Central New York Association of Professional Geologists

Upcoming events

    • Wednesday, October 17, 2018
    • 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Spaghetti Warehouse

    Nick Warner, SUNY Geneseo

    The InSight mission to Mars: A geologist's approach to landing site evaluation

    The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission to Mars is scheduled to land on November, 26th 2018. It is a NASA Discovery class lander mission designed to investigate the interior structure of Mars and to understand the formation and differentiation of terrestrial planets. The mission is solar powered and is equipped with a seismometer (SEIS instrument) for evaluation of the internal structure, heat flow probe (HP3) to estimate the internal heat flux and a precision tracking system (RISE) to measure the size and state of the core, mantle, and crust. The landing site evaluation required 6 years, and involved multiple engineers and scientists to certify a suitable location. This talk will discuss the engineering and science requirements for landing InSight on Mars as well as the geology and surface characteristics of the landing site. The landing site was restricted to a narrow latitudinal band of 15°S–5°N for solar power and thermal management considerations and an elevation of -2.5 km below the planetary datum for sufficient atmosphere to slow the lander. Other regional requirements included the thermal inertia of the surface, dust index, slope, local relief, rock abundance and the presence of a 3 to 5 m thick, loosely-consolidated regolith for successful penetration of the heat flow probe. The final landing site was chosen in western Elysium Planitia. Landing models determined a landing ellipse size of 130 km by 27 km for a ballistic entry and descent into the martian atmosphere. Geologic mapping and terrain analysis determined that the ellipse was covered in a smooth, cratered-plains unit with a moderate albedo, low rock abundance (~2 - 4%), and moderate thermal inertia (~180 Jm−2 K−1 s−1/2). An evaluation of impact crater ejecta properties and depth/diameter relationships indicated the presence of a 2 to 5 m thick loose, granular regolith that is suitable for the heat flow probe.


    Nick Warner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at SUNY Geneseo. He is also a participating scientist on the InSight mission to Mars and former postdoctoral fellow at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He graduated with a PhD from Arizona State University in 2008 and is an alumnus of SUNY Geneseo.

    • Wednesday, November 21, 2018
    • 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Spaghetti Warehouse

     Dr. Page Quinton, Assistant Professor, SUNY Potsdam

    Title: Carbon isotopes in shallow epicontinental seas: lessons from the Late Ordovician


    · Introduction to the paleoclimatic and chemostratigraphic applications of bulk carbonate carbon isotopic values

    · Discuss how sea level fluctuations might influence carbon isotopic trends in shallow epicontinental seas: 1) global to regional changes in carbon cycling vs. 2) regional to local changes in environmental conditions due to proximity to shoreline.

    · How do we distinguish between these end member processes: a sedimentology, sequence stratigraphic, and geochemical approach?

    · Introduction to Late Ordovician chemostratigraphy

    · Trends and patterns observed in Laurentia’s epicontinental sea and what they can tell us about the relationship between sea level and carbon isotopic trends

    · Future exploration and testing in Mississippian carbonates of Montana

    • Wednesday, December 19, 2018
    • 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Spaghetti Warehouse


    • Wednesday, January 16, 2019
    • 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Spaghetti Warehouse

     Dr. Donald I Siegel, Syracuse University

     “The Dismissal of Facts in Water-Related Decision Making: Root Causes and What to do About It”.

     Water scientists no longer can assume that societal decisions on water, ranging from contamination to resource allocation, will be based on preponderance of scientific fact. Regional and social tribalism, single issues tied to ethics, and a fragmented digital media lead to bipartisan repudiation of science and the scientific method. Opposing sides of water (and other) scientific issues use identical play books to reduce the value of scientific facts; “cherry picking” data, smearing bearers of unwelcome scientific news, promoting obstructionist rhetoric, and not expressing true concerns. The scientific debate over methane concentrations in drinking water serves as a case in point. A possible way for scientists in water quality or quantity debates to ameliorate this sad state of affairs is to publicly respect and take the time understand the opposition to sound water science, thereby offering a chance for compromise in the future.   


    • Wednesday, February 20, 2019
    • 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Spaghetti Warehouse


    • Wednesday, March 20, 2019
    • 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Spaghetti Warehouse

     Dr. Esteban Gazel, Associate Professor Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Cornell University. 

    "The rocks that joined the Americas: Is there a connection with climate and evolution of life?"

