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Final Announcement

Rocky Mountain Section, GSA

59th Annual Meeting

7-9 May 2007 • Saint George, Utah
Dixie Center (1835 Convention Center Dr.)

Section Officers
More Section Info


Technical Program Schedule

Registration Technical Sessions Student Travel Grants Sponsorship
Accommodations Field Trips Mentor Programs Exhibits
Accessibility Special Events Additional Meetings Contact Info

Welcome to St. George!

We look forward to hosting you in St. George for the 2007 GSA Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, 7-9 May 2007. If you have never been to St. George, you'll be glad you came! This small but rapidly growing city of 70,000 retains its comfortable and friendly small-town feel, nestled amid sandstone and basalt-capped ridges and outcrops of the orange and deep red Early Triassic Moenkopi and Early Jurassic Moenave and Kayenta formations. St. George lies in a geologically fascinating area between the Basin and Range Province to the west and the Colorado Plateau to the east. Because of this unusual position, a broad spectrum of geological features is readily visible and available here, including the Virgin River Gorge (exposing much of the same strata visible in the Grand Canyon), the Hurricane Fault, the Virgin Anticline, hot springs, Plio-Pleistocene cinder cones and basalt flows, and the Pine Valley Mountains, one of the world's largest laccoliths, as well as fascinating series of Cambrian-Eocene (primarily Triassic-Jurassic in the immediate St. George area) marine and terrestrial strata.

Early May is a superb time to be in St. George: the weather is typically mild to warm, but it will not yet have achieved the kinds of searing temperatures typical of desert southwest summers, and tourist season will have only just begun. Evenings can be cool, however, and rain is not unknown, so please pack accordingly!

If your significant other and/or children are joining you on your trip but don't wish to attend the talks — or, if you would just like to extend your stay in St. George beyond the GSA meeting and get away from it all for a while — St. George is in close proximity to a wealth of national and state parks, including the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm museum (in the city), Snow Canyon State Park (~15 minutes away), Zion National Park (45 minutes away), Bryce Canyon National Park (~1.5 hours away), Cedar Breaks National Monument (~1 hour away), Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (~1.5 hours away), the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (~3 hours away; the more crowded South Rim is ~5 hours away), Valley of Fire State Park (~2 hours away) and Great Basin National Park (~3.5 hours away), both in Nevada, and Lakes Powell and Mead (including the Hoover Dam; each ~2 hours away), all of which offer unparalleled geology, scenery, hiking, rock climbing, biking, photography, and natural history. If casinos and shows are your thing, Mesquite, Nevada, is only 30 minutes away and Las Vegas is less than 2 hours away. But St. George itself also offers a wide variety of activities, including a myriad of golf courses, the Red Mountain and Green Valley spas (the latter is the third top-ranked spa in the world and popular with the Hollywood set), several museums and historical sites, fishing and bird-watching at Gunlock, Quail Creek, and Sand Hollow State Park reservoirs, restaurants, shopping, including the many unique art galleries and shops in St. George and the nearby villages of Kayenta and Springdale, and many other activities.

For more information on St. George and activities in Washington County, please visit the city's ( and county's ( Web sites and the St. George Chamber of Commerce site (

St. George MapTravel into St. George is easy. If you are driving, the city is bisected by Interstate 15 and is less than 2 hours south of I-70. If you are flying, you can fly directly in and out of the St. George Municipal Airport (airport code: SGU) on SkyWest Airlines, the world's largest independently-owned regional airline (headquartered in St. George), a Delta and United partner. SkyWest has direct flights from Salt Lake City and Los Angeles; the route from Salt Lake City flies you directly over some great geology! The much larger McCarran Airport in Las Vegas (airport code: LAS) is about 2 hours away, and you can easily rent a car from there; there is also periodic shuttle service. The drive from Las Vegas takes you through the spectacular Virgin River Gorge. Because St. George is, in large part, a tourist town, I highly recommend making reservations for hotels and any activities quite early — they get snapped up fast!

Our meeting will be held at the Dixie Center, a fairly new and beautiful convention center located just off I-15; the Rosenbruch Wildlife Museum is directly attached to and accessible from the center. Several hotels and restaurants are within walking distance, and many others are within a few minute's drive of the center. For the camping aficionado, beautiful campgrounds are available in Snow Canyon State Park, about 10-15 minutes northwest of St. George, and in the Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area in Arizona, about 20 minutes south of St. George in Arizona (take the Cedar Pocket exit [no. 18] of I-15 in the Virgin River Gorge).

