Washington Geology

Presentations for the Public and the Geocaching Community

At the 2017 GSA Annual Meeting

Sunday, 22 October 2017, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Washington State Convention Center, Room 203
705 Pike Street
Seattle, WA 98101-2310


This free event is open to the public, and is available on a first-come, first-served basis, with a capacity of 100 attendees. This event is taking place as part of the Geological Society of America’s (GSA) Annual Meeting; however, one does not need to pay and register for the Annual Meeting in order to attend these special presentations. After the presentations, attendees are invited to visit the Exhibit Hall within the GSA Annual Meeting. The Exhibit Hall includes approximately 200 different organizations representing the following aspects of the earth sciences: geology tools (rock hammers, lenses, technical instruments), rock/gem/mineral vendors, jewelry and gifts, educational products and supplies (books, maps), universities, government agencies (federal, state, local, and international), professional societies and associations, and more!

The event is directed at educators, as well as people who are involved with EarthCaching, which is a special outreach program in which GSA partners with Geocaching.com. Other members of the public are welcome as well.

There will be three different presentations by professional geologists and educators. Each presentation will be followed by a short question and answer session. The presentations are:
1:00 p.m. – Washington’s Greatest Hits…Geologically! by Nick Zentner
2:00 p.m. – Ice Age Megafloods of the Pacific Northwest, by Bruce Bjornstad
3:00 p.m. – Assembling the Northwest: A Roadside View of Oregon and Washington Geology, by Marli Miller

1:00 p.m.

Washington’s Greatest Hits … Geologically!

Nick Zentner - CWU Geology - will present a stimulating overview of the best that Washington Geology has to offer.  Video clips from Nick’s programs will be used to survey exciting geologic tales from our past and daunting geologic hazards in our future.  The talk will visit field evidence for Cascade Volcanism, great earthquakes at Washington’s coast, shallow quakes beneath Puget Sound, Ice Age Floods in eastern Washington, petrified wood, gold mines, blue agates - everything but the kitchen sink!

Nick has taught geology at Central Washington University since 1992. Nick is heavily engaged in public outreach, which includes a popular lecture series "Downtown Geology Lectures", a PBS TV series "Nick On The Rocks", and he leads the Ellensburg Chapter of the Ice Age Flood Institute. In 2015, Nick received the prestigious James Shea Award, a National Association of Geoscience Teachers award recognizing exceptional delivery of Earth Science content to the general public. Past Shea Award recipients include John McPhee, Jack Horner, Robert Ballard, and Stephen Jay Gould. For his videos and more, check out Nick's website.

Nick Zentner
Central Washington University
Department of Geological Sciences
Ellensburg, Washington

2:00 p.m.

Ice Age Megafloods of the Pacific Northwest

Ice Age megafloods, from at least three different sources, left a dramatic mark on the Pacific Northwest that is clearly visible today. The evidence for dozens of floods from glacial Lakes Missoula and Columbia, as well as Lake Bonneville, will be examined via maps, drone videos and other imagery.

Bruce Bjornstad is a licensed geologist/hydrogeologist and author who specializes in the Ice Age Floods.  He recently retired as a Senior Research Scientist at Battelle's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He received a B.S degree in geology from the University of New Hampshire and an M.S. degree from Eastern Washington University. During his 35-year career he has written numerous documents and reports on the geology of eastern Washington, as well as two geologic guidebooks on Ice Age megafloods that transformed the Pacific Northwest as recently as 13,000 years ago.  He is involved in geocaching, and has multiple EarthCaches and geocaches that relate to Washington’s geology. His research, books, and aerial videos may be viewed at his website.

Bruce Bjornstad

3:00 p.m.

Assembling the Northwest: a roadside view of Oregon and Washington geology

Much of Washington and Oregon's incredible geology is visible right from our highways. This presentation outlines the region's geology using familiar and accessible localities. The slideshow begins with terrane accretion and assembly of Washington and Oregon's underlying "basement" and finishes with some of the events that shaped the area since.

Marli Miller is a senior instructor and researcher in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Oregon, where she’s been since 1997. Most recently, she completed complete rewrites of the books Roadside Geology of Oregon and with co-author Darrel Cowan, Roadside Geology of Washington (published by Mountain Press in Missoula). Her primary interests lie in in the fields of regional and structural geology. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in geology at the University of Washington in 1987 and 1992 respectively and a B.A. in geology at Colorado College in 1982. As a photographer, she concentrates on geological images, and contributes regularly to textbooks, museum exhibits, journals, and teaching collections of other instructors. Marli’s website (soon to be relocated to geologypics.com) offers free downloads of more than 2,000 images for non-commercial use.

Marli Miller
University of Oregon
Department of Earth Sciences
Eugene, Oregon