Geology is all around us, scarcely thought of as we go about our lives. Yet, it affects everything we do as a civilization, as a society and as individuals. While barely appearing to change from day to day, it works to alter the course of evolution. Preserving a record of creatures and landscapes both ancient and forgotten, the story of our past is written in stone and waiting to be read. I offer a view of how I see our world and its inhabitants, both past and present, as seen through my lens.
It is with great sadness that I learned of the tragic death of Larry Newby, the veteran chief pilot for Redtail Aviation out of Price, Utah. Larry was killed along with a father and son from Texas when his single-engine Cessna crashed on Wednesday, April 25 in a remote district of the Four Corners region.
Geologist Wayne Ranney and I spent only one day with Larry back in May 2011, but it was both wonderful and unforgetable, touring and photographing an expansive region of south-central Utah by air. From the moment we lifted off, Larry’s love of flying and knowledge of the desert and canyons of the Southwest became readily apparent. He filled our flight with history, stories and anecdotes about the region as we conversed by headsets throughout the flight. The fruits of that day included over 500 incredible aerial photos, three posts on this blog and some great memories.
My sincere condolences go to Larry’s family, friends and colleagues at Redtail Aviation. My heartfelt sympathy also goes out to the Texas family and friends that lost a father and son in this terrible accident.
I’m pleased to announce that one of my photos of the Grand Canyon’s Inner Gorge and the Great Unconformity has been chosen to grace the cover of the The Outcrop 2011, a Geoscience Departmental alumni magazine of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The alumni newsletter has been published for over 30 years.
The article that accompanies my cover photo was written by Shannon Peters, an Assistant Professor and faculty member in the Department of Geoscience. His research area is sedimentary geology and paleobiology.
By the way, definitely check out the article in the April 19, 2012 issue of Nature entitled “Formation of the ‘Great Unconformity’ as a trigger for the Cambrian Explosion.” Shanan E. Peters and Robert R. Gaines of the Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin, and the Geology Department of Pomona College, respectively, have written about a subject near and dear to me in my two recent posts and one forthcoming about the Great Unconformity.
Peters offered this wonderful quote, so appropriate to the subject of the unconformity. "The French composer Claude Debussy said, 'Music is the space between the notes.' I think that is the case here," he says. "The gaps can have more information, in some ways, about the processes driving Earth system change, than the rocks do. It's both together that give the whole picture."