexamined to better understand this complex system. The field trip objectives are to show key localities that exemplify the types of structures present, show recently compiled existing data as well as new data generated from new approaches, offer a new conceptual model, and to foster dialogue. Topics to be discussed include (1) structural history of the eastern Front Range; (2) characteristics, kinematics, orientations, and age of ductile and brittle structures and how they may or may not relate to one another; and (3) characteristics, localization, and evolution of the metal- and non-metal bearing hydrothermal systems in the eastern CMB.
413
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413. Historic Dinosaur Quarries within a Newly Interpreted Paleoenvironmental Context
Sat., 30 Oct. US$118 (L, R).
Cosponsors: Colorado Scientific Society, Morrison Natural History Museum, Colorado Geological Survey, GSA History of Geology Division, GSA Sedimentary Geology Division, Escalante Mines, Inc.
Leaders: Thomas R. Fisher & Lisa R. Fisher, Escalante Mines, Inc., ; Matt Mossbrucker; Libby Prueher; Erin Fair.
This trip also runs before the meeting (see trip 418), and is presented in conjunction with Topical Session T94.
Participants will examine the geology and paleontology of the area around Morrison, Colorado, where we will focus on past and present paleontological discoveries in the Jurassic Morrison, and explore historic 1870s dinosaur quarries of Arthur Lakes. New interpretations of the paleoecology and environments of the Morrison will be applied to understanding the evolution of the landscape through time. The trip will be lead by researchers from the Morrison Natural History Museum (MNHM), an active research and education facility staffed by experts in paleontology, geology, ecology, and education, and will include a museum tour. We will also explore some of the colorful history of Lakes’ quarries, and how they helped fuel the famous “Bone Wars” between Edward Cope and O.C. Marsh. The Paleozoic-Mesozoic section of the area will be examined, and we will visit and explore some of Lake’s quarries and dig sites, including Yale Quarries 5, 10, and “XYZ” where holotypes of Stegosaurus armatus and Apatosaurus ajax were excavated in 1877. The MNHM relocated and reopened Lakes’ 1877 Yale Quarry 10 beginning in 2002. This quarry yielded the world’s first specimen of Stegosaurus, Yale No. 1850, which is now in residence at MNHM. MNHM researchers are conducting a reexamination of previously excavated fossils and examining the significance of exciting new finds, such as recently discovered lungfish fragments associated with Stegosaurus No. 1850. These discoveries are providing new insights into the paleoecology of the type section of the Morrison, and forcing re-evaluation of certain well-known dinosaur species.
414. Old and New Geologic Studies along the Front Range between Golden and Morrison Including Structural, Volcanic, and Economic Geology and Paleontology
Sat., 30 Oct.
Sorry, this trip has been canceled.
However, this field trip also runs after the meeting (see trip 419) and as a family trip during the meeting (see trip 415).

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Matthew Mossbrucker is a paleontologist specializing in Mesozoic vertebrates, particularly dinosaurs of the Jurassic Morrison Formation. He joined the Morrison Natural History Museum in 1996 and became Director and Chief Curator in 2006. Mossbrucker trained under famed vertebrate paleontologist Robert T. Bakker, curator of paleontology at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences. He is an expert in paleontological field surveys, cryptic vertebrate ichnology, and Dinosauria, especially their osteology and taxonomy, and the history of early Dinosauria finds in the American West. Mossbrucker specializes in the dinosaur genus Stegosaurus, and has published numerous papers on this and similar topics. He was recently recognized for his work in this area as an invited guest speaker at the “Symposium on Stegosauria” sponsored by the Sauriermuseum Aathal, Aathal-Seegräben, Switzerland. He has been instrumental, along with Bakker and colleagues, in reopening of Arthur Lakes' ca. 1870's fossil quarries 5, 10, and “xyz” in the Morrison Formation near Morrison, Colorado, which supplied Yale's O. C. Marsh with numerous genotypes of Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus. With the reopening of the quarries, Mossbrucker has concentrated on interpretation of the paleogeography and paleoecology of the intervals bearing these Dinosauria genera. In addition to his training as a paleontologist, Mossbrucker is skilled in museum programming, collections and curation, exhibit creation, and field and laboratory research. He also directs and conducts public education programs for the Morrison Museum and maintains an interest in herpetology, especially as it pertains to Colorado.