As you make your plans to come to St. George, please let me know if you have particular needs or desires, and if you can't find information at any of the sites linked above, please contact me and I'll be happy to see what I can track down! We know you'll love St. George and we aim to make the 2007 RMGSA meeting one of the best!

Jerry D. Harris
Director of Paleontology
Dixie State College


Registration Fees Full Meeting One Day
Early Std Early Std
Professional Member $125 $135 $85 $95
Professional Member (70 and older) $95 $105 $55 $65
Professional Non-member $135 $145 $95 $105
Student Member * $75 $80 $65 $70
Student Non-member $85 $90 $75 $80
K-12 Professional $40 $45 $30 $35
Guest or Spouse ** $25 $30  
Field Trip Only ** $25 $25

Early Registration Deadline: 2 April 2007
Cancellation Deadline: 9 April 2007

Register online — it's easy and secure. If you prefer, you can print and mail or fax the paper registration form. For registration questions or to add items to an existing registration, contact GSA Sales and Service, 1-888-443-4472, . On-site registration will be available at the Dixie Center during the meeting.

New on your registration form

Now you can make a tax-deductible contribution to the Rocky Mountain Section Endowment Fund right on your registration form. Simply select the amount you'd like to donate to this fund, which provides student support for travel, research, field camps, etc. The GSA Foundation will provide a match to the RM Section Endowment Fund for all contributions received up to a total of $5000. All donations to the GSA Foundation are tax-deductible.

If you haven't already purchased Abstracts with Programs on your Membership Form, you can order a copy for on-site pickup on the meeting registration form.


All requests for additions, changes, and cancellations must be made in writing to GSA Headquarters and received by 9  April 2007. There will be no refunds for cancellations received after this date, and no refunds for on-site registration, Abstracts with Programs, and on-site ticket sales.


Blocks of rooms have been reserved at the following hotels:

For all hotels, please request your reservations with the code RMGSA 2007. Please make your reservations as soon as possible to ensure that you secure a room. For information on alternative accommodations, please contact Jerry D. Harris, +1-435-652-7758, .


Snow Canyon
The Red Mountains, exposures of the Navajo Sandstone in Snow Canyon State Park, seen from overlook off of Highway 18, northwest of St. George. The color banding is due to differential dissolution/deposition of iron mineral-bearing cement by groundwater. Photo by Jerry Harris.
Technical Program Schedule

The abstracts deadline (13 Feb.) has now passed. If you have a question about your abstract, please contact Nancy Carlson, +1-303-357-1061, . An individual may present only one volunteered paper but may be co-author on other papers. Individuals invited to participate in symposia may present an additional volunteered paper. Depending on time constraints in oral sessions, some submitters may be requested to switch to a poster presentation and vice-versa.

A large number of diverse symposia is planned for the 2007 St. George meeting. If you are interested in participating in any of these symposia, please contact the person(s) listed. In addition to these symposia, theme sessions will be created upon receipt of abstracts for various geological disciplines. For information about the technical sessions, please contact technical program chair Mark Colberg, +1-435-865-8331, .

An asterisk (*) indicates that session has an associated field trip.

top Symposia

Virgin Anticline
Aerial view of the Virgin Anticline, exposing the Upper Permian Kaibab Limestone, Lower Triassic Moenkopi, and Upper Triassic Chinle formations. Highway 9 cuts through the upper end. Photo by Alfred Hochstaedter (U. California, Santa Cruz).
1. Collaboration and Outreach: Industry, Education, and Public Land Partnerships (National Association of Geoscience Teachers).
Robert Eves, Southern Utah University, +1-435-586-1934 []; Gayle L. Pollock, Bryce Canyon Natural History Association, +1-435-834-4601; C. Fredrick Lohrengel, Southern Utah University, +1-435-586-7941, [].
2. Nature of the Mojave Province, from Precambrian Assembly to Neotectonics.
Karl E. Karlstrom, University of New Mexico, +1-505-277-4346 []; Mark Colberg, Southern Utah University, +1-435-865-8331 [].
3. Council on Undergraduate Research - Undergraduate Research (Posters).
Bill Dinklage, Utah Valley State College, +1-801-863-7607 [].
4. *Engineering Geology in the Rocky Mountain West: Effective Geologic Practice (Association of Engineering Geologists).
William R. Lund, Utah Geological Survey, +1-435-865-9034 []; David B. Simon, Simon Bymaster Inc., +1-801-943-3100 [].
5. *Utah's Lower Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation: Advances in Geology.
James I. Kirkland, Utah Geological Survey, +1-801-537-3307 []; Scott Madsen, Dinosaur National Monument, +1-970-374-3000.
6. *Utah's Lower Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation: Advances in Geology and Paleontology (Posters).
James I. Kirkland, Utah Geological Survey, +1-801-537-3307 []; Scott Madsen, Dinosaur National Monument, +1-970-374-3000.
7. Trace and Indirect Evidence of Terrestrial Bolide Impacts.
Joe W. Fandrich, Westwater Group Geological Research Facility, +1-970-256-9029 []
8. Shallow Level Magma Emplacement and Associated Extrusive Deposits.
David B. Hacker, Kent State University-Trumbull, +1-330-675-8831 []; Michael Petronis, New Mexico Highlands University, +1-505-453-3513 [].
9. Groundwater and Sustainable Hydrologic Systems.
Kenneth E. Kolm, BBL Incorporated, +1-303-231-9115 []; Schaun M. Smith, TSC Group Incorporated .
10. Western Energy Resources: Oil, Gas, Coal, and Geothermal.
Bob Blackett, Utah Geological Survey, +1-435-865-9035 [].
11. Advances in Rocky Mountain Paleontology.
Alan L. Titus, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, +1-435-644-4332 []; Jerry D. Harris, Dixie State College, +1-435-652-7758 [].
12. *Utah's Lower Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation: Advances in Paleontology.
James I. Kirkland, Utah Geological Survey, +1-801-537-3307 []; Scott Madsen, Dinosaur National Monument, +1-970-374-3000.


