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UMPI hosts Geological Society of Maine spring meeting

Friday, 06 April 2012

Working and aspiring geologists from throughout Maine, as well as geology-focused educators and students, will gather at the University of Maine at Presque Isle when it hosts the Spring 2012 meeting of the Geological Society of Maine on Friday, April 13. The meeting will be held on the second floor of UMPI's Campus Center from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This is only the second time in the society's 38-year history that one of its annual meetings has been held at UMPI. The Geological Society of Maine [GSM], founded in 1974, is a non-profit organization dedicated to geological issues and education in Maine, according to its website. The society's mission includes furthering public awareness and understanding of the geology of the State of Maine, and of the modern geologic processes which affect the Maine landscape and the human environment.

UMPI's Environmental Studies and Sustainability Program as well as its Geo-Ecology Club were instrumental in bringing the meeting to the Presque Isle campus.

"We are quite pleased to be hosting the Geological Society of Maine for its spring meeting," Dr. Kevin McCartney, UMPI Professor of Geology, said. "This is a tremendous opportunity for the citizens of northern Maine and the students here to attend a professional society meeting complete with presentations and the opportunity to make connections with present and future colleagues."

The day's activities will kick off with an executive committee meeting from 10:30 a.m. to Noon. Concurrent with lunch from Noon to 1 p.m., there will be an Employment Panel from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. that will provide students preparing to seek jobs in the fields of geological and environmental sciences and professionals in those fields with a chance to discuss typical interview and employment practices.

From 1 to 3:30 p.m., geology students from around the state will deliver posters and presentations. UMPI non-geology science students have been invited to participate in this session and have their work evaluated. Only geology presentations are eligible for the event's Walt Anderson cash award. Immediately following this session, the society's business meeting will take place from 3:30 to 4 p.m.

The daylong event will culminate with a keynote address by Dr. Steve Kite from 4 to 5 p.m. titled Ice Age Refugia in Cold Air Traps - Prospects in the Northern New England Landscape. Dr. Kite serves as Chair of the Department of Geology and Geography at West Virginia University.

Professor Kite obtained his Master's degree at the University of Maine in 1979 and focused on the postglacial history of the St. John River Valley between Fort Kent and Grand Falls, New Brunswick. Dr. Kite continued working on the St. John River upstream of Fort Kent for his 1983 Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Wisconsin, which addressed the glacial and postglacial history of northern Maine. After starting at WVU in 1983, Kite continued summer research in northern Maine with the Maine Geological Survey through 1990, and periodically ran a coastal Maine field trip as part of the WVU Field Geology course until 2001. His recent research has focused on surficial geology in the Central Appalachians, especially cold air traps in talus slopes and rock cities.

Following the GSM meeting, there will be a memorial gathering at 5:30 p.m. for UMPI Emeritus Professor William H. "Bill" Forbes, a long-time geologist who taught at the University for more than 20 years and passed away in 2011.

For more information about the society's spring meeting, contact Dr. McCartney at 768-9482. To learn more about the Geological Society of Maine, visit its website at www.gsmmaine.org.