Geologic Wonderland Scientist Speaker Series

Event Date: 
Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 6:30pm
Milepost111, 407 Aplets Way, Cashmere

This event is sold out.

Tuesdays in November just got a whole lot more exciting! Join Wenatchee River Institute every Tuesday in November at Milepost111 in Cashmere for our annual Scientist Speaker Series. 
Be a part of the experience!  'Geologic Wonderland' explores the epic geologic saga shaping our past and our future. The geology of the Pacific Northwest is truly a "Disneyland" of geologic proportions complete with thrills to be experienced right here in your own back yard! Hosted lite fare and casual conversation starts at 6:00 pm each night and then the evening's presentation runs from 6:30pm - 8:30pm. A select dinner menu of Milepost111 signature dishes and tasty beverages are available to truly make this an evening out!  
The series including all four evenings is $100 for non-members and $80 for members.
8 teacher clock hours are available for this series, $24
Registration ends November 3rd! class size is limited.
Thank you to our series sponsors!
Please contact the Wenatchee River Institute Programs Team 
509.548.0181 ext. 4
Detailed Overview
Tuesday, November 7th
Geologic Introduction to North Central Washington
Did you know that our public school students are now required to take Washington State history as a graduation requirement?  Students delve into the history of native cultures, exploration, and human development that impacted and shaped our region over hundreds of years.  But how many of us have had opportunities to learn and appreciate the stories and science behind the fascinating geologic history that has shaped our area over hundreds of millions of years? 

Eric will start this series off with an intent to help us develop a deeper more expansive view and understanding of the landscapes we live in and enjoy.  In this introduction, we will take a look at a few regional geologic highlights and processes in our local areas  and in North Central Washington that have radically transformed our region!  We will explore tools and key geologic concepts that will help you learn to explore our complex and diverse landscapes from a geologic perspective.  Whether you know it or not, you live in a hotspot of geodiversity, and there is no better place on our planet to learn and discover geology than here, so let’s explore!

Presenter: Eric Bard, Cascade School District
Eric Bard lives in Leavenworth and has studied geology at the University of Washington B.S., and at Mississippi State University M.S.  Over the past 15 years, Eric has taught geology and earth science courses for Wenatchee Valley College, Pierce College, and Lower Columbia College and has taught geology and field classes to folks of ages 5-80 in a variety of Pacific Northwest environments. Much of Eric’s free time is spent exploring local and other unique geologic areas with his wife and three active sons. He is excited to start off this lecture series and to share his passion for geology with the Wenatchee River Institute!
Tuesday, November 14th
The Earlier Geology and Tectonics of the Wenatchee Valley
The latest discoveries make for some exciting information about the tectonics and geologic history in our area! Discover the origins of the Wenatchee Valley going back to long before any ice ages and basalt lavas covered the Columbia Plateau over 50 million years ago. That was when the Entiat and Leavenworth faults, which define the structure of the Wenatchee Valley, first formed. It was also when the layers of rock you can see in the hillsides around the valley were first deposited, including the Chumstick Formation with its many beds of sandstone and plant fossils. The rocks and fossils tell us that a warm, moist, sub-tropical climate prevailed in this region. During that time, major changes in the movement of tectonic plates along the Pacific Northwest drove a strange sequence of geologic events, causing the layers of rock to fold and break, unusual volcanic eruptions to occur, and gold deposits to form. 
Presenter: Ralph Dawes, Geology Department, Wenatchee Valley College
Ralph's geology degree from the University of Washington in Seattle launched him into a life of researching, teaching, and sharing his enthusiasm for geology. He enjoys studying geology in the field, whether in the Pacific Northwest or at other sites around the world. He likes to  help others experience rocks and landscapes as they seek to learn for themselves how the earth works, what its history is, how it relates to people's lives, and how the vitality of a community depends on geology. He thinks that geological knowledge is based on sensory experiences and adventures shared with other people as much as it is based on logic, measurement, and analysis. He has led field trips in the Wenatchee Valley, the Columbia Plateau, and the Okanogan Highlands, and given lectures about geology for the public at the college and the Wenatchee Valley Museum. Ralph recently started a blog,, to share his passion for earth science.
Tuesday, November 21st
The Geomorphology of Glaciers
Professor Karl Lillquist explores environmental change in the mountains and deserts of the western U.S. with an emphasis on using geomorphology and stratigraphy to better understand mass wasting, glaciers, glacial lakes, rock glaciers, and arroyos. This talk will focus on the Wenatchee Range and the Wenatachee River drainage in relation to the Columbia Plateau to the east. 
Presenter: Karl Lillquist, Geography Department, Central Wahsington University
Karl is a physical geographer who has been a faculty member at Central Washington University since Fall 1995. Karl's first academic love is physical geography field study. His upbringing in Coulee City, WA probably played a big part in this love. He teaches physical geography, geomorphology, soils, airphoto analysis, mountain environments, arid lands, and graduate research. Karl's current research is focused on environmental change in the mountains and deserts of the western U.S. with an emphasis on using geomorphology and stratigraphy to better understand mass wasting, glaciers, glacial lakes, rock glaciers, and arroyos.
Tuesday, November 28th 
A Photographic Roadtrip of Oregon and Washington Geology
In this slideshow/lecture, Marli Miller will outline the geology of Oregon and Washington as seen along our federal and state highways. Beginning with our plate tectonic setting, she will describe the process of continental growth that forms the underlying but diverse “basement” of the region and is readily visible in the Coast Range, North Cascades, Okanogan, Klamath, and Blue Mountains. Following that, a photographic “roadtrip” up I-84 and Washington State Highway 14 in the Columbia Gorge will illustrate many of the younger features that make our landscape so unique.
Presenter: Marli Miller, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oregon
Marli Miller is a senior instructor and researcher in the Dept. of Earth Sciences at the University of Oregon, where she’s been since 1997.  Most recently, she and coauthor Darrel Cowan completed a complete rewrite of the book Roadside Geology of Washington; before that she rewrote Roadside Geology of Oregon, (both published by Mountain Press in Missoula). She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in geology at the University of Washington in 1987 and 1992 respectively and a B.A. in geology at Colorado College in 1982.  As a photographer, she concentrates on geological images, and contributes regularly to textbooks, museum exhibits, journals, and teaching collections of other instructors.  Her website ( offers free downloads of more than 2000 images for non-commercial use.
Geology Rocks!! Books to enjoy, available at A Book For All Seasons in Leavenworth
  • Bretz's Flood: The Remarkable Story of a Rebel Geologist and the World'sGreatest Flood by John Soennichsen
  •  Glacial Lake Missoula and its Humongous Floods  by David Alt
  • Restless Northwest by Hill Williams
  • Rocks and Minerals of Washington and Oregon (Field Guide) by Dan Lynch
  • Washington Rocks!: A Guide to Geologic Sites in the Evergreen State by Eugene Kiver
Course Fee: 
$80 members, $100 non/members