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.”

Geography Colloquium Speaker—Wednesday, February 12

Speaker: Dr. Jessica Oster (Vanderbilt University, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences)
Topic: Glacial and Deglacial Precipitation History of Western North America from Proxy Records and Paleoclimate Models

Abstract: In this presentation, I will discuss ongoing work to understand how the amount and source of precipitation varied in western North America over the past 35,000 years, including a new multi-proxy speleothem record from Lake Shasta Caverns in northern California. At 40.8°N, this cave is situated within the transition zone between regions in the northwestern and southwestern United States that demonstrate different precipitation responses to both modern and paleoclimatic drivers. This speleothem record demonstrates the non-stationarity of the transition zone location over the last glacial period and varied regional responses to Dansgaard-Oeschger events, Heinrich Events, and glacial interglacial changes. Covariation of speleothem ∂18O, an indicator of moisture source, with ∂13C and trace elements, indicators of moisture amount, allow separate investigation of how changes in moisture source and moisture amount influenced hydroclimate over this period. I will also describe initial results from a new study to understand the patterns and drivers of hydroclimatic change across the deglaciation using isotope-enabled climate models. This combined approach, using speleothem records and isotope-enabled climate models supports not only the reconstruction of past changes in atmospheric circulation, temperature, and precipitation but also the investigation of how these changes occurred and are recorded in paleoclimate archives.

February 12, 2020
Where: Mackay Science Room 321, UNR
Time: 4 PM–5 PM

DGSE Geoscience Seminar—Monday, February 3, TODAY

University of Nevada, Reno

Speaker: Dr. Laura Waters (New Mexico Tech)

 Topic: Why Doesn’t Continental Crust Evolve to its Fullest Potential?

A message from Stacia Gordon: “Our next seminar speaker on Monday, February 3rd will be Dr. Laura Waters from New Mexico Tech. Laura is visiting us as part of the Mineralogical Society of America Distinguished Lecturer Series. Laura is an igneous petrologist primarily interested in understanding the processes that govern the evolution of the continental crust. You can find out more about her here:

The title of Laura’s talk is:  “Why doesn’t continental crust evolve to its fullest potential?”

Abstract: The paucity of high-silica rhyolite in volcanic arcs and its restricted occurrence as scattered aplite dikes throughout arc granitoid batholiths suggests there is a mechanism that prevents high-silica (near-eutectic) rhyolite melts from coalescing and erupting as discrete liquids at subduction zones. In contrast, large volumes (≥100 km3) of high-silica rhyolite, including those that are relatively cold (700–750 °C) and hydrous, erupt in extensional tectonic settings. The emerging question is: What controls the eruption of high-silica rhyolite? In this talk, I use results of several experimental and petrologic studies on silica-rich magmas (rhyolites) from Long Valley to provide a crystallization (kinetic) perspective on what it takes to efficiently extract, move and erupt a eutectic melt and, thus, stratify continents.

The seminar starts at 4 PM in DMS 102, with refreshments beginning at 3:50 PM.”

UNR DGSE Geoscience Seminars Fall 2019 (Dept. of Geological Sciences & Engineering)

All regular Monday seminars are in DMS 102 at 4:00 PM.

AEG Meeting—Thursday, January 9, 2020

AEG Logo

SPEAKER: Jesse Ruzicka
TOPIC: Geologic Challenges of the Boulder City Bypass

Abstract: The Boulder City Bypass, also known as I-11, is the first new interstate to be successfully constructed within the US since the 1970’s.  The 12.5 mile long stretch of Phase II begins at US95 and skirts to the south of Boulder City, through the El Dorado Mountains and terminates near Goldstrike Canyon just east of the Hoover Dam Lodge.  Now open to traffic, it relieves much of the traffic congestion that was once commonplace through Boulder City.  The project included 11 bridges, over 100 culverts, a wildlife overcrossing, and a scenic overlook more than 1,000 feet above Lake Mead. A portion of the project was constructed through the El Dorado Mountains and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area under the jurisdiction of the U.S. National Park Service.

