2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)
Paper No. 178-6
Presentation Time: 3:00 PM-3:15 PM

THE CHIHUAHUAN DESERT RESEARCH INSTITUTE'S 360° EDUCATIONAL PLATFORM: A GEOLOGICAL PAVILION TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A 360° VISUAL EXPERIENCE

HALL, Blaine R., Academic Center for Excellence, Sul Ross State University, and the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, Alpine, TX 79832, bhall@sulross.edu and HOYT, Cathryn A., Executive Director, Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, P. O. Box 905, Fort Davis, TX 79734

The Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, situated in the Davis Mountains of the Trans-Pecos region of west Texas, a geological paradise bordered by the Guadalupe Mountains and Carlsbad Caverns on the north and the Big Bend to the south, is well located to draw on the large number of tourists visiting these parks, as well as, to provide an educational center for the school children and adults of this remote area of Texas. The CDRI was founded in 1974 to help the public understand the Chihuahuan Desert through research and education. It operates as a 501(c)(3) organization.

To extend its goal of research and education to the geology of the Desert, a grant proposal to design and install a geological pavilion on the highest point of the Institute’s site is being prepared. This uniquely adapted, open air octagonal structure allows for the disassembly of the extraordinary 360° panorama presented by its mountain top location into eight individual views and provides a focal point for their re-assembly and integration as a visual representation, study, and explanation of the geology which controls that panorama. Displays will first focus on the immediate area, where three igneous cored domes (diameters: 3 – 4 km) and other associated intrusions, including the igneous stock on which the pavilion itself sits, are well exposed. These domes are thought to be cored by laccoliths. The topography of the domes is variable, as is the degree of exposure of the actual intrusions; in fact, the only exposure of the intrusion coring one of the domes is on a fault located along its north edge (trap door laccolith?). The thrust of the display will be to relate the view of the domes from the pavilion to the view presented in maps and cross sections, as well as the view presented by satellite images. Other displays at the pavilion can take advantage of broader views of the Davis Mountains. For example, in the core of another of these domes, the contact of the Crossen Trachyte, a major mapping unit in the south of the range, and the Star Mountain Formation, another mapping unit but in the north of the range, can be seen. This is the only location in the whole of the range where their contact can be mapped. The Crossen extends to Crossen Mesa, 64 km to the south; the Star Mountain 50 km to the north. As seen from the pavilion, it is dramatically exposed in the cliffs of Star Mountain, 27 km away.

2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 178
Geology for the Masses: Engaging the Public through Informal Geoscience Education in Parks, Monuments, Open Spaces, and Public Lands
Colorado Convention Center: 605
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Tuesday, 9 November 2004

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 36, No. 5, p. 416

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