2012 GSA Annual Meeting

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences had a truly amazing week at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America! The entire faculty (Drs. Rademacher, Burmeister, Fox, & Pearson) and three majors (Nikki Mainwaring ’13, Kat Rawhouser 13′, & Brittany Klemm ’14) were lucky enough to be able to join the ~6,000 other academics, professionals, and students in attendance.

Boat Tours & Sea Cliffs

KILFENORA, IRELAND – We continued our exploration of the geology of County Clare on Wednesday morning with a boat trip in the Shannon Estuary. We departed from the docks at Carrigaholt and proceeded by boat out of the harbor (built in the 14th century) and passed an interesting historical convergence: the wreck of a WWII liberty ship, which was lying at the foot of a fort built to defend against a Napoleonic invasion that never came, at the foot of a hill topped by the ruins of a 6th century church.

Ancient Ecosystems & Loop Head

KILFENORA, IRELAND – Day two of our field course in western Ireland took us back to the limestone outcrops along the south side of Galway Bay. Dr. Best took the group to a set of amazing bedding plane exposures that preserve snapshots of communities of organisms that once lived on the Carboniferous sea floors of this region. Here, students gridded off the outcrop and carefully produced a series of amazingly detailed maps of fossil locations that helped us recreate the paleoecology of this ancient reef system.


KILFENORA, IRELAND – Today is the first official day of the 2012 Geology of County Clare field course led by Dr. Jim Best from the University of Illinois and sponsored by Shell Exploration and Production. We arrived in Dublin on the morning of May 12th and spent the rest of the day driving west on the M4 across Ireland’s midsection towards Galway.

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