GSOC Annual Picnic Wrap-up

GSOC Annual Picnic Wrap-up

August 12, 2018 at Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Minerals, Hillsboro

This year’s GSOC annual picnic was at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro. It was attended by over 70 club members and was a very great success! The money collected at the picnic was used to purchase a one-year membership for all GSOC members and to secure a guest speaker, Dr. Nicholas Famoso, USNPS Chief of Paleontology of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, who will also be a guest field trip leader at Camp Hancock in September.

One outstanding happening at the picnic was that Rosemary Kenney, GSOC member for 54 years, presented 45 fossil items to Famoso for donation to the John Day Fossil Bed’s collection. The presentation followed the conclusion of Nick’s lecture at the picnic. Some of the major items were also displayed the day before in a case at the NARG Fossil Fest, also at the Rice Museum.

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Clarno and John Day Lava: Extent and Origins

Clarno and John Day Lava:  Extent and Origins

Synopsis of July 13, 2018 GSOC Friday Night Lecture by Emily Cahoon, PSU PhD Candidate

PSU PhD Candidate Emily Cahoon spoke to GSOC at the July Friday night meeting about her research into the origin of the Clarno and John Day magmatism. Her research is part of an ongoing push in the geoscience community to determine the origin of the magmas to erupt in Oregon. This is a tricky question when the magma originates somewhere in the earth’s mantle, is filtered by partial melting of intervening subducting plates and/or continental crust, erupts onto the earth’s surface, and is then is pushed and pulled, rotated away from its original location, covered up in some places and eroded away in other places.

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Rotating Crustal Blocks Form a Simplified Picture of Pacific NW Plate Motion

Rotating Crustal Blocks Form a Simplified Picture of Pacific NW Plate Motion

May’s GSOC Friday night lecture from retired USGS research geologist Ray Wells gave the listeners a big picture of the tectonic motion of the Pacific NW and explained much about the distribution and function of shallow crustal earthquakes and their associated faults in the region. This picture had sharpened over Wells’ 40-year career at USGS, as our understanding of plate tectonics evolved and new techniques contributed to the store of information and provided corroboration for earlier findings. 

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A Sharper Image of the Landslides of Skamania County

A Sharper Image of the Landslides of Skamania County

Synopsis of GSOC Friday Night Lecture, April 13, 2018

Tom Pierson has been a research scientist at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory (USGS CVO) since 1981. His field-based research focuses primarily on the hydrological response to volcanic eruptions—lahars, debris avalanches, and floods. Pierson spoke to GSOC in February 2014 about the debris flows following the eruption of the Chaiten Volcano in Chile. Pierson’s April 2018 topic hit a lot closer to home, although the Pacific Northwest also has plenty of volcano hazards.

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From Bowlby to Zumwalt: Exploring the Geology of Oregon's Wallowas

From Bowlby to Zumwalt: Exploring the Geology of Oregon's Wallowas

Synopsis of the GSOC 83rd Annual Banquet lecture given on March 11, 2018, with speaker Dr. Ellen Morris Bishop

Dr. Ellen Morris Bishop – geologist, writer, and photographer – drove from her ranch near Enterprise, Oregon, to speak to an enthusiastic GSOC audience at the 83rd Annual Banquet on Sunday, March 11, 2018. The purpose of her talk was to introduce GSOCers to the geology of Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains and Hells Canyon (WMHC).

Bishop began by showing the location of WMHC on a terrain enhanced road map of Oregon, then a satellite view, and finally a geologic overview as depicted by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries’ (DOGAMI’s) online interactive map. Studying the DOGAMI map one sees that the bulk of the Wallowa Mountains consists of outcrops of the “Wallowa Terrane” and “Nevadan Intrusives”, which can both be viewed as a result of the docking of ancient island complexes to the North American continent by the mechanism of plate subduction.

