Hugh was a geologist with the Shorelands Program at the Washington Department of Ecology since 1989 but retired in 2019 after 30 years. His interests include coastal erosion, geologic hazards, and the environmental impacts of shoreline modifications. Hugh grew up near the coast of Maine but moved to the Puget Sound region in 1983. (Updated Oct. 2021)
Here is his bio from Sound Waters University 2018:
Hugh has been a Coastal Geologist with the Shorelands and Environmental Assistance program of the Washington Department of Ecology since 1989. He works all over Puget Sound and is interested in coastal erosion, geologic hazards, beach restoration, and the environmental impacts of shoreline modification. He provides technical assistance to state and local agencies, conducts trainings and educational workshops, and participates on a variety of advisory groups.
Hugh received a BA in Earth Sciences and Engineering from Dartmouth in 1981 and an MS in Geological Sciences from the University of Washington in 1986. He grew up near the coast of Maine, but moved to the Salish Sea in 1983.
In his spare time, Hugh blogs about shoreline geology at his “Gravel Beach” website: http://gravelbeach.blogspot.com
About the Talk
Bluffs and Beaches: Geology on the edge (of Jefferson County)
Puget Sound is best distinguished from other large American estuaries by the pervasive influence of the last glaciation. This glacial legacy includes a steep, irregular coastline, an abundance of coarse-grained sediment, and a shoreline dominated by coastal bluffs. These bluffs are inherently erosional landforms, although the rate and character of this erosion varies greatly.
Bluffs are a key component of a dynamic beach system that supports an incredible array of coastal landforms and environments, including spits and small estuaries. This talk will draw on local examples to show how geologic processes have shaped the modern shoreline and how they continue to do so – sometimes with significant implications for people who live near the shore. The talk will also include observations on how geology is becoming increasingly important to our thinking about how we protect Puget Sound’s shorelines.
About the Speaker
Hugh has been a geologist with the Shorelands Program at the Washington Department of Ecology since 1989. His interests include coastal erosion, geologic hazards, and the environmental impacts of shoreline modifications. Hugh grew up near the coast of Maine but moved to the Puget Sound region in 1983.
Visit Hugh’s blogs at:
Gravel Beach – http://gravelbeach.blogspot.com/
Washington Coastal Hazards Resilience Network – http://www.wacoastalnetwork.com/blog
About the talk
Dirt, soil, call it what you want—it’s everywhere we go. It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, our cities. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it’s no laughing matter. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations explores the compelling idea that we are—and have long been—using up Earth’s soil. Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over centuries to limit the lifespan of civilizations. A rich mix of history, archaeology and geology, Dirt traces the role of soil use and abuse in the history of Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, European colonialism, Central America, and the American push westward. We see how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil—as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt. David R. Montgomery sees in the recent rise of organic and no-till farming the hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations.
About the speaker
David Montgomery is a Professor of Geology at the University of Washington’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences. He was selected as a MacArthur Fellow in 2008, based on his exceptional creativity, significant accomplishment and potential for subsequent creative work.