Discover Science Lecture Series—Thursday, April 9 College of Science, UNR

Speaker: Dr. Harrison Schmitt, Geologist and Apollo 17 NASA Astronaut

“Dr. Harrison Schmitt is an American geologist, retired NASA astronaut, university professor, former U.S. senator from New Mexico, and, as a crew member of Apollo 17, the most recent living person to have walked on the Moon. In December 1972, as one of the crew on board Apollo 17, Schmitt became the first member of NASA’s first scientist-astronaut group to fly in space. As Apollo 17 was the last of the Apollo missions, he also became the twelfth of the twelve men who have set foot on the Moon.”

Details and information

Read Nevada Today story (January 15, 2019) by Mike Wolterbeek.

TMCC Distinguished Speaker Series—Thursday, March 26

March 2020 Distinguished Speaker: Dr. Donald C. Johanson: The Lucy Story
When: Thursday, March 26, 2020, 7 PM
Where: Dandini Campus, Reno, Sierra Building, Room 108
Purchase tickets and more details. 

“Although the 3.2 million-year-old Ethiopian fossil skeleton, known as Lucy, was found some 45 years ago it still plays a vital role in our understanding of how humans evolved. The discovery captured public attention and has become iconic.  This discovery is the touchstone by which subsequent finds are compared and judged. She and other fossil human specimens attributed to her species prompted the naming of a new species, Australopithecus afarensis, and a significant alteration in details of the human family tree. Older and more complete human ancestors have been recovered and are testing Lucy’s place in our ancestry.  Why is Lucy still so important today? How well has she stood the test of time since her first announcement? What does she have to tell us about our place in nature? Finally, does Lucy have a future? These and other questions will be illustrated and considered. This program is made possible by a grant from Nevada Humanities.

Funding for this event provided by Nevada Humanities and National Endowment for the Humanities.”

“It is the aim of the TMCC Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) to bring a broad spectrum of speakers to the College to enrich the academic lives of students and community members.

The opportunity to hear a variety of speakers and attend different events offers a greater understanding of different cultural perspectives to participants.”

AEG Monthly Meeting—Thursday, March 12 Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists


Speaker: Stephen Dickenson, Adjunct Research Faculty, Nevada Seismological Laboratory, UNR

Topic: Post-Earthquake Forensic Investigations of Soil-Structure Interaction:  A Sleuth’s Guide to Seismological, Geological, and Geotechnical Clues 

Abstract: This presentation will focus on lessons learned from field observations and forensic evaluations of building foundations made by Dr. Dickenson and his colleagues at sites in Wellington, New Zealand following the 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikoura Earthquake. An overview will be provided that addresses seismological aspects of the strong ground motions recorded at the project sites and the significant impact of local geology on the strength of the ground shaking. This overview will lead into the case study of seismic performance of a five-story, pile-supported building, which was built in 2009, well instrumented with accelerometers, and had been subjected to two prior Mw 6.5 earthquakes. The project team was charged with evaluating the likelihood of significant damage to the pile foundations; a forensic investigation that required thorough seismological, geological, and geotechnical evaluation.

Biography: Stephen Dickenson is the President of New Albion Geotechnical, Inc., a consultancy specializing in geotechnical earthquake engineering applications for major civil works. Dr. Dickenson’s consulting, research, and post-earthquake reconnaissance efforts have primarily focused on dynamic soil-structure-interaction and the seismic performance of slopes and earth structures, earth retention systems, bridges, port and coastal facilities, and buildings. He has led, and supported, numerous investigations of the seismic performance of civil infrastructure involving development on weak soils, deep foundations and buried utilities subjected to ground failure, and the effectiveness of ground treatment for mitigating hazards.

Dr. Dickenson earned his Bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of California, Berkeley, his Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, and his Doctorate in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a licensed Civil Engineer (CA, NV, OR, WA) and board-certified Diplomate in Port Engineering (ACOPNE D. PE) with over 30 years of experience in consulting practice, academia, applied research, and development of continuing education for geo-professionals. He has resided in numerous places along a circuitous path from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Pacific Northwest, and now makes his home in Reno where he enjoys all of the outdoor time he can get.



This month we will be serving corned beef, salad, and key lime pie. On the RSVP, please indicate if you have a dietary restriction such as vegan, vegetarian or gluten free options.

NPGS Monthly Meeting—Thursday, March 5 Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society

Nevada Petroleum & Geothermal Society
Speakers: Karen Loomis and Vincent Ramirez
Topic: Lithium in Three Easy Steps: Railroad Valley Case Study

Abstract: Geologic investigations for lithium-bearing liquids have resulted in the discovery of a large brine complex in Railroad Valley, Nevada by 3PL Operating Inc. This deposit may not be unique to the region. We call this the “super-brine” complex due to the high concentration (more than 37%) of complex salts. The Pliocene deposit covers 55 square miles, is more than 1,000 feet thick, and includes 600 feet of evaporites representing about 100 cycles of evaporation. The proportion of double and triple salts, as well as metals, is typical of other commercial deposits in the western U.S.

Mapping of previously unrecognized ancient shorelines was instrumental to understanding the pluvial relationship between the high lake levels and cyclical salt layers in the basin center. Work that accompanied this basin analysis study includes geologic mapping, correlation of outcrops and subsurface units, delineation of a detailed stratigraphic and structural framework, and geophysics acquisition and analysis.

