SBCC to host 3-day workshop-filled geoscience conference

LORENZO MORAN, Channels Staff

A three-day geoscience conference filled with workshops and trips will be held from April 1-3 at the City College campus.

The Far West Section of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers will hold its bi-annual conference, where attendees can participate in activities and listen to guest speakers for three days. It will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 7:30 a.m. to noon Sunday.

“I think it is going to be a great event, and I am very excited for SBCC to host it,” said Michael Robinson, department chair of earth and planetary sciences. “Staff, students, and faculty have been hard at work to put together an outstanding conference.”

Pricing for the event ranges from $80-$140 depending on when attendees register.

The conference will hold speeches from Dr. Diane Evans, directorate of Jet Propulsion Laboratory Earth Sciences and Technology and Dr. James Norris, the man who solved the rolling rocks mystery at Racetrack Playa in Death Valley in 2013.   

Tanya Atwater, a retired geophysicist and UCSB professor, will also be in attendance to showcase her geo-educational toys and videos during a small exhibition in the Earth and Biological Sciences Building on Sunday.

“It’s an opportunity to expose geoscience to other teachers,” said William Dinklage, professor of environmental studies at City College. “It’s also an opportunity to showcase our department.”

Attendees will be treated to dinner on Friday catered by Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, giving guests the time to chat amongst peers and other earth science enthusiasts.

Evans will then speak about the past, present and future of how we see Earth from space to close the opening day.

Saturday is filled with the premier activities of the event, students and teachers attending will be treated to a day full of field trips around the Santa Barbara county.

Dr. Ed Keller, environmental geology professor at UCSB, and Dr. Larry Gurrola, former UCSB geology professor, will take a trip with attendees to the Santa Barbara Basin to study the on-going interaction between compressive tectonic forces that causes land folding and erosion to form the coastal plain.

“I am very excited to be co-leading the NAGT field trip with colleagues

Shelby Fredrickson and Ed Keller,” said Gurrola. “It is a unique area and to share the

knowledge of the processes that shaped this beautiful landscape is very satisfying.”

The last trip scheduled for Saturday will be lead by Jeff Meyers, assistant professor in the Earth and Planetary Sciences department, heading past Vandenberg Air Force Base to study the most preserved and exposed features of oceanic crust.

The Earth and Biological Science Building will open their doors Saturday evening, the department’s classrooms and etiquette towards learning earth science in an educational environment.

The conference will end at noon Sunday with the small Science Discovery Day featuring exhibits from the same event earlier this month.