Distinguished speakers highlight Earth Science Week at The U

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota will welcome two distinguished guests to campus this week during Earth Science Week at The U.

Michael Rowe, Ph.D., of the University of Iowa’s Department of Geoscience, will present a lecture in Akeley-Lawrence Science Center 125 on Thursday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. “Mount St. Helen’s Dacite: Insights Into Shallow Crystallization and Volatile Migration.” Rowe’s background is in igneous and experimental petrology, and analytical geochemistry. 

In addition to Rowe, Earth Science Week at USD will feature Timothy Heaton, Ph.D., chair of the earth sciences department at The U. Heaton’s address, “The On Your Knees Cave Excavation and the Reburial of Its 10,300-year-old Human Remains by Tlingit Tribes,” is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17 in Akeley-Lawrence Science Center 125. A reception for Heaton will follow in Akeley-Lawrence Science Center 210 at 3 p.m. In 1996, while excavating for Ice Age animal fossils in On Your Knees Cave on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, Heaton unearthed the remains of a human skull. It turned out that Heaton’s discovery was the oldest genetic sample ever recovered in the Americas and supported the scientific theory that humans first arrived in North America around 15,000 years ago. After more than a decade of scientific evaluation, those remains were returned to the local Native American tribes for burial.

A professor at USD since 1990, Heaton has a well-documented Web site featuring his research in the Alaskan caves at www.usd.edu/esci/alaska/intro.html, including detailed information on how the scientists and researchers maneuvered through the difficult limestone topography as well as results from various finds (www.usd.edu/esci/alaska/research.html).

For more information about Earth Science Week, please contact the Department of Earth Sciences by calling (605) 677-5649 or e-mail esci@usd.edu. This is the 11th annual Earth Science Week at USD since it was declared by Gov. William J. Janklow in 1998.