Lisa R. Fisher Ph.D. (ABD) is 2010 President-Elect of the Colorado Scientific Society (CSS) and chair of this CSS-sponsored field trip and related topical session at the 2010 GSA Annual Meeting. She is Executive Vice President and Director of Geoscience and Engineering for Escalante Mines Inc., a Denver-based junior mining firm focusing on exploration and development of precious and rare metals. She also serves as a volunteer research associate at the Morrison Natural History Museum, contributing in the areas of petrology, geochemistry, and education. Fisher is an internationally experienced metamorphic/igneous petrologist and an accomplished researcher specializing in Precambrian geology, Colorado Front Range geology, accretionary terranes, microscopy, economic geology, and related topics. Fisher is a seasoned science instructor and educator with experience with gifted children, university and K–12 students, the lay public, and educators, and served as visiting professor in petrology at the University of Colorado–Boulder, and career advisor/counselor at the Colorado School of Mines. She carries degrees in geology from the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor and the Colorado School of Mines, where she is currently a Ph.D. Candidate. Fisher has authored or co-authored a number of guidebooks on continental accretion, Proterozoic metasedimentary and metavolcanic accretionary sequences, and Laramide and Precambrian geology and tectonics of the Central Colorado Front Range. Her current research focuses on Proterozoic migmatites and constraints on regional melting processes in upper amphibolite grade terranes, and on complex porphyry-epithermal ore systems.

Thomas R. Fisher Ph.D. (ABD) is an internationally experienced clastic sedimentologist and stratigrapher, and has been a volunteer research associate with the Morrison Natural History Museum since 2005. He serves in the capacity of CEO and chair of Escalante Mines Inc., a Denver-based junior mining firm focused on exploration and development of precious and rare metals. Fisher's research focuses on interpretation of paleo- and depositional environments, especially those of alluvial fans and braided stream deposits. He specializes in application of traditional and advanced statistical and geostatistical methods to interpretation of sedimentary processes in the search for stratabound mineral deposits and energy resources. He was educated in geology at the University of New Mexico and the Colorado School of Mines. Fisher's research has covered interpretation of clastic sedimentary deposits from the Precambrian through the Quaternary on a worldwide basis, and has made significant contributions to multidisciplinary geoscience studies. Most recently, Fisher has concentrated on analysis of gold-bearing Paleoproterozoic quartz pebble conglomerates in paleo-fans and braided streams of West Africa, and interpretation of depositional environments of the Jurassic Morrison Formation and the Precambrian meta-sedimentary package in the Colorado Front Range. As a recognized pioneer in the development of 3- and 4-dimensional computer-based geologic modeling methods, Fisher has published numerous professional papers on this, as well as topics relating to interpretation of depositional sedimentary environments and paleontology.

Dr. Martin Lockley has B.S. in Geology from Queens Univ. Belfast (1974) and a PhD from Birmingham Univ. UK (1977). His thesis was on Ordovician Paleoecology of type sections, Wales and his Post Doc was in Glasgow, Scotland (1977-1980). Dr. Lockley has been an Assistant, Associate through Full Professor of Geology at UC Denver from 1980 to present. He also has been director of the UC Denver Dinosaur Tracks Museum since 1996 and is a creator of international dinosaur tracks exhibits. He is an author of over 300 journal articles and books on fossil footprints and has funded research in western U.S., Asia and Europe. Dr. Lockley is a Board Member at Dinosaur Ridge and active in local, regional, national and international conservation of footprint sites around the world.

Libby Prueher Ph.D. - Trip Co-Leader - is experienced in conducting professional development programs for teachers and outreach events for the students of all ages as well as the general public. Prueher is a lecturer in earth science at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, an adjunct geology faculty member at Colorado Community Colleges Online, and an adjunct geology and geography faculty member at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton. Prueher also teaches science for pre-service elementary teachers and works to improve teaching methods for the college classroom. In addition, Prueher is the curator of geology at the Morrison Natural History Museum and a board member of the Morrison Natural History Museum Foundation. She has degrees in geology from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, University of Oregon, and the University of Michigan. Her research includes the paleoclimate and paleoenvironment of the Morrison Formation, the impact of volcanism on climate, and informal science education.

