Category Archives: General geology

Fossil Friday – bourbon and geology


In a few weeks we’ll be opening our new exhibit at WSC, “Life in the Ancient Seas”, which will include a fair number of specimens from Ordovician rocks in the midwest. In recognition of that event, I’m reposting this post, originally published on my old blog “Updates from the Paleontology Lab” in 2011. Continue reading

Fossils of my youth

Inspired by the #GatewayFossil hashtag on Twitter, I’m reposting this piece that I originally published at “Updates from the Paleontology Lab” on June 9, 2009.

My first exposure to fossils in the field (as opposed to in a museum) occurred when I was around 5 years old. Continue reading

Capitan Reef Complex

DSCN4446As Brett and I headed east over the weekend on our way to collect mastodon data, we made a few detours to examine geologic features and collect fossils for the museum. Continue reading

SE GSA meeting Day 2

2015-03-21cI’m on my way back home from the SE GSA conference, and I finally have a chance to write about the second day of the meeting. Things got very busy at the WSC booth (we sold most of our inventory of casts!), and as a result I missed the entire morning session of talks except for  single poster. Continue reading

Darwin’s other theory (repost)


Diagrams from Darwin, 1842.

I originally published this on my old blog, Updates from the Paleontology Lab, on March 24, 2010. I’m republishing it here for Darwin Day.

Tim has to write an essay about a famous scientist for his science class that includes describing that person’s major contributions, and he chose Charles Darwin (that’s my boy!). To help him out, I showed him some of my Keynote presentations from my historical geology classes (I’m not teaching this semester, but I still have all my lecture slides). I came across some slides that I thought were worth reproducing here. Continue reading

Exfoliation weathering

Last week I stopped by the office of WSC Board President Todd Foutz for a meeting. There were several decorative granite boulders in the landscaping outside his office with interesting features that caught my attention. Continue reading

An unexpected geological obstacle

2014-09-07aOn the fourth and final day of my drive from Virginia to California, I encountered an unexpected geological obstacle: a rockfall near Flagstaff, Arizona. At least, it was unexpected to me; the locals all knew it was happening. Continue reading

Water flows downhill

Niagara Falls, ON 15 October 2006“Water flows downhill.” It’s a phrase I’ve always required my physical geology students to memorize, and I always ask at least one test question to ensure that they’ve learned it. But I do have a reason for emphasizing such a seemingly obvious point. Continue reading

Second obstacle – the Mississippi River

2014-09-05aI stopped in western Tennessee last night, and shortly after starting up again this morning I encountered the second major geological obstacle on my trip from Virginia to California: the Mississippi River. Continue reading

First obstacle-The Blue Ridge Escarpment

2014-09-04aAs I started my trip west out of Martinsville this morning, I almost immediately encountered my first geological obstacle of the trip – the Blue Ridge Escarpment, rising more than 400 m over just a few kilometers. Continue reading