Two field courses of interest to geology fans are offered by North Cascades Institute: Seattle Urban Geology led by David B. Williams and a hike at Mount Baker led by Dave Tucker. The program has just been published, and both these classes will fill VERY FAST. If you sign up for one, be sure to tell either David or me that you are a website reader! Descriptions from the NCI catalogue follow:
Seattle Urban geology tour with David B. Williams. Sep 15, 2012
You don’t have to drive to the Cascades or take a ferry to the Olympic Peninsula to engage your connection with the earth — even in the heart of the Emerald City, we are surrounded by nature.
From downtown to down by the Sound, explore Seattle’s wild side with David Williams, author of Stories in Stone: Travels in Urban Geology and The Seattle Street-Smart Naturalist: Field Notes from the City. With humor, enthusiasm and sharp observation skills, David will open our eyes to the natural wonders of the urban environment and reveal secrets previously hidden beneath the hustle and bustle of the city.
The day will begin beneath the Magnolia Bluff, the perfect spot for seeing coastal geological processes. We’ll proceed along the Duwamish River, where we’ll read the record of Seattle’s most active earthquake zone. Next we’ll head to Pioneer Square to start a two-mile-long transect to investigate 330-million-year-old fossils and see where mammoths once roamed.
Think globally, learn locally: discover Seattle’s wild side!
Mount Baker geology hike with Dave Tucker Sep 22, 2012
Our field excursion will begin above tree line at Artist’s Point at the end of the Mount Baker Highway before venturing out toward the simmering, glaciated volcano herself. Along the way, we’ll travel over ancient records of volcanism as we traverse the 1-million year-old Kulshan caldera, a giant volcano that erupted cataclysmically through a continental ice sheet long before Mount Baker built itself from stacks of lava.
As we hike past lava domes that erupted shortly after the caldera collapse, we’ll lay hands on much younger columnar andesite that still predates Mount Baker, discuss the origin of the eroded table at Table Mountain and examine layers of volcanic ash preserved in the soil, including the famous Mount Mazama/Crater Lake layer.
Dave is a leading geological expert on the Mount Baker region and will share his intimate knowledge of the natural and cultural history of the area. He’ll interpret the story of this landscape as evidenced in its rocks and ash. The route can be up to 10-miles round trip, though elevation gain will be no more than 500 feet.
A full lit of NCI courses for 2012 is available on their program website