Technical Program Schedule

In tandem with the technical sessions, field trips are planned to a broad spectrum of geologically fascinating locales. The following are confirmed field trips (titles and trip leaders may be tentative). An asterisk (*) indicates that the field trip has an associated symposium.

Eubrontes (large theropod dinosaur) footprint from the Lower Jurassic Moenave Formation at the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm. Photo by Andrew R.C. Milner.
1. Classic Geology of Southern Utah's National Parks.
Grant C. Willis, Utah Geological Survey, +1-801-537-3355 [ ]; Thomas H. Morris, Geology Department, Brigham Young University.
COST: $250/person
COST INCLUDES: Field trip transportation, park entrance fees, lodging, refreshments, and three noon meals.
3-day Pre-Meeting Field Trip. Friday, 4 May-Sunday 6 May. This trip is ideal for spouses and friends. This trip begins by exploring the main part of Zion Canyon in Zion National Park, cut through over 600 meters of massive eolian sandstone, via three easy hikes of up to 3 km (2 mi) in the morning and early afternoon. Next, the trip departs Zion NP to wind along the Sevier River fault zone to Bryce Canyon NP. The following morning is spent exploring Bryce Canyon, eroded through almost 300 meters of brilliant salmon-colored Eocene strata, including moderate 3 km (2 mi) hike through some of the most impressive landscape. The afternoon begins the drive to Torrey, the gateway town for Capitol Reef NP, with stops along the way to enjoy Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and spectacular viewpoints. The final day begins with exploration of massive cliffs carved into Triassic and Jurassic strata uplifted and deformed along the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef NP. A moderate hike to Hickman Natural Bridge provides an excellent overview of the central part of the Park and forms the backdrop for discussion of landscape evolution of this part of the Colorado Plateau. Departing the park, the trip makes an additional stop to view the Marysvale volcanic field, which is deeply dissected by the Sevier River. Depending on road conditions, we may be able to visit Cedar Break National Monument high on the crest of the plateau overlooking the Great Basin. The final and perhaps most spectacular stop is in the Kolob Canyons section of Zion NP to catch the afternoon sun on 2000-foot vertical cliffs of Navajo Sandstone.
*2. Utah's Lower Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation: Advances in Geology and Paleontology.
James I. Kirkland, State Paleontologist, Utah Geological Survey, +1-801-537-3307; Scott Madsen, Dinosaur National Monument, +1-970-374-3000.
COST: $220/person
COST INCLUDES: Transportation, lunches, drinks, 2 nights in Green River, Utah, single occupancy lodging, and guidebooks. Breakfast and dinners are not included.
3-Day Pre-Meeting Field Trip. Friday, 4 May-Sunday 6 May. The last decade has seen a lot of exciting progress by a host of different institutions researching these strata. Spanning 50-100 m of section on average, the Cedar Mountain Formation has been divided into five members spanning 30-35 million years of the Early Cretaceous (about equal to the entire two miles of Late Cretaceous overlying these sediments. Additionally, four distinct dinosaur biochrons have been recognized that are supported by palynology, Charophytes, magnetostratigraphy, and radiometric dating permit refine intercontinental correlations, paleogeography, and paleoclimatology. This conceptual framework provides the basis by which to study basin evolution following the 20 MA long basal Cretaceous regional unconformity and the initial development of the Sevier Foreland during the late Early Cretaceous. This pre-meeting field trip will examine these strata across east-central Utah from the area around Arches National Park westward to the western flank of the San Rafael Swell.
3. Off the Beaten Path - Spectacular Geology of Utah's Dixie.
Janice M. Hayden, Utah Geological Survey [ ]; Robert F. Biek, Utah Geological Survey, +1-801-537-3356 [ ].
COST: $35/person
COST INCLUDES: Cost of trip includes a box lunch, drinks, transportation in 7-passenger vehicles, and a handout summarizing the field trip geology.
One Day Pre-Meeting Field Trip. Sunday 6 May.
