MBGS Monthly Meetings

Monthly Meetings take place typically on the second Wednesday of each month from September through
May. The meetings are open to all. The Executive Committee Officers meet prior to the meeting to discuss
Society issues and is open to anyone interested in attending.

Meetings hosted by the Michigan Basin Geological Society have been moved to the Natural Sciences Building, MSU
Campus, for more information contact Peter Rose at RoseP1@michigan.gov. The lecture ends usually no later than 9:00.

Next MBGS Meeting

       Michigan Basin Geological Society

MBGS Membership Meeting, Wednesday April 8th, 2020, 7:00 PM

Members are welcome to bring guests

LOCATION: Zoom Meeting (See details below)

SPEAKER: Dr. Katherine McCarville, Ph.D., Professor of Geosciences, Delano Professor of Science, Upper Iowa University

TOPIC: “Grand Canyon Geology: A View From the River”


For the indigenous peoples of the Southwest deserts of North America, who have inhabited the area for more than 11,000 years, the Colorado River was the source of all life.  The Grand Canyon and surrounding region was their home, supplying sustenance and a cultural foundation.  In 1540, Coronado’s conquistadors were the earliest Europeans to become aware of the canyon, as they peered from the rim into the rugged landscape carved by the Colorado River.  The story continues into the present, with modern attempts to exploit resources and control the river at odds with simultaneous efforts to preserve wilderness, ecosystems, and recreational opportunities.


Scientific explorations of the canyon began with John Wesley Powell’s pioneering Colorado River expeditions beginning in 1869.  In the 150 years since, the phenomenal exposures and the staggering span of geologic time represented in the rocks exposed in the canyon walls have drawn attention and study from many geologists.  The history of Earth recorded in the rocks, as viewed from the river from Lee’s Ferry to Whitmore Wash, reaches far back into the Precambrian, encompassing fossils of some of the earliest carnivores. The end-Precambrian Great Unconformity is a prominent feature, exposed over many river miles, giving plenty of opportunity to consider the changes leading up to the Cambrian Period and the beginning of the Paleozoic era.  The succession of Paleozoic rocks and fossils reveals a history of profound environmental change.  The Laramide uplift of the Colorado Plateau, a dynamic story of antecedent rivers and erosion, and Cenozoic history of volcanism and downcutting of the river gorge ultimately lead to the canyon as it appears today.  


Dr. Katherine McCarville, Ph.D., Professor of Geosciences, Delano Professor of Science Upper Iowa University, P.O. Box 1857, Fayette  IA  52142 563-425-5233   mccarvillek@uiu.edu


Katherine McCarville (Kata) has roots in the Midwest but grew up in California.  She studied geology at UCLA as an undergraduate, and worked as a uranium miner in Wyoming after graduation.  She took a masters degree in geology Colorado School of Mines, working on uranium deposits in the Red Desert basin of Wyoming, and then worked for a number of years in computing and networking at universities and for engineering consulting firms.  As a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow, she did her doctoral work in avian paleontology of Fossil Lake, Oregon, at the South Dakota School of Mines.  Her work resulted in an innovative interpretation for the locality, as a volcanic maar.


Kata got started with Grand Canyon geology while working with John Warme, Professor of Geology at Colorado School of Mines, on a number of projects including editing deep-sea drilling research volumes and guidebooks for geology study trips to North Africa.  She has led or co-led numerous Grand Canyon geology rafting trips, and organized and led many other geology field trips.  Born at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, she is a river rat. She’s spent time on and along the Colorado, Green, Platte, Snake, Mississippi, and many of Iowa’s rivers.


Kata is a member of the faculty at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, where she coordinates the Environmental Science degree program, which now includes emphases in Ecosystems, Geosciences, Sustainability, and Regenerative Agriculture.  She teaches a wide variety of courses in geosciences and geography, and chairs the Department of GeMS—Geosciences, Geography, and Mathematical Sciences.  Her interests span the earth and environmental sciences and often cross disciplinary boundaries.  Her current research centers on the origins of the Iowan Erosion Surface, soil biota, and the role of disturbance in prairie ecosystems.  She enjoys mentoring students, and has supervised student projects in trumpeter swan restoration, wildland fire education, fish species in Grand Canyon, squirrel nest-tree selection preference, assessment of a local shooting range for lead contamination, and GIS-based studies of the distribution of algific talus slopes that serve as refugia for Pleistocene species, among others.


An advocate for diversity in STEM, Kata serves as UIU Campus Director for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in STEM disciplines, and as Co-Principal Investigator on an NSF-funded project called STEM-Pros: Growing More STEM Professionals in the Heartland.

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Meeting ID: 357 968 963
Password: 022734

Phone Audio 301 715 8592 

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