Author Archives: Callan Bentley

PGS: Sputnik Planum (Pluto)

The April 21, 2016, meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society (PGS) will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Crowne Plaza – Tysons Corner hotel, 1960 Chain Bridge Road, 22102.  This location is within one-half mile of the Tysons Corner Metro station, near I-495, and has free parking available.  Our private meeting room is located in the back of the Tuscan Grille restaurant on the second floor of the hotel.  The optional dinner cost will be discounted to $30 for members in good standing (have paid dues), and $35 for non-members, and is inclusive of iced tea, coffee, tax and gratuity.  Members and guests may attend the presentation after dinner for no charge; we estimate that the presentation will begin at 8:15 p.m.  For attendees who arrive early, the social will be held in O’Malley’s Pub on the first floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel.  Drinks may also be purchased in the private meeting room on a cash basis.

Social: 6:00-7:00 p.m. O’Malley’s Pub, first floor Crowne Plaza

Dinner: 7:00-8:15 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Meeting & Presentation: 8:15-9:30 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Dr. Harold Geller, Observatory Director, George Mason University

“Sputnik Planum: A geologically active impact basin on Pluto”

Talk Abstract:

Dr. Geller will give an overview of the New Horizons mission to Pluto. After providing the audience with the history of the New Horizons mission, Dr. Geller will discuss the latest findings about Pluto including the layering on Pluot’s surface; the cold and hazy atmosphere; and, the geology of an active impact basin known as Sputnik Planum.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Harold Geller is Observatory Director at George Mason University (GMU). He is a Solar System Ambassador for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He won six Telly Awards for online educational videos with Astrocast TV. He received the 2008 GMU Faculty Member of the Year Award. He has been Associate Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy; adviser to the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement; President of the Potomac Geophysical Society; tour guide at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; producer of educational multimedia CD-ROMs; faculty at Northern Virginia Community College; doctoral fellow of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; and weekend manager of the Einstein Planetarium.  He is author of books, edited volumes, and has published over 85 papers in education, astrobiology, astrophysics, and biochemistry. Dr. Geller has been quoted in the media including USA Today, Washington Post, Huffington Post, WTOP News Radio and News Channel 8.

Martin Schmidt on geologic history of Maryland

Talk on 4/8/16 at Gem, Lapidary & Mineral Society of DC:

Martin Schmidt, the McDonogh School

This talk is an overview of the geology and geologic history of Maryland, with a zoom-in on the geology of the Washington DC area.  It will also introduce attendees to a freely available web map that will allow them to investigate the geology of places in Maryland by rock classes, rock types & rock ages, along with streams and their watersheds, state & local park locations, MD & U.S. physiographic provinces, and detailed landforms in MD.

Hawaiian erosion talk at USGS Reston

The Last Land: How humans changed erosion in Hawaii  

Jonathan Stock, Research Geologist and Director,

USGS Innovation Center

 

SPECIAL SEMINAR

Thursday – April 7, 2016

12 Noon

Room 3A-409

National Center, Reston

Calcareous Nannofossils and Paleogene Hyperthermal Events of the Salisbury Embayment

The Paleontological Society of Washington

7:00 pm, Wednesday, April 20

National Museum of Natural History, Constitutional Ave. entrance

Calcareous Nannofossils and Paleogene Hyperthermal Events of the Salisbury Embayment

Jean Self-Trail

U.S. Geological Survey Reston, VA

Multiple extreme and rapid warming events, also called hyperthermals, occurred during the Late Paleocene and Early Eocene. Calcareous nannofossils (a type of marine algae), along with other microfossils, carbon isotopes, and lithology are used to document changes in ocean acidification and sedimentation during three of these events in the Salisbury Embayment. I will discuss ongoing research on the Pre-Onset Excursion (POE), the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) and present a “sneak peek” of preliminary research on the Eocene Thermal Maximum 3.

Non-Smithsonian visitors will be escorted to the Cooper Reading Room at 6:50 and 6:55 p.m. Society members will host the speaker for dinner at the Elephant & Castle (1201 Pennsylvania Ave.) prior to the meeting. Members may meet at the restaurant or inside the Constitutional Ave. entrance of the NMNH at 5:00 and walk to the restaurant as a group.

http://nmnh.typepad.com/paleontological_society

PGS: Remediation Tech for Superfund Site Groundwater

Please RSVP to Potomac Geophysical Society <dcgeophys@gmail.com> by March 14 if you plan to attend the dinner and/or the meeting at Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner.

