The Central Washington University Department of Geological Sciences will be bringing a
contingent of professors and graduate and undergraduate students to the Northwest
Federation Show that is being hosted by the Yakima Rock Club on April 27-29, 2018.
They will share their expertise in a number of areas including volcanoes, dinosaurs, rocks and minerals, and local geology. On all three days, but especially on Friday, which is being
designated as kids’ day, they will offer demonstrations on how volcanoes work, complete with both outdoor and indoor interactive activities. They will also bring a stream table apparatus that is used in their geology classes to study different facets of stream behavior by changing gradient, flow rates, and different types of substrates. This will be the début of this piece of equipment outside of the university and will involve interactive activities as well. A dinosaur expert will also be on site with some fossils, so come and ask questions about how dinosaurs and other animals, especially animals that lived in Washington state, lived and died.
Graduate students Marie Takach and Melanie Swick will be giving talks on
their Master’s research. Marie will speak about “Mt. Etna Volcano, Italy: A Historic
Landmark and Volcanic Laboratory”. Marie’s work is important because Etna’s volcanic
eruptions are becoming more explosive, and her research is searching for the reason
why. Melanie will give an overview of her research on the “Contribution of Light Absorbing
Aerosols Using a Novel Hyperspectral Microscopy Method.” Her research is important for
helping scientists understand the impact of airborne particulates on the melting of mountain
snow. These talks are scheduled for Friday April 27 at 11:00 and 1:00. See presenter schedule for details.
Geology department instructor Nick Zentner will also be a significant presence at the show. He teaches very popular undergraduate classes and his class field trips are the best as he makes use of local geology to embellish the concepts he covers in his courses. In 2015 Nick received the prestigious James Shea Award, a National Association of Geoscience Teachers Award which recognizes exceptional delivery of earth science content to the general public. Past Shea Award recipients include John McPhee, Jack Horner, Robert Ballard, and Stephen Jay Gould.
Nick is a tireless promoter of everything that has to do with the field of geology and is a master of taking complex concepts and making them understandable to the general public. His public field trips are attended by hundreds of people. For these he provides detailed geology maps and information that make the landscapes of Washington State come alive. His current video projects include Nick On The Rocks with 6 episodes that were produced by CWU for KCTS (PBS-TV in Seattle, Washington (5 minutes each), and Downtown Geology Lectures which has 22 lectures (60 minutes each) that were also produced by CWU.
Nick has created a “rock star”; following that packs venues every time he delivers a lecture on features of local geology. For our show, he will give a presentation on Liberty gold and also be our keynote speaker at the show banquet where he will talk on Ellensburg blue agates and Liberty gold.
Plan on coming to the show and spending some quality time with these very knowledgeable