2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)

Paper No. 35
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM


FERNS, Mark L., College of Arts and Sciences, Eastern Oregon University, La Grande, OR 97850-2899, MCCLAUGHRY, Jason D., Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, 1995 3rd Street, Suite 130, Baker City, OR 97814, RODDEY, James, Earth Sciences Information Officer, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, 800 NE Oregon St., #28, Suite 965, Portland, OR 97232 and SCHUELLER, D., Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, 800 NE Oregon Street # 28, Suite 965, Portland, OR 97232, mferns@eou.edu

Geologic maps provide fundamental information about the solid earth we live on. They allow effective management of geologic hazards, land use, and mineral, energy and water resources. Economic uncertainties require government geologic surveys to thoroughly justify monetary expenditures doing what a skeptical public oftentimes views as esoteric science. Recent geologic mapping in the Lower Crooked Basin of central Oregon, funded by the USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping program (STATEMAP) and the state of Oregon, illustrates some of these challenges. Project goals were to develop detailed geologic maps that could be incorporated into groundwater and geologic hazard studies. The challenge lay in taking those maps and developing public outreach tools. As a scientific exercise, the mapping project was highly successful; in part due to the discovery of two large rhyolite calderas that are part of the Eocene to early Miocene Clarno and John Day Formations. To meet the public education challenge, work in the Lower Crooked Basin has been published in a variety of formats including technical GIS-based geologic maps and reports, detailed field trip guides, simplified informational pamphlets, and web-based Google Earth maps. Workshops and public forums are routinely used by Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries to further disseminate geologic data, both to earth science professionals and the public at large. Additional work is also under way with cooperating government agencies to develop and site informational kiosks that explain the significance of the area’s rich geologic history. The first such displays were placed in the Oregon State Capitol building where they will be on view for the next two years.