The Geological Society of Minnesota is a public-spirited, nonprofit educational organization that has been in operation since 1938. Our ongoing mission has been to promote public interest and supply educational support in the geological sciences. We do this by sponsoring free lectures and labs at the University of Minnesota, conducting statewide and regional field trips, holding classroom presentations for schools, maintaining a media library, publishing relevant information for public distribution, and maintaining and expanding upon a series of geological markers located throughout the state.
GSM's exciting, illustrated Seminars are presented by leading professionals in their fields of Geology or Earth Science. These engaging talks are free and open to the public, and are especially valuable for enthusiastic learners from secondary school students to adults. A question and answer opportunity is always included. Where else can you enjoy an intriguing exchange with a leading scientist or educator? Our novice-friendly labs demonstrate at a comfortable pace the ideas and principles of geology and earth science. They allow an involved, hands-on learning experience for beginners, or a helpful refresher for the seasoned enthusiast. These instructive sessions are also free and open to the public. Where else can you actively practice science, under expert guidance, for free?
Next GSM lecture:
Monday, September 29, 2014, 7:00 PM
A River Runs Through It-Understanding Himalayan Tectonics Through River Systems
Jeni McDermott, Ph.D., St. Thomas University
University of Minnesota East Bank campus,
Keller Hall (Electrical Engineering/Computer Science), Room 3-210
200 Union St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
The Himalaya is often cited as the ‘type’ example for continent-continent collision, and yet there is much about the formation and evolution of this orogen that remains enigmatic. One clear example lies in the fact that although the Himalaya are arguably the most dramatic landscape on Earth, marked by nine of the ten highest peaks in the world, active deformation within the Himalayan realm is widely believed to be restricted to thrusting at the range front, ~150 km south of the high peaks. One model to explain this discrepancy between the location of high peaks and rugged topography and active thrusting proposes a range-wide normal fault at the crest of the range (the upper boundary of the ‘high-uplift zone’). The drastic morphologic shift can be investigated using a combination of fluvial profile analysis with a focus on knickpoint identification to identify regions experiencing higher-than-average uplift and low-temperature thermochronology to constrain the timing and magnitude of that uplift.
Dr. Jeni McDermott, originally from California, received her M.S. in hydrogeology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her Ph.D. in geology at Arizona State University. She taught geology for two years at Colgate University in upstate New York before beginning at the University of St Thomas in 2013. Jeni’s research interests lie in understanding how fluvial systems interact with and shape our world, both at the orogen scale through the interplay between surface processes, deformation, and tectonics, as well as at a smaller scale where surface water and groundwater dynamically interact with our human environment.
Seminars and Labs
The schedule of seminars and labs for 2014-2015 in now available click here . Note that the seminars start a a new time this year, 7:00 PM
During the months of May through October, GSM conducts a series of professionally-guided, statewide and regional field trips. These are one to three day excursions made to points of geologic interest not usually experienced by the casual traveler. They afford a very memorable and satisfying learning experience as there are always plenty of hands-on and question-answering opportunities. A comaraderie with enthusiastic learners and people curious about their natural environment is always a reward in itself. There is a small charge for any shared expense, and a liability waiver must be signed for each participant.
Speakers for metro area elementary schools are available through the Public Service Committee to help enrich the education of young learners, particularly the 2nd to 4th grade levels.
Membership in the society is open to anyone with an interest in geology. The benefits of membership include
- Extensive Media Library - GSM maintains a collection of more than 125 geological videos and a growing number of interactive, multimedia CD-ROMs for both windows and Macintosh computers. These are available to the members at lectures or through the mail for a nominal rental fee.
- GSM Newsletter - A quarterly publication containing announcements of upcoming activities, interesting and informative articles on the earth sciences, GSM project and activity reports, and general club news and notices.
- GSM Directory - An annual book that is a handy information resource, and makes it easy to access your organization.
- Rocky Roots ... Three Geology Walking Tours of Downtown St. Paul - A free copy of this popular guidebook.
- The opportunity to meet others of diverse backgrounds who share an enthusiasm for learning and a curiosity for the natural world around them.
- The rewarding feeling of supporting a public-spirited, nonprofit organization dedicated to public education.