Laurie Brandt is a professional geologist with Buckhorn Geotech in Montrose, Colorado. She performs geotechnical investigations of sites to evaluate soil and rock properties for homes, commercial/municipal structures, water tanks, roads, pedestrian trails, and bridges. She also evaluates sites for geologic hazards, such as slope stability, rockfall, shallow groundwater, expansive soils, and collapsible soils. Brandt is a former professional mountain-bike racer and a three-time Colorado State Mountain Bike Champion. She lived in the Front Range while racing and has ridden the Matthews/Winters, Red Rocks, and Dakota Ridge Trails many times. The field trip is in her old "stomping ground." Brandt teaches mountain bike skills clinics through the Montrose Recreation District, writes an outdoors column for the Montrose Daily Press, and teaches introductory physical geology at the Montrose Campus of Mesa State College. She has a B.S. in geography/geology from the Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. in remote sensing/geology from Cornell University. She can be reached at .

Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Matt attended college at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology where he received his B.S. in Geology in 1996. He moved to Denver in 1996 and began his career with the Colorado Geological Survey. In 1997 he received a Professional Degree in GIS and Remote Sensing from the University of Denver. In 2000, he published the Handbook of Colorado Meteorites in conjunction with the Colorado Geological Survey. He graduated with a M.S. in Geology from the Colorado School of Mines in 2006 where he studied the Alamo Impact Breccia of Nevada. Currently, he is involved with the geologic mapping program at the Colorado Geological Survey, focusing on the Colorado Front Range and the Denver Basin.

Zachary Wessel is a Ph.D. candidate at Colorado State University. His dissertation is focused on a detailed study of the Idaho Springs–Ralston Shear Zone (IRSZ). The study includes performing local scale and regional scale structural domain analyses of metamorphic and deformational fabrics, petrographic and petrologic analyses of metamorphic suites within and bounding the shear zone, and a comparison of the structural variance and compatibilities between the IRSZ and the Moose Mountain Shear Zone. Wessel completed a B.S. and M.S. in geology at Ohio University (2001 and 2004). His M.S. project focused on the structural and temporal relationship between low- and high-grade metamorphic suites, igneous intrusives, and an associated mylonite zone in the Creignish Hills of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. His study interests include the interaction of igneous and metamorphic suites, ductile deformation and deformation mechanisms, and continental scale deformational processes. He also has an extensive knowledge and understanding of sedimentary processes, structural analysis, and geophysical data interpretation as related to natural resource exploration. After completion of his Ph.D., Wessel will begin work for El Paso Oil & Gas in Houston.

John Ridley is associate professor and Edward Warner Chair of Economic Geology at the Department of Geosciences, Colorado State University. He took up this chair six years ago after earlier holding faculty positions in Australia, Switzerland, and Zimbabwe. His research uses field studies, structural geology, petrology, fluid inclusion studies, and a broad gamut of geochemistry. He has worked on research topics ranging from regional structural and metamorphic studies to analyses and interpretations of the chemical and fluid flow processes in hydrothermal ore systems, environmental geochemistry of ore systems, and Precambrian oil as preserved in fluid inclusions. Ridley received his B.A. in geology from The University of Cambridge (1978) and a Ph.D. from The University of Edinburgh (1982).

Jonathan Saul Caine is a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. His work is focused on characterization of fault zones, fracture networks, and fluid flow in Earth’s upper crust. He combines structural geology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, petrophysics, and detailed field studies to understand fault zone architecture and permeability structure; fault rock textures, deformation mechanisms, weakening mechanisms, kinematics, and reactivation; direct fault rock dating; and fault and fracture network related fluid flow as it pertains to groundwater supply, mineral deposits, hydrocarbon migration, environmental geochemistry of hydrothermally altered, and complexly deformed crystalline-rock and sedimentary basin aquifer systems. Caine also works closely with graduate students and colleagues at the University of Colorado–Boulder, the Colorado School of Mines, and Colorado State University. He received his B.A and M.A. in geology from SUNY–New Paltz (1986 and 1991) and his Ph.D. from the University of Utah (1999).

Jerry Higgins has been engaged in research, teaching, government service, and consulting in engineering geology and geotechnics since 1969 and has been a faculty member in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering at Colorado School of Mines since 1986. His major areas of expertise include assessment of hazards and analysis of stability of rock and soil slopes, geotechnical site characterization, engineering behavior of loess, construction materials characterization, and engineering geologic mapping. He is a coauthor of the Colorado Rockfall Simulation Program, author of the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) testing standards for flexible fence rock-fall barriers, and author of several state agency geotechnical design procedures. He is a contributing author to the TRB’s books on landslides and rockfall and has published numerous journal papers on engineering geology topics.

