What you'll learn
- How to identify geologic features of the landscape and roadside rock record
- Recognize potential geologic hazards including landslide areas, earthquakes, and volcanic areas.
- Understand how environmental factors shape human settlement and history
- How to follow or plan a mapped itinerary and hiking outings, including understanding risks involved
- Geology 101 or a good high school class in Earth science would help but is not necessary
In this ongoing course I provide itineraries on Google Maps and deliver slide and video presentations on the field geology along the route. In the first installment, we set out from Las Vegas on a road trip through the greater Death Valley region. Time and gasoline or solar-electric car permitting, I plan to add sections on the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce National Parks, as well as road trips in other states where I have lived. The geology is explained in the context of the known geologic history of the area, including the plate tectonic setting of the features that formed as well as the "rock record" available in outcrop. Background concepts are presented using available literature and Google Earth maps. We look at the human history of the areas as well, including ghost towns from the boom and crash economy of mining, the role of the environment on human land use, particularly with respects to water availability, and the popular culture that often used these landmarks. Geology is a science you can verify with your own eyes, and some of the most inspiring, intriguing, and awesome locations are right before your eyes, on the roadside, if you know what you're looking for. The course will definitely reinforce concepts you may have already learned in Geology 101, if you had one. If not, don't worry, I will provide the concepts and explanations from the geologic literature.
Who this course is for:
- General public interested in learning about their amazing Earth
John R. Hoaglund, III, Ph.D.
Dr. Hoaglund is a geologist with more than 35 years of experience in environmental research, teaching, and consulting in the private sector, government, and academia. He received his BS (1985) and MS (1987) degrees in geology from the University of Wisconsin, worked in research and consulting in Wichita, Kansas on projects related to ground water supply and contamination, then returned to academics in 1991, receiving his doctoral degree in geological sciences from Michigan State University in 1996. As part of his dissertation, he completed the US Geological Survey (USGS) Regional Aquifer Systems Analysis (RASA) groundwater model of the Michigan Basin, a model used to calculate modern and Pleistocene groundwater and brine discharge to the Great Lakes and rivers in Michigan. He taught hydrogeology, groundwater modeling, environmental geology, and glacial / climate geology at the University of Michigan before joining the Pennsylvania State University research on regional climate-hydrologic models, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, and groundwater nitrate studies, funded by the US Department of Agriculture. In 2007, Dr. Hoaglund resumed groundwater consulting, focusing primarily on sites involving perchlorate groundwater contamination in southern California. While reviewing the reactions involved in the manufacture of perchlorate, he recognized the potential for the electrolysis reaction to consume salt waste while producing hydrogen. Later, reviewing DOW documents describing the reasons and methods for the air-tight conditions required for the storage of sodium hydroxide byproducts, he recognized the potential for the aeration reaction to sequester carbon into bicarbonate.
Dr. Hoaglund founded Carbon Negative Water Solutions, LLC in 2010 to pursue the trifecta of desalination, water resource development, hydrogen production, and CO2 sequestration. In addition to continued groundwater consulting, he wrote extensively about the potential for coupling ocean desalination with carbon sequestration, and approached several water and energy companies with the idea to promote mutually beneficial cooperation. He discovered these companies operate in separate universes on projects that are planned over a decade or more, and are reluctant to adopt new technologies over the established and state-approved method for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation: offsetting. In 2015, Dr. Hoaglund relocated to Las Vegas to accept contract work with Navarro Research and Engineering for the Department of Energy, assisting with groundwater characterization and modeling of the Nevada National Security Site (formerly Nevada Test Site), work related to the legacy groundwater contamination associated with historic nuclear testing. In 2019 he transitioned the Carbon Negative Water Solutions LLC to the non-profit Carbon Negative Water and Energy. In addition to the non-profit, he maintains a private research consulting and e-learning service, Provenance Geosciences.