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The Geological Story of the Front Range

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Boulder, CO

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The Geological Story of the Front Range is taught by A.R. (Pete) Palmer. Pete has a PhD in geology from the University of Minnesota. He was a paleontologist with the USGS in Washington, D.C. for 16 years, and then spent 14 years as a Professor of Geology at Stony Brook University. Arriving in Boulder in 1980 as the Centennial Science Program Coordinator for the Geological Society of America, he supervised production of some 40 books summarizing the geology of North America. He retired in 1992 and now spends time working toward a sustainable future for all.

There's a story where the foothills meet the plains. You can read it in the landscape, if you know what you are seeing. Let an expert show you the evidence that unlocks this story. You'll learn about the pieces of our local geologic history, and how to use them to interpret other regions as well. We'll discuss the meaning of "deep time," and travel from the black shales and fossiliferous limestone near Neva Road to the ancient granite in El Dorado Canyon. Touch an unconformity where 1.5 billion years of strata have gone missing, and see a 60-million-year-old oyster reef. An introductory hand-out lists key points at twelve stops. Others provide additional information. We'll end with a DVD presentation back at our original meeting place.

One-day Field Class driving tour, with a final indoor summary: Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Boulder area. Bring your own lunch to eat at a planned mid-day stop.

Tuition: $50.00. Limited to 8 participants in 2 cars, due to parking limitations. Instructor hopes to alternate between cars, if possible.

Registration opens on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. MDT


Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

Our classes are geared toward adult learners. The minimum suggested age for attendance is 18.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Our meeting location will be provided to registrants about two weeks before the class starts in a "Welcome" email from the Instructor. Come to that location and Pete will meet you there. We'll divide into two cars at that time.

While we suggest that all occupants share the fair cost of gas/operating costs, along with the park entrance fee to El Dorado Canyon State Park, BCNA does not participate in any carpool arrangements. Please come prepared with cash, in change, so you can share these costs, and agree on an amount with the driver before you leave.

What can I bring into the event?

You may want paper and pen/pencil. The Instructor will let you know if there is anything specific that you should bring. Otherwise, be prepared for time outdoors. We'll stay fairly close to the cars, but may step away. You might bring a daypack, and you'll want to bring water or food for snacks and a planned lunch stop. Wear hiking clothes and footwear adequate for conditions. Bring sun and/or bug protection, and any other personal items or extra clothing you might want or need.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please email We do not check this account every day, but will try to get back to you within four business days.

What's the refund policy?

We open registration for each class just six weeks before the class starts so that you will have a good idea of your availability. Our apologies, but refunds are not available. Most of the proceeds from classes go to our instructors. The remainder helps support our education program, research grants, publications, seminars, and conservation efforts. If you must cancel, we hope you'll consider your payment as a donation to the Boulder County Nature Association. Of course, if we must cancel a class, your payment will be fully refunded.

Can I update my registration information?


Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No. Your name will be on our registration list. You may print your Confirmation Email if you want a record.

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