Field Trips and Workshops


1. Central and Eastern Blue Ridge Tectonics.
Cosponsored by GSA Structural Geology and Tectonics Division.
Thu.–Sat., 29–31 March. US$190 for professionals; US$150 for students (student rate includes lodging of 4 people/room); includes transportation, lunches, and 2 nights lodging. Max. 50.
Arthur Merschat, U.S. Geological Survey,;
Robert D. Hatcher, Jr., University of Tennessee–Knoxville,
This field trip examines the results of detailed geologic mapping and recent U-Pb zircon geochronology in the Cowee and Balsam Mountains, east of the Great Smoky Mountains in southwestern North Carolina.  The central and eastern Blue Ridge, bounded by the Hayesville fault and Brevard fault zone, consist of a stack of peri-Laurentian terranes accreted to Laurentia during the Taconian orogeny (Middle Ordovician) and modified during later orogenies.  The field trip, consisting of two transects, will emphasize the different lithostratigraphies of the central and eastern Blue Ridge terranes, Taconian upper amphibolite to granulite facies metamorphism, deformation and magmatism, and Late Devonian to Mississippian magmatism and deformation.  The first transect begins near Franklin, NC, in the granulite core of the central Blue Ridge, traverses into the eastern Blue Ridge to examine Ordovician and Mississippian plutons that intrude the Tallulah Falls Formation, and ends in Sylva, NC.  The following day will begin at the Hayesville fault near Dillsboro, NC, then traverse the central and eastern Blue Ridge to the Brevard fault zone and end at Whitewater Falls, a large exposure of the 1.15 Ga Toxaway Gneiss.  We will then promptly return to Asheville, NC, for the welcoming reception.
2. Caves and Karst of the Cumberland Plateau in Southeast Kentucky.
Fri.–Sat., 30–31 March.
3. Industrial Minerals of the Spruce Pine (NC) Mineral District.
Cosponsored by SME Carolinas Section; GSA Structural Geology and Tectonics Division.
Sat., 31 March. US$75 for professionals; US$60 for students; includes transportation and lunch. Max.: 80.
Alex Glover, Active Minerals International,;
Bob Ganis, Consultant,;
Sam Swanson, University of Georgia,

This field trip will examine the industrial minerals of the Spruce Pine Mining District in western North Carolina.  On this one-day trip, we will travel from Asheville to the Spruce Pine vicinity to view: 1) the Newdale Dunite olivine deposit for a discussion of petrogenesis and pre-industrial product use; 2) the Hoot Owl underground mine to view Devonian-age pegmatite and alaskite exposed in a historical mine near Micaville, NC; 3) the North Carolina Museum of Minerals on the Blue Ridge Parkway; 4) the Ashe Metamorphic Suite and pegmatite intrusions at the Vulcan Materials Company quarry in Spruce Pine, NC; and 5) the current workings at the Sullins Wiseman Mine of Quartz Corps, which supplies high purity quartz and feldspar to the high tech industry. 


1. Creating Your Own Geological Maps, Models, and Geoscience Learning Resources Using Google Earth.
Sat., 31 March, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. US$25; does not include lunch. Max: 25.
Declan De Paor, Old Dominion University,;
Steve Whitmeyer, James Madison University,
In the early days of the Worldwide Web, most users browsed content that was created by a small number of expert HTML programmers. As the Internet developed, applications such as Dreamweaver, iWeb, Facebook, etc. enabled non-programmers to design and upload their own web content. Similarly, today most geoscientists use Google Earth as a "geo-browser," studying the Earth’s surface processes as revealed by the terrain model and layers that come with Google Earth and viewing files created by a small number of geoscientists who know how to program in KML, the language of virtual globes.
     This workshop will focus on methods that we have developed to help geoscientists create content for Google Earth using familiar software such as their web browser, word processor, and image file collection. Case studies will include (i) digital geological mapping with iPads, Gigapans, etc.; (ii) enhancing digital maps with 3-D symbols and emergent cross sections, virtual specimens, etc.; and (iii) animating surface processes and tectonic motions. Finally, we will discuss the design and dissemination of engaging lab exercises for geoscience undergraduates, including tours and self-drive virtual field trips.
2. Facilitating Classroom Innovation in the Geosciences: The TUES and Other NSF Educational Funding Programs, and Strategies for Successful TUES Proposals.
Subsidized by NSF; Cosponsored by National Association of Geoscience Teachers Southeastern Section; Council on Undergraduate Research.
Sat., 31 March, noon–5 p.m. US$10; food and beverages provided. Max: 30.
Limited travel support available for two-year college and minority-serving institution faculty.
Jeff Ryan, University of South Florida,;
Jill Singer, Buffalo State College,
This half-day workshop will provide participants with current information about new NSF-Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) funding opportunities to support innovation in geoscience education, focusing on the Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM (TUES) Program, but including information on other relevant granting opportunities. The workshop will focus on effective proposal writing strategies, on how to lay the groundwork for moving from a good idea to a successful proposal.  We will describe the review process for NSF-DUE educational requests, and discuss opportunities for further participant support and assistance in completing a TUES Program proposal request for Spring submission.
3. Field Safety Leadership. Tues.–Wed., 3–4 April.
4. Designing Effective and Innovative Courses in Mineralogy, Petrology, and Geochemistry
Cosponsored by On the Cutting Edge
Onsite Workshop Canceled. Available only as a Virtural Workshop.
Barb Tewksbury
This workshop is an opportunity for participants to develop a new undergraduate course or redesign an existing one in mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, or Earth materials. The workshop will continue as a virtual workshop with sessions in April, May, and October. More information at

Application deadline is March 1 at

Contact: Barb Tewksbury, at


To GSA Home pageMeeting Home page