This presentation will focus on the geologic challenges encountered during construction of the interstate through the El Dorado Mountains.  Such challenges as numerous rock cut slopes up to 280 feet in height, controlled blasting, rockfall containment, rock slide mitigation, rock bolting, highly variable geologic conditions, and unforgiving steep terrain.

Biography: Mr. Jesse Ruzicka graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in Geological Engineering. Since that time, he has been involved in numerous projects providing geotechnical design and support for residential developments, flood control projects in Sacramento and Reno, commercial/industrial developments, roadway and bridge design, and mining projects in Nevada, California, Canada, and Mexico.

He has been involved in many high profile transportation projects in the states of Texas and Nevada including such projects as Phase II of the Boulder City Bypass, the US395 North Valleys project, the I-15/US93 Garnet Interchange, the SR28 Shared Use Path at Lake Tahoe, SH183 Managed Toll Lanes in Dallas, and the Harbor Bridge in Corpus Christi.

Jesse has been involved with AEG since 2001, serving as a past secretary of the Great Basin Chapter from 2010 to 2013 and chair from 2014 to 2016.  Since 2016, Jesse has served as an advisor to the chapter.

COST: Members: $30.00, Non-Members: $32.00, Students: $25.00

Merrily Graham

Social Hour Sponsored by Doug and Merrily Graham.

The monthly chapter meetings are held on the 2nd or 3rd Thursdays of every month, unless notified otherwise.

2019 Nevada Mineral Exploration Summit (NMEC) Tuesday, November 12 – Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Location: Atlantis Resort & Casino

“Join with your exploration colleagues for 1½ days of presentations and panel discussions covering the latest information on topics relevant to your success in a rapidly-changing exploration landscape.

You will hear from internationally-recognized authorities, Nevada legislators, county commissioners, state and federal agencies, and your fellow explorers.

Keynote speaker, Rod Eggert, PhD, an expert from the Colorado School of Mines and the Critical Materials Institute, will bring you up-to-date about the looming minerals supply crisis being brought on by the shift to a low-carbon future.

Rick Rule, the President and CEO of Sprott U.S. Holdings, Inc., and expert on natural resources companies and investing, will present insights on the perceptions of Nevada’s prospectivity, political and regulatory climate, and investment attractiveness as viewed by outside companies and investors.”

Initial list of speakers (others to be confirmed):
Rick Rule (President and CEO of Sprott U.S. Holdings, Inc.)
Rich Perry, Administrator, Nevada Division of Minerals
Todd Process, Branch Supervisor, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection
Mark Compton, Executive Director, American Exploration & Mining Association
Dana Bennett, PhD., President, Nevada Mining Association
Allen Biaggi, Sagebrush Ecosystem Council
Rod Eggert, PhD, Critical Minerals Institute, Colorado School of Mines
John Muntean, PhD, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and Director of the Center for Research in Economic Geology (CREG) program

Science Talks around Town

If you are interested in attending local geo-talks in the Reno area, you can always check these websites for details about their upcoming meetings.

AEG (Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists)

The Great Basin chapter meets every third Thursday of the month at the Best Western Airport Plaza Hotel and includes a social hour at 5:50 pm followed by dinner at 6:30 pm; the presentation starts at 7:00 pm. Please note: Because of the October 5 field trip, there will not be monthly meetings in September and October 2019.

GSN (Geological Society of Nevada)

NPGS (Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society)

UNR COS Discover Science Lecture Series (College of Science)

UNR DGSE Geoscience Seminars Fall 2019 (Dept. of Geological Sciences & Engineering)

Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation (TMPF) Walk—February 9

Junior Naturalist Program: Geology and Volcanoes
Saturday, February 9

The TMPF will be exploring the geology of the Huffaker Hills area, and you are welcome to join the fun!

Chris Henry, NBMG expert in volcanology, has helped with several TMPF nature hikes in Huffaker Park and provided information for this walk.

You can sign up here for the “Geology and Volcanoes” walk:

You can also look forward to “Discover Your Parks Walks” again this Spring, or check out past walks for some hiking ideas. NBMG’s Jack Hursh has led some of these hikes.

“Discover Your Parks Walks (or DYP Walks) are hour-long guided walks where you can explore a new location and learn about the unique and varied ecology and history of parks in our area.”–summer-evening-walks