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.
Geology and the Art of Stone Carving
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:
- Northwest Stone Sculptors Association
- Pat Barton, Issaquah: Dunite
- Tom Small, San Juan Island: Basalt and glacial erratics
- Sue Taves, Whidbey Island: Basalt and glacial erratics
- Deborah Wilson, BC: Jade
- Marenakos stone yard, Issaquah
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
This presentation on May 20, 2020 was made as part of Nature in Your Neighborhood, a six-part series of Zoom Lectures sponsored by the Jefferson Land Trust (add link here). It describes the general geologic history of the Quimper Peninsula during the latest Pleistocene (past 20,000 years) and Holocene (past 11, 500 years). It focuses on three themes:
- Glacial meltwater channels — Chimacum Valley
- The Bluffs Downtown
- Glacial Erratics with a special challenge
The presentation is about an hour long and features geologic interpretation of glacial deposits in the Port Townsend area. The challenge is one to discover the larger and largest glacial erratics in the area. See our tab on Resources for a List of Glacial Erratics and our Photo Gallery for Images of Glacial Erratics.
Michael Machette is an advisor to the Quimper Geological Society. He moved to Port Townsend, WA after a 35-year career as a Quaternary Geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, CO. His areas of research evolved over this time period: from geologic mapper, to Cenozoic basin studies, Neogene tectonics, active faulting and probablistic seismic hazards analysis. Since relocating to the Quimper Peninsula, he has started to delve into the local geology, hence this lecture for the JLT Nature in Your Neighborhood series.