Paul Santi is a professor of geology and geological engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, where he has been for the last nine years. Prior to that, he was on the faculty at the Missouri University of Science and Technology for six years, and worked in the engineering consulting industry in California and Colorado for six years. His current research is in the areas of debris flow analysis and mitigation, rockfall hazards, landslide stabilization, and engineering geology education. He has taught several field courses in Colorado and Utah, and as a Golden resident, he has experienced first-hand some of the hazards we will review on this trip. He was one of three editors for the 1,300+ page publication Engineering Geology in Colorado: Contributions, Trends, and Case Histories.

Steven A. Austin is president of Austin Research Consulting Inc. and senior research scientist at the Institute for Creation Research, Dallas. He has a Ph.D. in sedimentary geology from Pennsylvania State University and has been a GSA member for 37 years.

William A. Hoesch completed a B.A. in geology from the University of Colorado in 1981. He studied a sandstone dike near the southern end of the Front Range for a 1990 master’s thesis, which argued for a Laramide injection event. Bill worked in the oil industry before settling in San Diego where he’s served as educator, research assistant, and soil geologist.

Marcus Ross earned his Ph.D. in Geosciences from the University of Rhode Island. He is assistant professor of Geology at Liberty University. His research focuses on the distribution and diversity of mosasaurs in Cretaceous sediments, with particular attention to the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway.

John Whitmore is a professor of geology and has been teaching at Cedarville University since 1991. For his Ph.D. studies at Loma Linda University, he studied the fossil fish taphonomy of the Green River Formation. He is currently involved in a project examining sand injectites at the base of the Coconino Sandstone and the sedimentology within that formation.

Timothy L. Clarey received his Ph.D. from Western Michigan University in 1996, studying the structural development of the southern Front Range in Colorado. He is a professor of geology at Delta College, where he has received several teaching awards. Clarey continues to study the structural geology of northwest Wyoming.

The field trip leaders have extensive experience with many aspects of Boulder Creek. Sheila Murphy, Philip Verplanck, and Larry Barber are hydrologists and geologists with the U.S. Geological Survey and have been involved in many aspects of research and education about Boulder Creek. Peter Birkeland is a retired professor from the University of Colorado Dept. of Geological Sciences and originally developed the concept of a bike tour of Boulder Creek. John Pitlick is a professor with the University of Colorado Dept. Geography, where he performs research on fluvial geomorphology and surface-water hydrology.


Sarah Spaulding is an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and is an international expert on the invasive diatom Didymosphenia geminata.

Pat Cashman is a research professor of geology at the University of Nevada–Reno. She is a field-based structural geologist who applies a variety of techniques to solving regional tectonic problems. She has studied the geometry, kinematics and timing of (1) Neogene faulting and block rotation along the Sierra Nevada–Basin and Range transition zone, and (2) Paleozoic and Mesozoic folding and thrust faulting in Nevada. She is currently studying the kinematics and timing of Laramide structures in Colorado.

Jim Trexler is professor of geology at the University of Nevada–Reno. He is a sedimentologist/stratigrapher specializing in the tectonic evolution of sedimentary basins. He has worked extensively in Nevada on the late Paleozoic orogenic deposits related to tectonism during and after the Antler orogeny, and he also has studied Neogene sedimentary basins in western Nevada along the Walker Lane. His current research covers western mid-continent orogenic basins of the Pennsylvanian-Permian (Ancestral Rocky Mountains), as well as investigations of Laramide basins in Colorado.

Jim Cole is a research geologist with the USGS in Denver. His investigations have ranged widely through Colorado, Saudi Arabia, southern Nevada, Albuquerque rift basins, and back to Colorado. His recent studies have covered Precambrian petrology and structure, Laramide structure, and evolution of drainage and landscape in northern Colorado. This field trip presents initial results from a new USGS project, North Park–Medicine Bow Mountains, established to explore the sedimentary and structural history west of the Front Range.

