Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dispatches from the Road: Far Western Section Conference in Bishop, California

A few preliminary views from the road at the joint NAGT/CalESTA field conference at Bishop California. One of our stops: the Mono Lake Tufa Towers. The tufa is made of calcium carbonate, and forms near freshwater springs in the intensely salty and alkaline lake.
The lake supports brine shrimp and brine flies which in turn provide sustenance for millions of migrating birds. The lake has been threatened by water diversions that caused to shrink to a shadow of its former size, but lawsuits and legal agreements are stabilizing lake levels.

The lake formed in a volcanic-tectonic depression, and active volcanoes are found in and near the lakeshore. The white island in the distance is formed by uplift of the lake sediments by volcanic intrusions.

NAGT stands for the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, Far Western Section (Hawaii, California and Nevada). We welcome anyone with an interest in the geological sciences: you don't have to be a teacher or major to be a member. NESTA is the National Earth Science Teachers Association, and the trip was organized by their Far Western Section. The NESTA organizer was Wendy Van Norden, director of the Far Western Section, and the NAGT organizer was Mark Boryta, president of the Far Western Section.

These trips are a blast! And you learn stuff, too. More pictures will be forthcoming, although you might check the blog of the NAGT-FWS for more info and pictures. Meanwhile, the sun is bright, and the road beckons! Y'all have a wonderful day; I'm intending to...


Unknown said...

Do you tweet?

Vadrosaul said...

That place looks astounding. Do you happen to know the rough coordinates of the lake?