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POSTPONED: Geology for Tourists

August 27 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED — Due to rising numbers of covid-19 cases in the area, the geology lecture and bus tour will be rescheduled for a later date. Stay tuned for more information.

Geology for Tourists will reveal the incredible geological history of Iron County and Wisconsin’s Northern Highlands. Dick Thiede, AOGWLG*, will present a lecture on Friday, August 27 at 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Mercer Community Center.

The lecture will describe the 5 billion year geologic history of the Northern Highlands with a focus on process and geological cycles. From molten ball to ocean bottom to Teton-like mountain rage to land of lakes, Northern Wisconsin has become a world-class source of metals and precious minerals. The lecture will include a PowerPoint and rock samples.

The event is free and open to the public, with no registration necessary. For more information, call the library at 715-476-2366.

Want more? Fe University is sponsoring a geology field trip on Saturday, August 28, from “Mercer to Mellen and Back.” Led by Thiede and geophysicist Anthony Stella, you’ll see the source of the lecture rock samples and visit mine sites, outcrops, and evidence of the incredible geological violence of the mid-continent rift in Iron County. The field trip is NOT sponsored by the library. You must register for the field trip before August 21, and there is a cost to attend that includes lunch and transportation. For more information and to register, visit the Fe University website.

*An Old Guy Who Loves Geology

Geology for Tourists

A presentation and field trip sponsored by the Mercer Library and Fe University

Our Northwoods land of lakes is the result of billions of years of geological processes. Sometimes incredibly violent, these geological actions have left evidence in plain sight. In fact, geologists from around the world come here to study.

In Geology for Tourists, a lecture and field trip sponsored by the Mercer Library and Fe University, you’ll learn about the processes of geological cycles and the main types of rock and formations which give evidence of our violent geological past. There will be no tests!

Richard Thiede will give one-hour presentation on August 27th at 10:00 a.m. at the Mercer Community Center. His lecture will focus on the main events and processes of our geological history, from molten ball to shallow ocean to mountain range not unlike the Tetons to our beloved Northern Highlands and the geological basis of our thousands of lakes. You’ll see examples of the main rock and mineral types as part of the discussion.

On Saturday, August 28th, Thiede and Tony Stella will lead a 6-hour bus tour of Iron County geology from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. You will stand on a 2.8-billion-year-old rock formation, part of the first stable earth crust, and see evidence of powerful erosive processes. You will see an amazing rock formation that startlingly demonstrates the power of explosive volcanic activity. You will search a rock outcrop for evidence of the exact timeframe of the arising of life on earth. You will observe the results of the rending of the earth’s crust and its healing,  learn about the cataclysm which ended the deposition of Iron County’s name mineral, and tour the last remaining evidence of our mining heritage.  The tour from Mercer to northwest Iron County and Copper Falls State Park will also include a box lunch.

Richard Thiede is a retired science teacher and business owner. His passion for geology began in 2005 when he moved to the Northwoods. Tony Stella received a degree in geophysics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Doctor of Jurisprudence from University of Texas at Austin. He practiced mineral law while employed by Exxon Mobil.

The lecture on Friday, August 27th will be held at the Mercer Community Center at 10:00AM. It is sponsored by the Mercer Library and is free and open to the public, with no registration required.

You must register through Fe University for the Saturday field trip. The fee of $50 includes the bus trip and a box lunch. Scholarships are available. Participants in the field trip are encouraged, but not required, to attend the Friday morning lecture.

For the health and safety of our students, masks will be required while on the bus.

To register for the field trip, download a form on the Fe University website, www.feuniversity.org, or pick one up at the Mercer Library. Mail completed forms to Fe University, PO Box 63, Hurley, WI 54534. Participants may also pay via PayPal on the website. Please include your email and course you are registering for in the PayPal “Notes” field.

For more information, call the Mercer Library at 715-476-2366 or call Wendy at 715-476-2881.


August 27
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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