National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT)
Spring 2011 Meeting of the Far-Western Section

Caltech’s Tectonics Observatory is hosting the Spring 2011 meeting of the Far-Western Section of the NAGT.

We have a diverse offering of trips this year that cover a wide range of Earth Sciences. Field trips and workshops will introduce participants to recent developments in tectonics, geochemistry, seismology, petrology and geomorphology.

1.5 CEU (continuing education units) will be available for participants through USC’s Rossier School of Education.
When/Where:   Friday - Sunday, March 25 - 27, 2011 / Arms Building, Caltech, Pasadena, CA

Workshop materials available

Saturday evening presentation slides available - Journey to the bottom of the sea: how deep-sea corals calcify and why we care - Jess Adkins (Caltech), pdf or ftp

Agenda - updated version

Additional Plate Rotation workshop added on Sunday afternoon - Due to the long wait list for Tanya's Plate Rotation workshop on Sunday morning, Tanya has kindly offered to lead her workshop a second time on Sunday afternoon. It will be from 1:15 pm to 4 pm, in S Mudd 162. Let us know if you would like to sign up!

Parking - This campus map shows where to park. You can park in any **unmarked** parking space in the Caltech parking garage located at the corner of Wilson and San Pasqual starting Friday afternoon and going through the weekend. Parking services has agreed not to ticket those spaces during that time. WARNING: DO NOT park your car overnight on Pasadena city streets. This is against the law and has a high fine attached.

For Anorthosite field trip: Please wear appropriate clothes (good hiking shoes, warm clothes as it may be wet and windy), and bring sunscreen and a hammer. Hand lenses (5 and 10x) will be provided.

For Erosion field trip: The hike will be about 2 miles on steep and uneven terrain. Depending on water levels and the condition of the trail, a river crossing may be necessary. Wear comfortable shoes, hiking boots, or water sandals. Bring water, sun hat, sun screen, rain jacket (if weather demands it), notebook, pens, ruler, and a calculator.

Maps - Campus map with parking, Nearby services

Talk added on recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan (3/22/2011): Tom Heaton has generously offered to give a presentation on the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. It will be Friday, at 6:15, in the Arms Building, Sharp Lecture Hall.

Another Sunday workshop offered (3/18/2011): Joann Stock has graciously offered to lead her Earthquake Magnitude workshop again on Sunday

Three workshops are full (3/18/2011): Saturday's Earthquake Magnitude by Stock; Sunday's Plate Rotation by Atwater; Sunday's Historical Earthquakes by Nadin/Philibosian

Registration Deadline extended (2/28/2011): The deadline for registration has been extended to March 11. The registration fee is $95 for all payment postmarked by March 11. For payment postmarked after March 11, the fee will be $125.

Schedule revised (2/10/2011): Operations of Community Seismometer Network workshop moved from Sunday to Saturday afternoon

Field trips:
  • Erosion and Sediment Transport in steep Mountain Terrain, San Gabriel Mountains - Mike Lamb (Caltech)
  • San Gabriel Anorthosite and the San Andreas Fault - Bruce Carter (Pasadena Community College)
  • Vasquez Rocks - Elisabeth Nadin (UA, Fairbanks) and Rebecca Walker (Mt San Antonio College)
  • Devil's Punchbowl and Red Rock Canyon - Donald Prothero (Occidental College)
Evening Speakers:
  • Good Vibrations Inside the Earth - Jennifer Jackson (Caltech)
  • Journey to the bottom of the sea: how deep-sea corals calcify and why we care -Jess Adkins (Caltech)
Exhibits and tours:
  • Tour of Seismo Lab - Margaret Vinci (Caltech)
  • Southern CA Earthquake Center (SCEC) display
  • Low-T Thermometry and Thermochronometry and Applications (including dating the formation of the Grand Canyon) - Ken Farley, John Eiler, and Brian Wernicke (Caltech)
  • Earthquake Magnitude, Energy, and Focal Mechanisms (beach balls) - Joann Stock (Caltech)
  • Plate Tectonic Rotation of the Transverse Ranges: what happened, how we know it happened, and how it created Southern California’s unique geography, climate, ocean currents and biological richness - Tanya Atwater (UCSB)
  • Historical Earthquakes and Uplift/Subsidence of Sumatra from Coral Growth Rings - Elizabeth Nadin (UA, Fairbanks) and Belle Philibosian (Caltech)
  • Operations of Community Seismometer Network (How your laptop can help scientists better understand earthquakes) - Tom Heaton and Ming-Hei Cheng (Caltech)

Schedule and Description

Registration Packet

For information contact:

Jeff Grover: jgrover (at)
Laurie Kovalenko: lauriek (at)

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Last updated: May 5, 2011 :: Contact Us


Tectonics Observatory