09-18-2021 (tentative date, Ian Miller) — Field Trip: Post-dam removal, sedimentation and salmon recovery of the Elwha River

One-day field trip (car caravan) to see the Elwha River’s response to removal of its two dam 7 years ago (2014).  We’ll see one of the dissected lake basins, sedimentation alone the river’s mid-reach and the build out of the river’s delta.  We’ll try and recruit a salmon recovery expert to talk about the main reason to have done the dam removal.  Ian Miller, our primary guide, is with the SeaGrant program of the University of Washington, but resides in Port Angeles close to the action. Car caravan leaving from Port Angeles, BYO lunch, gone most of the day.  More details to follow, registration will open sometime next summer.

05-22-2021 Jennifer Pierce—Wildfires, Climate and Erosion

On Saturday May 22, 2021 @ 4 pm, Dr. Jennifer Pierce of the Dept. of Geology at Boise State University will present a Zoom lecture on “Wildfires, Climate and Erosion in the past, present and future”.  Jennifer has been working on these topics since graduate school and will integrate these three subjects with reference to forests of the Northern Rocky Mountains. Although her studies have been concentrated in the Northern Rockies, the lessons learned apply well to the relatively arid regions of the West. Since she is speaking in late May, we could be into our fire season here in Washington, so the subject will be timely.

04-10-2021 Trevor Contreras, Geology and the Art of Stone Carving

Geology and the Art of Stone Carving

The Lecture

Many members of the Northwest Stone Sculptors Association (NWSSA), including me, use Washington rocks in their art. In this talk, I’ll give an overview of this state’s geological setting  that provide these stones and describe the connections among basalt, dunite, jade, and the glacial erratics that we work with. I’ll highlight a few of my favorite sculptors, talk about some of the stone they work, and touch on tools and techniques we use to sculpt these locally sourced stones.

In 2009 King County geologist Greg Wessel curated a geology and art show on Vashon Island called, “Geo sapiens”.  At the show’s opening I met Shannon and Wilson geologist Bill Laprade. Bill was showing a couple pieces of Texas limestone carved with geology themes. His stone sculpture really made an impact on me. Bill encouraged me to attend a stone-carving symposium put on by NWSSA (see below). I attended my first weeklong symposium in July of 2011 and I’ve been making dust ever since.

You may want to visit some or all of these links before the talk to see artists in action:

The Speaker

Trevor Contreras

Trevor is a Licensed Engineering Geologist with the Landslide Hazards Program at the Washington Geological Survey, where he studies landslides and helps communities under-stand and mitigate landslide hazards. He has worked for the WGS since 2006 in various positions and in the Forest Practices Division helping foresters understand landslides and evaluate timber harvest proposals.

Prior to working for the Survey, he worked for the Washington Department of Ecology, regulating well drilling and water well construction.

Click here to see my bio:   https://www.dnr.wa.gov/publications/ger_bio_contreras_trevor.pdf