Grand Teton to Host Distinguished Geologist Bob Smith

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Date: June 29, 2012
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3431

Grand Teton National Park welcomes Dr. Bob Smith, distinguished scholar and professor emeritus of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, to the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center auditorium at 6:30 p.m. on Friday evening, July 6 for a new special program on geologic forces in Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. Smith's presentation titled, Shaky Tetons and Breathing Yellowstone, will provide a window into the Yellowstone Hotspot and Teton Fault with new materials and demonstrations. 

The presentation will cover the Yellowstone hotspot and mantle plume; subsurface geology and earthquakes of Jackson Hole; Yellowstone's magma chamber; and the 'real-time pulse' of Yellowstone-Teton geology determined by GPS. Dr. Smith will also describe the newly upgraded Yellowstone earthquake-volcano monitoring network and show how the public can access the University of Utah real-time earthquake data. He will demonstrate the workings of a seismograph that can record earthquakes as small as magnitude -1 and super accurate GPS receiver that can measure ground movement as small as a few millimeters. 

Dr. Smith has made outstanding contributions in the field of geology, specifically in association with Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. Smith's lengthy career in studying and interpreting earthquakes, fault zones, and volcanoes-and their impacts on the geologic evolution of northwestern Wyoming-has generated a greater appreciation for, and increased knowledge of, the dynamic forces at work in the physical landscape of the world-renowned Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. 

Smith holds a Ph.D. from the University of Utah and has served as a visiting professor at Columbia University, Cambridge University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. His popular book with Lee Siegel, Windows Into the Earth: The Geologic Story of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (2000, Oxford University Press) explains the geology of the parks, and he regularly provides 'real-time' feedback to personnel in both parks about seismic events throughout the region to encourage effective response planning to natural geologic hazards. 

The discussion is free and open to the public. Seating is available for the first 150 guests on a first come-first served basis. For further information, please contact the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 307.739.3399.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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