Welcome to the Colorado Scientific Society
The oldest scientific society in the Rocky Mountain region
Founded in 1882, the Colorado Scientific Society promotes knowledge, the understanding of science, and its application to human needs.
We focus primarily on earth science, welcoming members with interests in all fields of science. Learn more.
Future Colorado Scientific Society Meetings and Field Trips
CSS Meeting, Thursday, March 21, 2019
A Cook’s Tour of Colorado’s Glacial Landscape
Dr. Vince Matthews, Leadville Geology
Social time at 6:30 p.m., Program at 7:00
This is probably not the first time you have seen a similar image of these majestic peaks. Hordes of people ride the bus each summer to gaze upon the iconic Maroon Bells. But, how many of them realize that one reason they are so spectacular is because the bells are framed by a U-shaped glacial valley with faceted spurs and hanging valleys along its sides? And— how many of those realize that the valley was once filled with nearly 2,000 feet of ice? And— how many notice the rock glacier pouring out of the hanging valley below North Maroon Peak? And— how many of those realize that the rock glacier is flowing at 2.2 feet per year?
Throughout most of Earth history, glaciers did not exist on Earth. We are fortunate because we live in a time when glaciers reside on nearly every continent, even though we are in a warmer interglacial stade. Why is this a big deal?
Without glaciers to observe elsewhere on Earth, we might not be able to figure out what caused some of our most interesting landforms in Colorado. Suppose alpine glaciers did not exist on Earth today. Would we then be smart enough to propose that some valleys in Colorado had once been filled with ice thicker than the One World Trade Center is tall (1,776′)?
Dr. Vincent Matthews III has had a long and varied career in geology, in industry and academia. He was the Colorado State Geologist and Director of the Colorado Geological Survey from 2004-2012. Vince was the author of Messages in Stone, Colorado’s Colorful Geology (two editions, 2003 and 2009). Though he now resides in Wisconsin, Vince is on the Board of Directors of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, Leadville, CO; he writes a periodic blog via Facebook on “Leadville Geology”, and he is working on a forthcoming book, Land of Ice: A Guide to Colorado’s Glacial Landscape.
Meet as usual at the Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church
11500 W. 20th Ave., Lakewood CO
Social time is at 6:30; meeting & program at 7:00
Map for Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church
CSS Past Presidents’ Dinner and Meeting
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Kilauea’s 2018 Eruption – New methods and perspectives for monitoring volcanic eruptions
Our annual dinner to honor our past presidents is open to all, with a talk that both members and their spouses will enjoy. It will be at the Mount Vernon Canyon Club again. Those who do not want to come to the dinner can came later for the talk.
USGS Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Response Supporting the Kilauea Volcano Activity
In May 2018, the USGS deployed equipment and trained personnel to provide UAS remote sensing data acquisition over the impacted area of the Mount Kilauea eruption in Hawaii. The UAS response team flew over 1,300 flights totaling more than 300 hours of aerial geospatial and gas emission data collection utilizing nearly 40 different UAS operators from across the nation for a period of four months A USGS volcanologist guided mission planning in coordination with the UAS operations team lead to ensure tight integration of the team’s efforts and the needs of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), the National Park Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local emergency managers. The initial missions included providing visible and thermal imagery to monitor lava flows moving through residential areas and threatening critical infrastructure and to construct up-to-date digital elevation models of areas where lava flows had dramatically changed the topography. Measuring concentrations of hazardous gases were also a critical concern to emergency managers so the UAS payload was modified to collect gas data utilizing three different sensors. The Team was routinely asked to provide 24×7 surveillance including separate UAS operations (requiring three shifts) to cover FEMA and HVO data requests to provide situational awareness missions for emergency managers to assess spillovers and new lava channel breakouts.
Presenters: Don Becker, USGS and Jeff Sloan, USGS
Don Becker, USGS, is a videographer who was sent to Kilauea to film and document the 2018 eruption and earthquakes;
Jeff Sloan works in the USGS UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems; i.e., drones) program and will show how they were used at Kilauea.
Expect to see a lot of great video of the eruption.
Roasted Vegetable Risotto (Gluten Free)
– Fennel, carrots, parsnips, cremini mushrooms
– With pineapple pepper relish and coconut rice
Steak Medallions – With soy cream and ginger purple potatoes
Flourless Chocolate Torte
Crème Brulée with Fresh Berries
Download the dinner menu options with an RSVP form:
2019 CSS Past Presidents’ Dinner Menu and RSVP form
The Mount Vernon Canyon Club (formerly Mount Vernon Country Club) is on Lookout Mountain, southwest of Golden:
Mount Vernon Canyon Club
24933 Clubhouse Circle
Golden, CO 80401
Map for Mount Vernon Canyon Club
Members receive a lower price on dinner. Use our Colorado Scientific Society Membership Form to join.
CSS Meeting, Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Dr. Mark Barton, Univ. of Arizona, Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources.
This lecture will take place in conjunction with a two and a half day USGS-CSM-CGS joint Mineral Resources Forum.
Mark’s presentation title and the exact location (on the CSM campus) are still TBA. More info will be forthcoming.
Colorado Scientific Society Emmons Lecture
CSS Spring Field Trip, Sunday, May 19, 2019
A one-day field trip (about 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) starting at the Morrison exit/Woolly Mammoth Park & Ride, with 4 to 6 field stops relating to the Quaternary/Pleistocene geology of the Denver Basin. The trip will include a visit to the Magic Mountain archeological site, which has recently been in the news because of recent excavations by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Quaternary Geology of the Denver Basin
CSS September Meeting
Short Presentations by Students and Posters
Thursday, September 19, 2019
CSS Fall Field Trip, Saturday and Sunday, September 21-22, 2019
A two-day field trip with an overnight in Cañon City.
Visiting: Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument; Skyline Drive by Cañon City; Royal Gorge; Florence coal, oil, and gas basin; and the Cope-Marsh quarries.
Geology and Geoheritage of the Florissant-Cañon City-Florence area
Additional planned CSS Meeting dates for Fall 2019:
Thursday, October 17, 2019
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Thursday, December 19, 2019
Details to come.
Join or renew your membership online with the Colorado Scientific Society Membership Form
The Colorado Scientific Society was founded in 1882 as a forum for the exchange of observations and ideas on the topics of earth science. Our lecture series occurs on the third Thursday of each month, from September through May. Lecture topics largely focus on earth science, and are open to the public. In addition to our monthly lecture series, the society is also active in public service. We fund student research grants, construct and post signs that describe local geologic features, and organize and lead several field trips.
The Colorado Scientific Society usually meets on the third Thursday of the month from September through May at The Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church, 11500 W. 20th Ave., Lakewood CO
Social time is at 6:30; meeting & program at 7:00
(In the summer months of June-August, too many are off in the field.)
Map for Shepherd of the Hills Church
Corporate Sponsorship of the Colorado Scientific Society
Corporate sponsorship helps the Society continue to provide earth science-related talks, field trips, and other events to a broad cross-section of Front Range geologists and interested people. Please accept an invitation from the Colorado Scientific Society to become a corporate sponsor, enabling us to continue and expand our programs.
Details of corporate sponsorship of the Colorado Scientific Society
The Colorado Scientific Society is an Associated Society of the Geological Society of America
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