This study indicates that the Pliocene geologic history of Railroad Valley is common throughout the Great Basin region, and that similar deposits are likely in other areas if certain geologic and geomorphic criteria exist.

Bio: Dr. Karen Loomis earned her B.S. in Geology from UCLA, and her Ph.D. in Geology from Stanford University. She is Chief Geologist of 3PL Operating Inc. (3PL), and owner of Loomis Geologic Consulting, and specializes in sedimentary basin analysis.

During her 30-year career, she has worked as an international petroleum geologist exploring for oil and gas with ARCO International, Venoco, and Terra Nova Energy. She was a research geologist in the Stratigraphic Analysis group at the ARCO Research Lab, where she developed and transferred technology related to oil and gas exploration. At Kennedy/Jenks Consultants and Tetra Tech, she was an environmental scientist, and managed groundwater resources. In addition to teaching courses at ARCO, Dr. Loomis has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno and at Santa Barbara City College. She is active in the Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society (NPGS), and was President of NPGS in 2018–2019.

At 3PL, she has utilized her skills in basin analysis and subsurface stratigraphy to explore for lithium in Nevada. The first lithium exploration well for 3PL utilized a new exploration model not used by any other lithium mining companies, and resulted in the discovery of a lithium-enriched, super-brine complex.

For more information on Karen’s background and publications, please visit her LinkedIn page at

Bio: Vincent Ramirez has a M.A. degree in Geology from UC Santa Barbara. He is the CEO of 3PL Operating Inc., a Nevada lithium exploration company.

Vincent previously worked for Shell Oil as an exploration geologist in Alaska, the continental United States, and Yemen. He has drilled 61 oil and gas wildcats worldwide, including 44 discoveries. While at Shell Oil, Vincent also was the Operations Manager for the San Joaquin Basin, and he was the appointed Structural Geology instructor at the Shell Research Lab.

Vincent discovered and developed several oil fields in central Siberia during 10 years with the Lundin Group. During this time, he transformed an oil company from bankruptcy to $850 million in value, drilled the highest-producing well in Russia (11,300 BOPD), and drilled the first multi-lateral wells in Russia, while overseeing 350 employees as CEO.

He has published extensively on structural geology subjects, including the San Andreas Fault, Ridge Basin, the California Coast Ranges, and obduction tectonics. Vincent’s geologic presentations commonly are forward-thinking and controversial.

Date: Thursday, Mar 5, 2020
Time: 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM, Pacific Time
Location: Tamarack Junction, 13101 South Virginia Street, Reno, NV  89511

More information and register online and reserve your seat!

For further information contact:
Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society
Phone: (775) 800-1862

The dinner bar will be sponsored by Paul Graham Drilling, Geo Drilling Fluids, and Resource Cementing, Please give them a BIG Thank You!

Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC)—March 1–4

Look for NBMG at Booth 7017N.

A message from the Nevada Mineral Exploration Coalition (NMEC): “The NMEC in partnership with the NDOM [Nevada Division of Minerals], NBMG [Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology], NvMA [Nevada Mining Association], GSN [Geological Society of Nevada] and the State Office of the BLM will once again have a large island display booth [7017N] in the North Hall of the Convention Center.

As part of our effort, we will have a series of brief presentations by Nevada explorers, suppliers and government agencies.”

“Welcome to the registration and housing website of PDAC 2020 annual convention. The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) 2020 annual convention will be held from 1-4 March, 2020 in Toronto, ON, Canada. The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) is the leading voice of the mineral exploration and development community. With over 7,500 members around the world, PDAC’s work centers on supporting a competitive, responsible mineral sector. PDAC is known worldwide for its annual PDAC Convention—the premier international event for the industry—that has attracted over 25,000 people from 135 countries. The mission of PDAC’s is to promote a globally-responsible, vibrant and sustainable mineral sector that encourages leading practices in technical, operational, environmental, safety and social performance.”

Geological Society of Nevada 2020 Symposium, May 14–24, 2020

Early Registration Ends Friday, February 28, 2020!
Geological Society of Nevada 2020 Symposium, May 14-24, 2020

4 full days of Technical Sessions!
6 Field Trips!
11 Short Courses!

Keynote Speakers:  Rich Goldfarb, Quinton Hennigh, Joe Mazumdar, Keith Meldahl, Elizabeth Miller, John Prochnau, Eric Seedorff, Dick Sillitoe, Moira Smith, and Chuck Thorman.

Presentations, Field Trips, and Short Courses by NBMG Faculty:  Jim Faulds, Andrew Zuza, John Muntean, Bridget Ayling, Mike Ressel, Chris Henry, Rich Koehler, Mark Coolbaugh, and students Justin Milliard and James Ingraffia.

NBMG is a CO-HOST! Look for NBMG at Booth 69.

The Symposium is being held at the Nugget Casino Resort, Reno/Sparks, Nevada.

Call for information:  775-433-8758.

Icky Expedition Party—Friday, February 28: Great Basin Taps & Tanks

“We’re bringing renown international paleontologist, Dr. Martin Sander of Bonn University in Germany to our brewery to give a thrilling presentation on his newest ichthyosaur discoveries made in Nevada as well as from all over the world.”

TIME: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM PST
Doors open at 5:00pm, Presentation at 6:30pm
LOCATION: Great Basin Brewing Company (Taps and Tanks)
1155 South Rock Boulevard, #490, Reno, NV 89502