Southwesternmost Utah, affectionately known as "Utah's Dixie," straddles the transition zone between the colorful, flat-lying strata of the Colorado Plateau to the east and the highly faulted Basin and Range Province to the west. The transition zone melds parts of each so that southwest Utah contains a remarkable diversity of rocks, structures, and landforms.
Included are frontal folds and thrust faults of the Sevier orogenic belt; large normal faults that tear apart the western margin of the Colorado Plateau; late Tertiary and Quaternary lava flows that now form breathtaking inverted valleys; and a wealth of other classic sites and features. Because the region is dry and sparsely vegetated, these and others features are remarkably well exposed, creating an ideal outdoor classroom in which to explore the geology of the greater St. George area. Fieldtrip leaders have spent much of the past decade mapping the geology of this region, and invite you to join them on this one-day trip as they show off some of their favorite geologic sites. We will see classic, often little-visited exposures of the Virgin and Kanarra anticlines, Hurricane fault, dinosaur tracks, hot springs, basaltic lava flows and inverted valleys, Silver Reef mining district, Permo-Triassic unconformity, and other interesting but little known geologic features in southwest Utah.
*4. Engineering Geology in the Rocky Mountain West: Effective Geologic Practice (Co-sponsored by the Association of Engineering Geologists).
6 May. Canceled.
*5. Shallow Level Emplacement Mechanisms of the Miocene Iron Axis Laccolith Group, Southwest Utah.
David B. Hacker, Kent State University, +1-330-675-8831 [ ]; Michael Petronis, New Mexico Highlands University, +1-505-453-3513 [ ]; Daniel K. Holm, Kent State University, +1-330-672-4094 [ ]; John W. Geissman, University of New Mexico, +1-505-277-3433 [ ].
COST: $50/person
COST INCLUDES: Field trip cost includes transportation, field guide, box lunch and beverages.
One day Post-Meeting Field Trip. Thursday 10 May. The field trip participants will be introduced to five laccoliths of the Iron Axis group that collectively represent the different emplacement styles that characterize the shallow level intrusions of the area. The emplacement processes and shallow level flow patterns will be highlighted via evidence from field mapping studies and rock mechanic and paleomagnetic data. Combined, these datasets suggest differing emplacement models that are linked to local crustal anisotropies in the region. The outstanding scenery and fantastic outcrop exposure provide us with a field laboratory for stimulating discussions of the successive stages of emplacement and growth of these spectacular laccoliths and associated intrusions.
6. Mesozoic and Cenozoic Paleoichnology of Southwestern Utah.
Andrew Milner, St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm, +1-435-705-0173 [ ].
COST: $52/person for one day; $145/person for two days.
COST INCLUDES: Costs covered on the field trip will include lunches and beverages on both days. No other meals are included. For those attending both days, single occupancy lodging is included.
One-day Post-Meeting Field Trip. Thursday 10 May - Friday 11 May. This trip will survey and examine spectacular recently-discovered Early-Middle Triassic, Early Jurassic, Late Cretaceous, and Miocene reptile and mammal tracks in Washington and Iron counties and discuss their paleoenvironmental implications. A fantastic chance to see some world-class ichnites!
7. Fish Lake.
9-10 May. Canceled.


Travel Grants Application Deadline: 26 March 2007

The application period for travel grants has now passed. Undergraduate and graduate students seeking funding for travel to the Rocky Mountain Section Meeting in St. George should apply online. You must be registered for the meeting before you can apply. Contact Ken Kolm, , with any questions.
[ eligibility information ]


For more information, see Mentor Programs or contact Jennifer Nocerino, .



Two other meetings have been scheduled in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain GSA meeting. A meeting of the State Geologists-U.S. Geological Survey will tentatively take place on Tuesday, 8 May. For more information, please contact Rick Allis, +1-801-537-3305, . A joint meeting of the Utah and Nevada Seismic Commissions is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, 10 May. No site for the meeting has yet been selected. More information about both of these meetings will be posted online as soon as it becomes available.


