Technical Program


Oral Presenters/Speaker Ready Room (SUB 234)

All oral session presenters must visit the Speaker Ready Room before their scheduled presentation to ensure their PowerPoint or PDF files are properly configured and operating, then load them on one of the laptops. Failure to do so may result in presentations being omitted from session sequences. The Speaker Ready Room is open for program checking and speaker assistance as follows:

Sunday, 18 May noon–7 p.m.
Monday, 19 May 7 a.m.–8 p.m.
Tuesday, 20 May 7 a.m.–8 p.m.
Wednesday, 21 May 7 a.m.–2 p.m.

Each speaker must bring his or her PowerPoint or PDF presentation on a USB compatible flash drive (thumb drive or memory stick) or a CD-ROM disk to the Speaker Ready Room for checking and uploading to the appropriate session folder according to the deadlines below:

For presentation: Upload not later than:
Monday, 19 May, morning session 7 p.m., Sunday, 18 May
Monday,19 May, afternoon session 10 a.m., Monday, 19 May
Tuesday, 20 May, morning session 8 p.m., Monday, 19 May
Tuesday, 20 May, afternoon session 10 a.m., Tuesday, 20 May
Wednesday, 21 May, morning session 8 p.m., Tuesday, 20 May
Wednesday, 21 May, afternoon session noon, Wednesday, 21 May

Poster Sessions

All poster sessions are in the MSU Strand Union Ballrooms. Please check the program for the specific times and topics. Poster presenters have one 4' by 6' horizontal (landscape) poster display surface. Numbers on these display surfaces correspond to the poster booth numbers listed in the program. The poster boards accept push pins, and some push pins are furnished for each poster.

Session Chairs

Be sure to watch the training video found at, prior to the start of your session. If you have any questions, please see the support team found in the Speaker Ready Room, SUB 234.

Session chairs are asked to strictly adhere to the technical program schedule and to limit speakers to their allotted time. If a speaker does not appear for an assigned time slot, session chairs should call for a break or discussion period and begin the next presentation at its scheduled time; in no circumstances should you jump ahead in the program schedule.

A student volunteer is assigned to each oral session. Session chairs are asked to meet with the assigned student volunteer before the start of the session. The volunteers are there to help the sessions run smoothly and to contact the AV coordinator in the event of technical problems.

