August 8, 2014
Contact: Bruce Rowe
Contact: Ken Mehne
Contact: Erika Rose
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Media Advisory
-NOT FOR PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION: MEDIA INVITATION ONLY-
The National Park Service (NPS) will host a media event at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s Mount Baldy dune on Thursday, August 14, between 9:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time. The news media will be escorted to a safe location on Mt. Baldy where they can view the latest phase of research into the holes that have been forming on the dune and where they can interview some of the scientists conducting this work. For their safety, the media will be restricted to this one location on the dune.
Geologists Todd Thompson, of the Indiana Geological Survey (IGS), G. William Monaghan, of the IGS and Indiana University Bloomington, and Erin Argyilan, of Indiana University Northwest, will be available to explain this summer’s study of the dune and the equipment and technology being used in the research.
Who: National Park Service, Indiana Geological Survey, and Indiana University (Bloomington and Northwest campuses)
What: A media event to interview researchers and view their work on Mt. Baldy
Where: Meet at the parking lot of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s Mt. Baldy 101 Rice Street (US Highway 12), Michigan City, Indiana 46360
When: Thursday, August 14, 2014, 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time. In the event of lightning or other dangerous weather, a rain date will be determined.
Background: Mt. Baldy is the site where a six-year-old boy fell into a hole on July 12, 2013. The boy survived being buried under 11-feet of sand for 3.5 hours. Since that time several additional holes have been observed on the north facing slope of Mt. Baldy. The NPS, in partnership with the Indiana Geological Survey, Indiana University Northwest, and Indiana University Bloomington, is seeking to determine the cause of the holes and collapse features that have been forming on Mt. Baldy over the last year. For public safety, the dune has been closed since the accident. The next phases of the research will focus on gathering more data to explore the internal structure of the dune and the working hypothesis that the holes are caused by decomposing trees under the dune.
Note: It is approximately a ½-mile walk from the parking lot to a safe location on the far western ridge of Mt. Baldy where the media will be able to view the work occurring on Mt. Baldy and interview researchers. While most of the walk is on a solid surface, the last 100 yards are up a steep, sandy surface.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a part of the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov/indu.
The Indiana Geological Survey, established in 1837, is a research institute of Indiana University with offices at IU Bloomington. Its mission is to provide geological information and counsel that contribute to the wise stewardship of energy, water and mineral resources for the state. Learn more at www.igs.indiana.edu.
Indiana University is a multi-campus public university system in the state of Indiana. It has a combined student body of more than 110,000 students, including approximately 43,000 students enrolled at the Indiana University Bloomington campus. Learn more at www.indiana.edu.
Indiana University Northwest is one of seven regional campus in the Indiana University system. IU Northwest leads the region as the premier, urban campus dedicated to serving the needs of nearly 6,400 students from the state’s most diverse and industrialized region. Learn more at www.iun.edu.