GSA's Rocky Mountain Section welcomes sponsors to help defray the costs of the meeting. We are seeking partial or full support for the Welcoming Reception (Dixie Center, 6 May 2007), morning and afternoon refreshments (7-9 May), and general meeting expenses. When your company or organization sponsors an event, it will be prominently recognized at the event, bringing attention to your services. For more information on sponsoring events at the Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, please contact Jerry D. Harris, +1-435-652-7758, .


Exhibitor Registration Deadline: 2 April 2007

GSA's Rocky Mountain Section Meeting will attract a wide array of both applied and academic geoscientists, including students, from the American West and elsewhere, providing exhibitors with an excellent opportunity to interact with potential customers, colleagues, and skilled employees. The exhibit area will be located in the beautiful Dixie Center in the midst of all technical sessions, ensuring maximum exposure to meeting attendees. The fee is $100 per unit plus an additional $65 if you need power. Each unit includes one table, one 8' back drape, 2 chairs, and one waste basket. These are flat fees for the entire meeting (from the evening of the Welcome Reception, Monday, 7 May , through the end of the meeting on the afternoon of Wednesday, 9 May), not per day. Please direct all inquiries to Jerry D. Harris, +1-435-652-7758, .


GSA is committed to making its meetings accessible to all people interested in attending. Please indicate special requirements (wheelchair accessibility, etc.) when you register.


For further information, or if you have special requirements, please contact local committee chair Jerry D. Harris or technical program chair Mark Colberg. More information and photos can also be found at the supplemental meeting Web site.

Jerry D. HarrisChair: Jerry D. Harris
Director of Paleontology, Dixie State College, St. George, Utah

A vertebrate paleontologist, Jerry Harris earned a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an M.S. from Southern Methodist University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He currently teaches introductory geology and dinosaur courses at Dixie State College in St. George, serves as advisor to the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm, and is involved in research projects in Utah, Montana, Argentina, and China.
Mark R. ColbergCo-Chair/Technical Program Chair: Mark R. Colberg
Assistant Professor, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah

Mark Colberg teaches mineralogy and igneous-metamorphic petrology at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah. He earned a M.S. from Auburn University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. His research interests center around metamorphic petrology and tectonics. Although he cut his geologic teeth in the Southern Appalachians, he finds plenty to do in the southern Utah "Land of Sandstone." He is particularly interested in the behavior of footwall rocks in metamorphic core complexes, and the Proterozoic rocks of the Mojave Province.
Field Trip Chair: David Simon
Simon Bymaster Inc., Bountiful, Utah,
David Simon is a consulting engineering and environmental geologist and principal at Simon Bymaster Inc., a geologic, environmental and geotechnical consulting firm in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mr. Simon is a Past President of the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists and has over 25 years of experience as a consulting geologist.
Bill LundGuidebook Chair: Bill Lund
Utah Geological Survey, Cedar City, Utah,
Bill Lund is a senior scientist with the Utah Geological Survey in the UGS' Southern Region Office in Cedar City, Utah. He has 34 years experience as a professional engineering geologist, 7 years with geotechnical consulting firms in Arizona, California, and Oregon, and 27 years with the UGS. He is a former UGS Deputy Director and is a Licensed Geologist in Utah, a Registered Geologist in Arizona, and a certified Engineering Geologist in Oregon. Bill is a past Chair of the Intermountain Section of AEG, and past president of both the Utah Geological Association and Dixie Geological Society. He is a member of GSA, AEG, SSA, AGU, and UGA and DGS. Recent projects include seismic-hazard evaluations of the Wasatch, Hurricane, and Sevier fault zones, a comprehensive review of all Utah paleoseismic trenching data, and a GIS-based geologic hazards evaluation of the greater St. George metropolitan area.
Ken PuchlikMarketing Chair: Ken Puchlik
Puchski/GeoConsultants International, St. George, Utah,
Ken Puchlik is principle of Puchski GeoConsultants in St. George, Utah. He consults mainly for the natural resource industry in the areas of economic assessment and GIS/GPS integration. He holds a MS from the Mackay School of Mines and is a member of SME and SEG and is past president of the Dixie Geological Society.
Robert EvesStudent Assistant Chair: Robert Eves
Professor of Chemistry and Geology, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah,
Robert Eves teaches geology, geochemistry and pre-service science education courses at Southern Utah University. He is currently chair of the Department of Physical Science. Robert received his B.S. degree from Southern Utah University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in coal geochemistry from Washington State University. He chaired the 54th Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Section of GSA in 2002.