Theme Sessions

T1. Snoke Session 1: The Eclectic Tectonic Legacy of Arthur W. Snoke—Metamorphic Core Complexes at Age 35.
Allen McGrew, Univ. of Dayton; Josh Schwartz, California State Univ. Northridge; Phyllis Camilleri, Austin Peay Univ.; Walter A. Sullivan, Colby College; Thomas Kalakay, Rocky Mountain College; Cal Barnes, Texas Tech Univ.. This session is associated with Field Trip 7.
The term “Cordilleran metamorphic core complex” entered the tectonic lexicon with Peter Coney’s coinage of the phrase 35 years ago, and soon thereafter captured widespread attention at the first Metamorphic Core Complex Penrose Conference. Art Snoke was an active participant at that conference and has played a key role in exploring the tectonic significance of these important assemblages ever since. This session invites fresh insights, new discoveries, and historical perspectives on the contractional prehistory and subsequent extensional tectonic evolution of metamorphic core complexes in the western North American Cordillera and around the world, and on the kinematic role of middle and deep-crustal shear zones in their evolution.
T2. Snoke Session 2: The Eclectic Tectonic Legacy of Arthur W. Snoke—Comparative Anatomy and Tectonic Evolution of Continental Margins from the Precambrian to Recent.
Allen McGrew, Univ. of Dayton; Josh Schwartz, California State Univ. Northridge; Phyllis Camilleri, Austin Peay Univ.; Walter A. Sullivan, Colby College; Thomas Kalakay, Rocky Mountain College; Cal Barnes, Texas Tech Univ..
This session honors Art Snoke’s diverse and global contributions to the continental margin tectonics of the western North American Cordillera and Appalachian orogen, Tunisia, the Italian Alps, and Tobago. We invite new perspectives on the Precambrian to Phanerozoic tectonic evolution of Cordilleran-type and other continental margins around the globe. This session will focus on new developments in the tectonic evolution and structural geology of arcs, continental transforms, and accretionary tectonics of continental margins.
T3. Precambrian I: Archean and Paleoproterozoic Crustal Evolution of Western Laurentia.
David Mogk, Montana State Univ.; Paul Mueller, Univ. of Florida.
This session will cover all aspects of the earliest creation and growth of the North American continent, including contributions from tectonics, geochemistry, and geochronology; studies of surficial deposits and environments; and the record of earliest life on Earth.
T4. Precambrian II: Meso- and Neoproterozoic Evolution of Western Laurentia: In Honor of Don Winston.
Paul Link, Idaho State Univ.; Reed Lewis, Idaho Geological Survey.
This session is associated with Field Trip 8.
This session will cover the continued growth and evolution of the North American continent through the Proterozoic and into the Cambrian, including tectonic reconstructions; petrologic and geochemical additions and modifications; metallogenesis; and evidence of early life, with special attention to the formation and development of the Belt Basin and the succeeding rifted margin.
T5. Session Honoring Kenneth L. Pierce and the Breadth of His Research in Greater Yellowstone.
Cathy Whitlock, Montana State Univ.; Joe Licciardi, Univ. of New Hampshire; Lisa Morgan, USGS; Jennifer Pierce, Boise State Univ.; Cal Ruleman, USGS.
This session is associated with Field Trip 11.
Since 1965, Ken Pierce has been conducting research on the geologic and environmental history of the Yellowstone and surrounding regions. This session honors Pierce and the diverse contributions he has made to our understanding of the Quaternary and late Cenozoic geology of the western United States. We invite new perspectives as well as synthetic presentations on any of the topics that Pierce’s career has touched upon, including the glacial history of the western U.S., new dating methods for Quaternary deposits, geoarchaeology, Quaternary faulting and neotectonics, the Yellowstone hotspot and associated volcanism, and glacial and postglacial environments.
T6. Yellowstone–Snake River Plain–Columbia River Volcanic Province: Geology, Petrology, Geophysics, and Geodynamics.
Bill Phillips, Idaho Geological Survey and Univ. of Idaho; Dan Moore, Brigham Young Univ.–Idaho.
New petrologic, seismic, and geodetic results have reinvigorated debate on the origin of Miocene to recent volcanism within the Yellowstone–Snake River Plain–Columbia River Volcanic Province. This session seeks contributions in the fields of geology (including geologic mapping), petrology, geophysics, and geodynamics. Contributions from throughout the province are encouraged.
T7. Recent Advances in Structure, Tectonics, and Metamorphism of the Northern Rockies.
Julie Baldwin, Univ. of Montana; David Foster, Univ. of Florida.
We encourage a broad range of integrative and multidisciplinary contributions to understanding the tectonic evolution of the Northern Rockies region from the Precambrian to the Eocene. We aim to highlight recent studies that utilize modern techniques in metamorphic and structural geology, isotope geochemistry, and geochronology to solve tectonic problems.
T8. Geology and Geophysics of the Greater Blue Mountains Province, Salmon River Suture Zone, and Western Idaho Shear Zone: Late Paleozoic through Cenozoic Evolution of a Key Location of the Cordilleran Orogen (Posters).
Todd LaMaskin, Univ. of North Carolina–Wilmington; Joshua Schwartz, California State Univ. Northridge; Basil Tikoff, Univ. of Wisconsin; Reed Lewis, Idaho Geological Survey. Posters only. This session is associated with Field Trip 1.
Session organizers request posters-only to encourage group discussions.
Rocks in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho expose the nexus of a lithospheric boundary between “young” accreted and older continental material and are critical for understanding the Late Paleozoic through Cenozoic evolution of the Cordilleran Orogen. Over the past 10 years, this important region has experienced a renaissance of study with application of modern techniques in structural analysis, isotope geochemistry and geochronology, and active and passive geophysical techniques. As a result, numerous advances have been made and many concurring and differing models of tectono-magmatic evolution for the region have emerged. This POSTER session will be an opportunity for faculty and students to discuss, review, and compare-contrast each other’s contributions in this rapidly advancing area.