The March 17, 2016, meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society (PGS) will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Crowne Plaza – Tysons Corner hotel, 1960 Chain Bridge Road, 22102. This location is within one-half mile of the Tysons Corner Metro station, near I-495, and has free parking available. Our private meeting room is located in the back of the Tuscan Grille restaurant on the second floor of the hotel. The optional dinner cost will be discounted to $30 for members in good standing (have paid dues), and $35 for non-members, and is inclusive of iced tea, coffee, tax and gratuity. Members and guests may attend the presentation after dinner for no charge; we estimate that the presentation will begin at 8:15 p.m. For attendees who arrive early, the social will be held in O’Malley’s Pub on the first floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel. Drinks may also be purchased in the private meeting room on a cash basis.

Social: 6:00-7:00 p.m. O’Malley’s Pub, first floor Crowne Plaza
Dinner: 7:00-8:15 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza
Meeting & Presentation: 8:15-9:30 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Edward Gilbert, CPG, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Overview of Remediation Technologies for Contaminated Groundwater at Superfund Sites

Talk Abstract:
Groundwater is the main source of drinking water as well as agricultural and industrial usage worldwide. Unfortunately, groundwater quality throughout the United States has been degraded due to improper waste disposal practices and accidental spillage of hazardous chemicals. It is critical that the contaminated groundwater at hazardous waste sites across our nation be remediated in order to protect human health and the environment. EPA’s Superfund Program is responsible for cleaning up the groundwater at the nation’s most contaminated hazardous waste sites. The Superfund Program uses a wide variety of remediation technologies to ensure contaminants are either removed from the groundwater or are treated so they no longer pose a threat to human health and the environment. This talk will provide an overview of the most commonly used physical, biological, chemical, and thermal groundwater remediation technologies as well as some innovative technologies just beginning to be employed.

Speaker Bio:
Edward Gilbert is a Certified Professional Geologist with twenty years of professional experience in the characterization and remediation of contaminated groundwater at hazardous waste sites. Ed works within the Superfund Program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an environmental scientist/contaminant hydrogeologist. His experience includes groundwater monitoring network design and installation; groundwater flow and contaminant transport modeling; remedial treatability/feasibility studies; treatment technologies’ bench scale studies, field scale pilot studies, and full scale remedy implementation. Ed serves as a national expert/advisor in environmental earth science and on technical issues concerning the assessment, characterization, and remediation of hazardous substance releases, oil spills, and hazardous waste sites throughout the United States. In his present position, he is involved in the evaluation and promotion of innovative remediation technologies for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. Ed holds a B.S. in Earth Science from Southern Connecticut State University and a M.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of Connecticut. He maintains certification as a Professional Geologist through the American Institute of Professional Geologists.

New posting for DCGeology blog

The Paleontological Society of Washington

7:00 pm, Wednesday, March 16

Q?rius theatre, National Museum of Natural History, Constitutional Ave. entrance

Fossil Dinoflagellate Cysts – A Tour of Applications for the 21st Century

Lucy E. Edwards

U.S. Geological Survey Reston, VA

Dinoflagellates are a fascinating group to study as fossils. This presentation will highlight recent applications and current advances in the study of the organism and, more importantly to PSW fans, its preserved fossils. Topics covered will include new twists on the old stand-bys: biostratigraphy, paleoecology, and taphonomy, followed by things like microbial preferences in cyst degradation, and what the ontogeny of cyst formation can tell us about extreme environments. Dinocyst humor will also be included.

Non-Smithsonian visitors will be escorted to the Q?rius theatre at 6:50 and 6:55 p.m. Society members will host the speaker for dinner at the Elephant & Castle (1201 Pennsylvania Ave.) prior to the meeting. Members may meet at the restaurant or inside the Constitutional Ave. entrance of the NMNH at 5:00 and walk to the restaurant as a group.

http://nmnh.typepad.com/paleontological_society

Janet Browne at U-Mary Washington 3/15

I thought that you might like to know that Janet Browne of Harvard University will be giving a talk on Charles Darwin in the Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series at 7:30 p.m. on March 15 in Dodd Auditorium in George Washington Hall on the campus of the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg.

A description of her talk: “By the time of his death Charles Darwin was one of the most celebrated — and one of the most notorious — scientists in the world. Today he is just as famous. Still controversial, Darwin has become an icon of modern science at the same time as his theories have become the basis of modern biology.
Professor Browne’s talk will explore how Darwin came to write the Origin of Species and its impact in Victorian England. Taking advantage of the magnificent archive of original correspondence located in Cambridge England, she describes how Darwin was simultaneously a public figure surrounded by controversy and a private family man with many friends and relations — and a succession of small children. The public and private were closely intermeshed in Darwin’s life, not always comfortably.”

The event is free and open to the public. For further information, visit:

Charles Darwin