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Announcing the Central Oregon Geoscience Society

Announcing the Central Oregon Geoscience Society

The Central Oregon Geoscience Society (COGS) has formed as a central-Oregon based, non-profit organization promoting a greater awareness and understanding of the geological sciences through technical presentations, field trips and educational outreach to schools. They plan to have eight presentations per year, as well as field trips in the late spring through early fall. Presentations are held at Deschutes Brewery Tap Room (upstairs), 1044 NW Bond Street in Bend. Join them at 6:00 PM for food/beverages and presentation at 7:00 PM.

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For Our Retired Members: Take a Geology Class!

For Our Retired Members: Take a Geology Class!

by GSOC Past President, Bo Nonn

Why not audit a class at PSU? It's free, practically, and you get to hear the same great professors who've addressed our Friday night meetings. I've been auditing mostly geology since I retired, over 30 to date, from entry-level to heavy-duty senior/grad. You can arrange with the instructor on how deeply you want to get involved, from just sitting in on the lectures all the way to labs, quizzes, term papers and exams.  If you're interested, read more!

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Geology of Eastside Portland and Johnson Creek

Geology of Eastside Portland and Johnson Creek

Moments after the election of the new GSOC board at our February 9th meeting, President-elect Paul Edison-Lahm addressed a near-record crowd with his presentation “An Amateur's Guide to the Geology of Johnson Creek and Eastside Portland.” He explained that since a creek cuts down through vegetation and construction into layers of earth otherwise unseen, the rocks in the creek can tell us the geologic history of the surrounding countryside. Grey basalts and dull orange quartizites, found in the Reed College Lake near his home for example, are clues to earlier epochs of catastrophic volcanism and icy inundation.

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GSOC Charter Member Lon Hancock First to Discover Vertebrate Fossils in Oregon's Clarno Formation

GSOC Charter Member Lon Hancock First to Discover Vertebrate Fossils in Oregon's Clarno Formation

By Viola L. Obserson, GSOC President 1984. Reprinted with permission from Oregon Geology, Oregon Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries, December 1979.

Paleontologists the world over know of the work of Alonzo Wesley "Lon" Hancock (1884-1961). Professional men from the universities and museums of the world came to his door to study the fossils he found. He considered himself an amateur, attained no college degrees, and published no scientific papers, but the fossils his persistence enabled him to find have been the subjects of numerous papers, master's theses, and doctoral dissertations. And part of the geologic history of ancient Oregon has had to be rewritten because of his discoveries.

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2018 Officers Elected

The following slate of officers for 2018 was elected by acclamation at our Feb. 9 meeting:

• President Paul Edison-Lahm

• Vice President Sheila Alfsen

• Secretary Carol Hasenberg

• Treasurer Dawn Juliano

• Director, 3 years Megan Faust

• Director, 2 years Julia Lanning

• Director, 1 year Larry Purchase

Also serving on the 2018 board will be Past Presidents Rik Smoody and Bo Nonn. Terms for the 2018 board begin March 1.

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Oregon Gems of the Rice Museum

Oregon Gems of the Rice Museum

Rice Museum curator Leslie Moclock is in charge of the museum’s education curriculum. In the course of her educational presentations, she finds that kids always ask deceptively tricky questions like, “Why are minerals the color that they are?” Moclock enjoys this part of her work because answering these questions opens doors to doing research. Examples of research topics she has pursued include two famous Oregon gemstones, opal (notably from Opal Butte in Morrow County) and sunstones (from Ponderosa and Plush area mines). 

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Nominating Committee Results

The following slate of officers has been selected by this year’s nominating committee:

President Paul Edison-Lahm
Vice President Sheila Alfsen
Secretary Carol Hasenberg
Treasurer Dawn Juliano
Director, 3 years Megan Faust
Director, 2 years Julia Lanning
Director, 1 year Larry Purchase

Nominations are closed for this year’s slate of officers. The slate of officers will be voted on and approved at the February monthly meeting.

The Nominating Committee members were Rik Smoody, Sheila Alfsen and Paul Edison-Lahm. Our thanks to the selected members and members of the Nominating Committee!

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