T9. Paleogene Topography, Basin Evolution, and Sediment Dispersal in the Northern Rocky Mountain Region.
Bob Schwartz, Allegheny College; Amy Weislogel, Univ. of West Virginia; Marc Hendrix, Univ. of Montana; Theresa Schwartz, Stanford Univ.
The upper Missouri River watershed drains the Northern Basin-and-Range province of southwest Montana and serves as a conduit for detritus entering the Mississippi-to-Gulf sediment sink. Southwestern Montana is marked by the overlap of the Sevier, Laramide, and batholith structural provinces and has undergone a protracted history of Sevier-Laramide compression followed by Paleogene-Neogene extension. Recent studies in stratigraphy/sedimentology, geochemistry, and tectonics have shed new light upon the Paleogene history and geological processes in this structurally complex region. For example, recent findings demonstrate that much of the Paleogene topography and drainage system was fundamentally similar to that of the modern. This session focuses upon the post-compressional to early extensional phase of Paleogene tectonics and the interrelationships between exhumation, superposition of antecedent streams, topography, intermontane basin evolution, and climatology. We encourage all field, laboratory, and modeling studies involving process, patterns, magnitudes, and rates.
T10. The Early Tertiary Magmatic Firestorm of the U.S. and Canadian Cordillera: Geochemical, Petrological, and Tectonic Constraints.
Richard Gaschnig, Univ. of Maryland; Genet Duke, Arkansas Tech Univ..
The Eocene and Paleocene epochs were characterized by a widespread flare-up of volcanism and plutonism in the Cordillera, stretching east from central Oregon to South Dakota, north into British Columbia, and south into Colorado and New Mexico. We seek contributions dealing both with the petrology and geochemistry of individual magmatic centers and the larger space-time-composition patterns and links between magmatism and tectonism of this unusual time in the history of the Cordillera.
T11. Cenozoic Evolution of the Southwest: From the Relatively Undeformed Colorado Plateau to Central Basin and Range Complexities.
Melissa Lamb, Univ. of St. Thomas; Paul Umhoefer, Univ. of Northern Arizona; Tom Hickson, Univ. of St. Thomas; Sue Beard, USGS Flagstaff.
In this session, we will explore the Oligocene-Neogene tectonic and paleogeographic evolution of the little-deformed but uplifted southwestern Colorado Plateau and the transition to the central Basin-and-Range and Colorado River Extensional Corridor, which have undergone both compression and large-magnitude extension. We invite proposals using a range of methods to examine the evidence of this evolution and/or the processes that formed this complex area.
T12. Mesozoic Paleogeography of the North American Cordillera.
Joshua Bonde, Univ. of Nevada–Las Vegas; Sean Long, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, Univ. of Nevada; James Schmitt, Montana State Univ..
This session focuses on our current understanding of the paleogeography of the North American Cordillera during Mesozoic time. Talks will include studies addressing this topic from a wide variety of subdisciplines, including, but not limited, to structure/tectonics, sedimentology/stratigraphy, geochemistry, paleoecology, and paleontology.
T13. Geology and Paleontology of the Two Medicine–Judith River Clastic Wedge.
Jack Horner, Museum of the Rockies and Montana State Univ.; Ray Rogers, Macalester College.
This session is associated with Field Trip 10.
Paleontological discoveries made within the Two Medicine and Judith River formations of Montana have significantly advanced our understanding of Late Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems, and analyses of the rock records of these two units have elucidated key aspects of paleoenvironment and depositional dynamics in this foreland basin setting. Some of the earliest discoveries of dinosaurs in North America studied from a scientific perspective were made in the type area of the Judith River Formation back in 1855, and more recent paleontological discoveries in the Two Medicine Formation have yielded key insights into dinosaur reproduction and behavior. Many other fossil groups, including mammals, lizards, turtles, and fishes, are also well known in the Judith River and Two Medicine formations, and work on a broad array of fossil taxa is ongoing. From a geological and taphonomic perspective, these two units provide an outstanding opportunity to study the controls on fossil preservation at both the local and basin scale. Stratigraphic analysis of the Two Medicine–Judith River clastic wedge also affords an opportunity to explore the evolution of contemporaneous “upland” alluvial and coastal plain depositional systems in an active foreland basin. This theme session will bring together a diverse array or workers currently focusing on a variety of research questions relating to the Two Medicine–Judith River clastic wedge.
T16. Hydrogeology of the Williston Basin: Toward a Greater Understanding of Aquifer Dynamics, Water Availability, and Risk Potential from Energy Extraction in the United States and Canada.
Kyle Blasche, USGS Montana Water Science Center; Joanna Thamke, USGS Montana Water Science Center.
Concerns about aquifer contamination and groundwater depletion from current energy development in the Bakken Formation in the Williston structural basin have prompted the initiation of studies focused on the hydrogeology of these transboundary aquifers, estimated groundwater availability, baseline water-quality conditions for a broad suite of constituents in aquifers used as drinking water sources, and risk potential from produced waters, hydrofracturing fluids, and product leakage. This session provides a venue to share recent results and future activities.
