Mark R. Sweeney, Ph.D., assistant professor of earth sciences/physics at The U, and Christopher E. Markley, a USD student from Pierre, S.D., are scheduled to present during this first-ever joint meeting of these scientific Societies, which celebrates the International Year of Planet Earth.

Utilizing data from his research on the topic of Loess and Loess Soils, Sweeney is presenting “Using Soils, Tephras and Luminescence to Reveal the Holocene Record of Loess in the Pacific Northwest” to discuss the latest phase of loess accumulation in the Palouse of the Pacific Northwest. Markley, meanwhile, uses data on sediments, geomorphology and quaternary geology in his presentation, “Compositional Variability of Dust-Producing Landforms in the Mojave Desert of Southern California,” which details three desert landforms capable of producing dust in the southern California portion of the Mojave Desert region.

More than 10,000 scientists are expected to attend the 2008 Joint Meeting, which is being hosted by the Houston Geological Society. Information about the 2008 conference is also available online at

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