2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (28–31 October 2007)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 2:50 PM


LILLIE, Robert J., Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University, 104 Wilkinson Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331 and TREHU, Anne M., College of Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, 104 Ocean Administration Building, Corvallis, OR 97331, lillier@geo.oregonstate.edu

EarthScope is an NSF-sponsored program to explore the structure and evolution of the North American continent and understand the physical processes that cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. A series of workshops organized by the newly-formed EarthScope National Office (ESNO) will train interpretive professionals in parks and museums to incorporate EarthScope data and science into programs that engage the public on landscape-forming processes and natural hazards.

EarthScope employs advanced geophysical sensors and high-performance computing to measure signals generated by earthquakes and volcanic events. Over the next decade, the program will deploy hundreds of seismometers and GPS devices, and drill a borehole into the San Andreas Fault, to observe the inner-workings of the continent. Many of the instruments are permanently-based in the western United States. Other instruments are being gradually moved across the country from west to east. The resulting EarthScope images provide a record of how the continent has evolved over millions of years, enabling scientists, students, and the public to appreciate how the shape, size, and internal structure of North America have changed, and how the continent continues to deform in ways that affect our lives.

Park rangers and museum educators are in unique positions to engage the public on the relevance of Earth processes by incorporating EarthScope discoveries as they are being made. Each workshop will combine presentations by EarthScope scientists with interpretive methods to convey the story of the tectonic development and ongoing deformation of the North American continent. Participants will learn how to use EarthScope data and scientific results to design and deliver interpretive programs that create opportunities for the public to form connections to the meanings of landscapes found in national parks and other special places.