URI students discover geology rocks

Posted on
KINGSTON, R.I. — October 4, 2006 — Fourteen enthusiastic geology students interested in rock formations and outdoor camping traveled to Utah, Wyoming, and Montana in late August for a field trip that Lewis and Clark would have envied.

Accompanied by eight geology faculty and staff members, and Roy Bergstrom, a videographer, the students visited the Bingham Canyon copper mine in the Salt Lake area, saw Old Faithful spout in Yellowstone, and enjoyed the splendor of the Grand Teton National Park.

Don Hermes, professor of geology, organized the group and led the “expedition.” He and his geology colleagues pointed out such geological structures as lava flows, deltas, faults, calcite springs, and stratified gravel.

The group stopped long enough to pose for a photo at Fossil Butte, Wyo. Eocene-age Green River Shale, a rock unit well known for its abundant, perfectly preserved fossilized fish, caps the hill in the background, The trip was supported by John Sullivan ’85, who established an endowment to fund such fieldwork earlier this year. Sullivan fondly remembers the field trips he took as an undergraduate and the close bonds formed with his peers and professors.

After climbing a mountain in the northern part of Yellowstone, Jake Martin held a walking stick in one hand and a cellphone in another to notify his parents of his conquering position.

Joshua Keeley, a geological oceanography student, was asked if another trip in a different location were offered, would he sign up? “In a heartbeat,” he quickly replied.

Pictured above:

URI GEOLOGY GROUP: Standing in the back row (from left) are geology research associate Nasir Hamidzada, Professors Anne Veeger, Brian Savage, Don Hermes, Tom Boving, Jon Boothroyd, David Fastovsky, and students Byron Halavik, Mark Borrelli, Tyson Bottenus, Jim Allen, Ben Swanson, and Josh Klement. In middle row (far right, from left) Kristen Ware and Erica Sachs. Front row (from left) are students Josh Keeley, Jake Martin, Rachel Hehre, Karen Kortz, Patricia Logan, Marissa Kelly, and Professor Dan Murray.