Steve's Blog

Wonderful Newsletters

Craters of the Moon Nov. 2016

CRATERS OF THE MOON Just a few miles west of here you will find the eastern boundary of a geologic province like no other. Most often referred to as the Snake River Plain, this unique landscape cuts a swath from the Oregon-Idaho-Nevada border all the way across Idaho...

read more

Teton Quadrangle Nov. 2016

You can’t tell where you are going unless you know where you have been. ~ Unknown SPARRING WITH SERAPH In the dystopian sci-fi movie The Matrix Reloaded, Neo, the main protagonist, must spar with Seraph, the gatekeeper, before consulting the Oracle for a big-picture...

read more

Earth Mars Oct 2016

TERRESTRIAL ANALOGS In their insightful book Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe, Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee propose that life may be ubiquitous in the universe, and give many good reasons why this could be so. For example, they note that some...

read more

Iceland Oct. 2016

A VICTORY FOR THE PROLETARIAT There are - in the same loose sense of the term that there are only two kinds of anything - only two kinds of Earth crust. Continental crust is the stuff of... well, continents. Oceanic crust is the stuff at the bottom of oceans. The...

read more

Satellites Sep 2016

Man must rise above the Earth - to the top of the atmosphere and beyond - for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives. -Socrates     THE GREAT COSMIC QUILT In 1729, Isaac Newton theorized that if a cannon ball could be shot into space with just...

read more

Burgess Shale Sep 2016

  THE EXPLOSION OF LIFE Life began very early in Earth’s history, perhaps nearly 4 billion years ago, but complex life, animals that we might recognize, literally exploded onto the scene in the early Cambrian time, some 500+ million years ago. Before that were mostly...

read more

Mt. St. Helen Aug 2016

And I would have liked to have known you But I was just a kid Your candle burned out long before Your legend ever did -Elton John, Candle In The Wind THE FLEETING GLORY OF YOUTH  It is surprisingly difficult to find good photographs of pre-1980 Mount St Helens. There...

read more

Greenland Aug 2016

SECRETS OF THE BIG EMPTY Greenland. The name alone beckons forth a dull-white canvas so vast and subtle that detail is difficult to apprehend even at the widest embrace of the human eye. At greater distances, contradictions emerge that only add to the mystique of this...

read more

Continental Collisions July 2016

THE FIRST FIFTEEN MILLISECONDS GJH member John Daily, who happens to be a nationally recognized crash expert, finds his deepest joy in crashing vehicles into each other. It could be a mini cooper and a cement truck, a couple of pickup trucks, maybe a corvette and a...

read more

Crinoids July 2016

KEEPING ONE EYE ON THE BIGGER PICTURE  July, 2016 It is easy to understand why some people are so obsessed with fossils. Our geography and weather, our families and friends, hopes and dreams, plans and schemes - all of the substance that constitutes our individuality...

read more

Pegmatites June 2016

THE LAST ONE PERCENT While it is a deceptively simplistic observation, humans and chimpanzees share about 98.8% of the same DNA ( DNA: Comparing Humans and Chimps ). Now, we can all agree that chimpanzees are pretty cool in their own right, swinging around in trees...

read more

Gros Vente September 2014

THE SECOND FIDDLE The Gros Ventre Range is an old structure.  Originally extending all the way west to what is now the suburbs of Rexburg (a lot closer to here at the time), it was mother nature’s singular object of affection in Teton County and the source material...

read more

Story of Earth September 2015

RETHINKING THE STORY OF EARTH It is easy to regard oxygen as an essential gas that constitutes about 21% of our atmosphere.  This is .0001% of the whole story.  The remaining 99.9999% of the earth’s oxygen is locked up in rocks and minerals.  Most of the atoms in the...

read more

Permian Matters April 2015

WHY THE PERMIAN STILL MATTERS Permian time is best remembered by the earth science community as an ending.  It expired in a desperate fizzle that marks the greatest extinction event known to science (aptly referred to as “the Great Permian Extinction”) and from its...

read more

Nuanced History March 2015

A NUANCED VIEW nuance |ˈn(y)o͞oˌäns| nouna subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound: the nuances of facial expression and body language. -Apple Dictionary It is an easy thing for many of our friends and members to visualize the geology of the...

read more

Teton Fault February 2015

UNDERSTANDING OUR FAULT The history of humanity is highlighted by astounding acts of bravery, charity, and sacrifice.  We have created works of art, music and literature that live on through the ages.  We have extended the frontiers of science beyond the imaginings of...

read more

Past Future February 2015

Using his new back-yard observatory here in Jackson, GJH Member Mike Adler recently captured this image of Messier 81, a large spiral galaxy in our neck of the cosmic neighborhood.  It is interesting to note that what we can see today (through Mike’s lens) is an 11.8...

read more

Geology Comes to Life March 2014

WHEN GEOLOGY COMES TO LIFE We know much more about the last ninth of the Earth’s history than we do the remaining eight ninths combined.  From the Cambrian to the present the geologic time scale is largely informed by and sometimes arranged according to a series of...

read more

Himalayas February 2014

26,795 foot high Dhaulagiri I at Dawn, Nepal.  Image captured by GJH member Mike Adler. WHEN INDIA MET ASIA Dancing shoes Though the distances divide us There’s a paradise inside us We can’t lose Dan Fogelberg, Dancing Shoes I remember the day I met my wife as if it...

read more

Backstory July 2013

The Biggest Backstory "Though justice be thy plea, consider this - that in the course of justice,  none of us should see salvation." - Portia, in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice   Greetings GJH friends and members.  Things are always more complicated than they...

read more

Summary Sedimentology Frontiers

October 18 (Tuesday), 6 p.m., Teton Co. Library Auditorium - Open to Public. Presentation: " Sedimentology Frontiers from Earth to Mars: Dunes, Deformation, & Diagenesis”. Presented by Margie Chan, University of Utah. An enticing challenge of sedimentology is applying...

read more