Laura Crossey is a professor of geochemistry at the University of New Mexico. Her interests are in the applications of low-temperature geochemistry to problems in hydrochemistry, sedimentary diagenesis, and geomicrobiology. Her recent research has involved the geochemistry of CO2 hot and cool springs, and their paleohydrology as recorded by travertines. She received her B.A. from Colorado College in 1977, her M.A. from Washington University in 1979, and her Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming in 1985. She has been at UNM since 1986.

Karl Karlstrom is a professor of structural geology and tectonics at the University of New Mexico. His recent research activities have focused on the Cenozoic uplift history of the Rocky Mountain region as part of the CREST project (Colorado Rockies Experiment and Seismic Transect). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming in 1981, did post-doctoral study at the University of New Brunswick (1981–1982), and has taught at North Carolina State University (1983–1984), Northern Arizona University (1984–1991) and UNM (1991–present).

Andres Aslan is a professor of geomorphology at Mesa State College. His research expertise is in fluvial geomorphology and sedimentology, and his current research activities are focused on long-term river histories in the Rocky Mountain region. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from CU-Boulder and worked for the Bureau of Economic Geology at UT-Austin and taught at Oberlin College prior to teaching at Mesa State.

Raymond H. Johnson is a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver. He received a Ph.D. (2003) in geological engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden and a master’s degree (1993) in hydrogeology from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Johnson’s research interest is in contaminant hydrogeology with an emphasis on the transport of metals in groundwater around areas with mining. His research has included the understanding of groundwater flow and geochemistry at an abandoned mine tailings site in Sudbury, Ontario, and abandoned mine lands in Silverton, Colorado. Research at these sites included field studies with unique groundwater monitoring techniques along with numerical modeling of flow and geochemistry. In 2008, Johnson taught a one-week class on reactive transport modeling at mine sites for the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) and has on-going collaboration with GTK scientists. In 2009, he led a field trip for GTK scientists on the geochemistry of mining impacts in Colorado and Arizona. His current research includes reactive transport modeling at the watershed scale for future mining impacts.

Alison Burchell is a geologic consultant with a wide-range of projects, including geochemical and geophysical surveys, coral reef assessment, reclamation, natural hazards, renewable energy site assessment, and health- and environment-related legislation. Her undergraduate work was in chemistry with a minor in environmental sciences. Her graduate work was in volcanology and isotope-geochemistry at the University of Arizona under a U.S. Geologic Survey Fellowship. She also holds certificates in multispectral and Synthetic Aperture Radar remote sensing analysis, database design, and GIS and is adjunct geologic field-techniques instructor at Ft. Lewis College. Her current research includes understanding the mechanisms and kinetics of Natural Terrestrial Sequestration (NTS, the naturally occurring geologic, biologic and hydrologic variables and processes that influence terrestrial carbon sequestration) and quantifying the environmental and economic benefits of NTS reclamation and land management protocols. Alison is a co-founder and project coordinator with the NTS Group, an interagency-academic-stakeholder collaboratory, which funded and launched the Rocky Mountain NTS pilot project to establish the San Juan ecosystem as a terrestrial base-station for long-term research, monitoring, and student training. The work of this group has demonstrated both a higher reclamation potential and NTS potential for temperate soils derived from volcanic host rock than may be fully accounted for in climate and mitigation models.

Douglas Yager has 25 years of experience as a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Much of his career has focused on Tertiary volcanic systems, including the San Juan volcanic field, where he has investigated topics ranging from volcanic stratigraphy to geoenvironmental contaminants resulting from the weathering of hydrothermally altered and mineralized terrain. His recent research interests include the acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) of propylitically altered, igneous bedrocks to remediate acid mine drainage, and the carbon sequestration potential of soils derived from weathering of intermediate to mafic volcanic bedrocks. Yager and collaborators have begun to examine the use of soil amendments such as ANC rock and biochar (pyrolized woody biomass) to aid in mine site remediation and to help reduce acidity and offset atmospheric CO2 emissions. His GIS and statistical modeling of field trip area geodatasets have aided in identifying “super variables” that control water quality in hydrothermally altered areas that produce acid rock drainage. For the past several years, Yager has co-taught Fort Lewis College Geology field camp modules that integrate his current carbon sequestration project work into their curriculum. He received his B.S. in geology from Colorado State University and graduate degrees from the University of Colorado (geology) and the University of Denver (GIS).