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Monday, April 21, 2008

Hundreds of geologists descend upon Evansville in wake of quakes

Contact for more information:
USI's Department of Geology and Physics is hosting the 2008 meeting of the North-Central Section of the Geological Society of America on Thursday and Friday, April 24-25 at the Casino Aztar Executive Conference Center.

Dr. Paul Doss, associate professor of geology and chair of the North-Central Section, has convened a media panel of geologists to address the recent earthquakes in the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. It will be held from 4:15 to 5 p.m. Friday in room Walnut E at the Aztar Conference Center.

Doss said that although it is too soon to report on the science of the earthquakes, experts can answer questions about earthquake research, hazards, and preparedness, and on the products of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, which targeted a five-year effort on the Evansville region beginning in 2003.

The meeting has been planned for some time, but coincidentally comes in the wake of multiple earthquakes in our area.

Five hundred scientists and educators from throughout the U.S. have registered for the conference, and 100 more are expected. The keynote speaker is William DiMichele, a paleontologist with the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. He will discuss a fossilized rainforest discovered in a coal mine near Danville, Illinois, in 2007. The extraordinary find revealed an entire ancient ecosystem.

The media is welcome to attend any of the many sessions on a wide variety of topics – from “Coal for the 21st Century” to “Deciphering the Building Stones of Evansville, Indiana” to “Sewage Sludge and Potential Groundwater Contamination with Heavy Metals.”

On Saturday, April 26, attendees will go on field trips with titles such as “Seismic Ground Failure Features in the Wabash and Ohio River Valleys,” “Revisiting New Harmony in the Footsteps of the Prince of Wied, Charles Lesueur, and Other Early Naturalists,” and “Geoarchaeology and Geophysics at the Angel Mounds Site, Evansville, Indiana.”

Programs with the complete schedule are available. For more information, contact Doss at 465-7132.

The meeting is sponsored by the USI Pott College of Science and Engineering, Indiana Geological Survey, Alcoa, Indiana Water Resources Association, Peabody, Professional Geologists of Indiana, Inc., Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science, Marshall Miller & Associates, Mulzer Crushed Stone, Inc., Illinois State Geological Survey, Indiana Oil and Gas Association, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

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