     Earth’s crust is the life-sustaining interface between our planet’s deep interior and surface. Basaltic crusts similar to Earth’s oceanic crust characterize terrestrial planets in the solar system while the continental masses, areas of buoyant, thick silicic crust, are a unique characteristic of Earth. The continental crust is also enriched in incompatible elements (elements that separate from the mantle during partial melting) and although it is a volumetrically minor layer it plays a major role in the fractionation and storage of those elements. Therefore, understanding the processes responsible for the formation of continents is fundamental to reconstructing the evolution of our planet. Analyzing modern analogues where “juvenile” continental crust is forming can provide a better understanding of the formation of continental crust in the past. The evolution of the Central American Land-Bridge (CALB, Costa Rica and Panama) was used as a natural laboratory to answer this fundamental question. Geochemical and geophysical data support the evolution of the CALB into a young continent as a result of the interaction of Galapagos Hotspot tracks with this subduction system. A global survey of intra-oceanic arcs was conducted with the goal of identifying where magmas with continental crust signatures have been produced and what processes control the composition of the volcanic output. Finally, a new geochemical continental index was developed to quantitatively correlate geochemical composition with available average arc P-wave velocity, resulting in a strong correlation (r2=0.87) between those two parameters. Our work suggests that although the origin and evolution of continents may require many processes, melting of enriched oceanic crust and reaction of these melts with the mantle wedge in a subduction system will result in juvenile continental crust production, a process that was probably more common in the Archean than today. In Central America the production of “juvenile” continental crust culminated with the closure of the Panama Seaway ~15 to 3 Ma. This closure resulted in global change of ocean circulation, separated marine species, and allowed the exchange of fauna between the Americas, making the evolution of the CALB not only relevant to the understanding of geologic processes, but also had considerable impacts on evolution of life and climate on the planet.

    • Wednesday, April 17, 2019
    • 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Spaghetti Warehouse


    • Wednesday, May 15, 2019
    • 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Spaghetti Warehouse


Past events

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 September Dinner Meeting: Dr. Jeff Karson, Syracuse University, “Fire and Ice: Living with Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Glaciers in Iceland ”
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 May Meeting: Jamesville Quarry Field trip
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 April Dinner Meeting and Speaker: Bill Kappel (Retired USGS) & John Williams (Current USGS) "Time-domain electromagnetic soundings for the delineation of saline groundwater in the Genesee River Valley, western New York"
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 March Dinner Meeting and Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth Moran (EcoLogic, LLC), "The Cayuga Lake Modeling Project (CLMP) "
Wednesday, February 21, 2018 February Dinner Meeting and Speaker: Joe Gonzales (Syracuse Univ) "Pressure-temperature-time histories across the Burgess Branch Fault Zone, northern Vermont" and Mariana Rhoades (St. John Fisher College), "Historic Quarries and the Stone Industry..."
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 January Dinner Meeting and Speaker: John Nadeau, NYSCPG: "The State of Professional Geology in New York "
Wednesday, December 20, 2017 December Dinner Meeting and Speaker: Keith White (Arcadis) “Winning with Karst: Effectively Managing Contaminated Karst Aquifers”
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 November Dinner Meeting and Speaker: Dr. Richard Young (Emeritus Geneseo Geology), "When did the last, late Wisconsin continental ice sheet actually retreat from West-Central, NY?
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 Joint Meeting with NEAIPG and NYSCPG
Thursday, October 12, 2017 Schweinfurth Art Center Geologists and Friends Reception
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 September Dinner Meeting and Speaker: Dr. Andrew Kozlowski (New York State Geological Survey)
Thursday, August 17, 2017 Summer Break
Thursday, July 20, 2017 Summer Break
Thursday, June 15, 2017 Summer Break
Thursday, May 18, 2017 May Dinner Meeting and Speaker: Dr. Charles Ver Straeten (NYS Museum) Explosive volcanic eruptions, and the fate of volcanic ash in sedimentary environments
Thursday, April 20, 2017 April Dinner Meeting and Speaker: Dr. Rachel Lee (SUNY Oswego) Compositional and Textural Analysis of Maar-Diatreme Volcanic Deposits at Hopi Buttes Volcanic Field (AZ) Using GigaPan and Thermal Infrared Imagery
Thursday, March 16, 2017 March Dinner Meeting and Speaker: Peter Knuepfer (SUNY Binghamton) Evidence for Changing Flood Frequency, Upper Susquehanna River Basin
Thursday, February 16, 2017 February Dinner Meeting and Speaker: Dr. Barbara J. Tewksberry (Dept. of Geosciences, Hamilton College) Karst Development in Western Egypt
Thursday, January 19, 2017 January Dinner Meeting and Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth K. Thomas (SUNY Buffalo) I Can See Clearly Now: Improving our ability to reconstruct past rain and snowfall by monitoring seasonal trends of hydrogen isotopes in environmental water and sedimentary leaf wa
Thursday, December 15, 2016 ** CANCELED **December Dinner Meeting and Speaker: Dr. Andrew Kozlowski (New York State Geological Survey)
Thursday, November 17, 2016 November Dinner Meeting and Speaker: Dr. Jeff Over (SUNY Geneseo)
Thursday, October 20, 2016 October Dinner Meeting and Speaker
Friday, October 07, 2016 2016 High Resolution Site Characterization and Emerging Contaminants Symposium
Copyright CNYAPG, All rights reserved
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software