T17. Tectonic and Climatic Drivers in Geomorphology and Landscape Evolution.
Jean Dixon, Montana State Univ..
Landscapes evolve due to a complex relationship between the surface processes that sculpt the land surface and their tectonic and climatic drivers. Quantifying the controls on the chemical and physical processes that transport soil and sediment is critical to our understanding of the evolution of Earth’s surface and our ability to infer past processes and predict future change. This session seeks contributions that explore past, present, or future Earth surface processes from the scale of an individual soil profile to entire basins to those that shape global morphology. Cross-discipline work is especially encouraged.
T19. Holocene Climate of Western North America.
Lesleigh Anderson, USGS; Greg Pederson, USGS; Andrea Brunelle, Univ. of Utah.
A critical mass of more highly resolved paleoclimatic data from western North America, including Alaska, is testing old hypotheses and raising new questions about elevation gradients, seasonality of precipitation, synoptic patterns of the past, and the drivers of decade to century scale climatic variability. This session will review the state of the art in geologic and dendrochronologic records in terms of proxy interpretation and modeling of climate, hydrology, and ecosystems.
T23. Selenium, Uranium, and Radionuclides: Geology, Biogeochemistry, and Ecosystem Impacts from Mining and Other Activities in the Western United States and Southwestern Canada.
David Naftz, USGS–Montana Water Science Center; Stan Morrison, U.S. Dept. of Energy; Tony Ranalli, USGS–Colorado Water Science Center; Kyle Flynn, Montana Dept. of Environmental Quality.
Concentrations of selenium, uranium, and select radionuclides are naturally elevated in many regions of the western United States and Canada. These elements are associated with active and (or) legacy development of uranium, coal, and phosphate deposits, as well as selected geologic formations in the region. Human activities, including mining, milling, irrigation, and urbanization, coupled with the enhanced natural mobility of these elements, has led to significant pollution of terrestrial, surface-water, and groundwater resources on federal, state, provincial, and tribal-managed lands. Examples of current research on these issues include (1) understanding legacy impacts from milling, mining, and exploration; (2) development of active and passive remediation processes; (3) refinement and application of statistical, hydrologic, and biogeochemical tools to better characterize environmental impacts; and (4) development of “better” geochemical methods for use in ecosystem-scale modeling of contaminant impacts. This session will integrate scientists from academic, private, and government agencies with U.S. and Canadian regulators to examine how recent research results can improve the identification, environmental management, and regulation of these constituents.
T25. Teaching the Geology of Western North America. Cosponsored by National Association of Geoscience Teachers.
David Mogk, Montana State Univ.; Basil Tikoff, Univ. of Wisconsin; Cathy Manduca, SERC at Carleton College.
This session will feature teaching strategies that focus on the geology of western North America from introductory courses to “core” geoscience courses for majors. Examples and case studies that cover geoscience resources, hazards, geology of the national parks, use of geoscience databases, and EarthScope science are encouraged.
T26. Geologic Maps: Record of the Past, Foundation for the Future (Posters).
Grant Willis, Utah Geological Survey; Susan Vuke, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology; Reed Lewis, Idaho Geological Survey.
Ever since Jules Marcou published the first geologic map to cover the contiguous United States in 1855, geologic maps have served as the foundation of most geologic research in the west. This poster session will feature new geologic and supporting geophysical maps, geologic mapping-related studies, and innovative methods in field mapping, map production, and providing geologic maps for public use.
T27. Field-Based Research Experiences for Undergraduates.
Cosponsored by Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR); National Association of Geoscience Teachers.
Emily Ward-Geraghty, Rocky Mountain College; Derek Sjostrom, Rocky Mountain College; David Mogk, Montana State Univ.; Kim Hannula, Fort Lewis College.
This session will highlight the variety of undergraduate research projects happening in the geosciences and how they are being implemented at different types of institutions. The session is open to students who would like to present their research findings and faculty mentors who can speak to the effectiveness of these research experiences on student learning.
T28. Teaching Geoscience in the Context of Place and Culture for Sustainability and Diversity.
Steven Semken, Arizona State Univ.; David Mogk, Montana State Univ..
Our senses of place and cultural perspectives influence—and provide relevant context and meaning for—the ways that we teach about geoscience. Place-based and culturally informed geoscience teaching is that which intentionally leverages the diverse meanings people make in geologically illustrative places, the attachments students and instructors affix to such places, and the cultural knowledge of groups that reside in these places (whether indigenous, historically resident, or recent arrivals). These methods, applied in formal or free-choice learning contexts, are advocated to better engage underrepresented minority students, enrich the senses of place of all learners, and to promote environmental and cultural sustainability in places and regions. This session welcomes presentations that highlight current practices, theoretical models, and authentic assessment of place-based and culturally informed geoscience teaching.


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