Rock lovers are in Penticton for three days learning about the South Okanagan’s geological landscape. (submitted photo)

Best and brightest rock enthusiasts in the South Okanagan

National Association of Geoscience Teachers conference kicked off June 25

Did you know the Okanagan Valley is divided by a fault line?

Maybe not. But if you did, then you’d be right in line with the college instructors who arrived in Penticton for the National Association of Geoscience Teachers annual conference on June 25.

Okanagan College’s Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence filled with some of the Pacific Northwest’s best and brightest rock enthusiasts, keen to dig into the region’s geological landscape for the next two days.

Heading the three-day conference is Todd Redding, Okanagan College’s Professor of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Based out of the Penticton campus, Redding saw the potential in bringing the conference to the Okanagan for the first time.

“The valley is split down the middle by a big fault, which has resulted in very different rock types on either side of the valley,” Redding said. “On top of this, we have an amazing glacial history that leads to many of the interesting land forms we see. This geology – combined with our unique climate – allows for the ability to grow excellent wine grapes and tree fruit.”

These interesting land forms include Giant’s Head Mountain, just a stone’s throw from Penticton in the nearby town of Summerland. Now an extinct volcano, this hike and the accompanying view were a part of this morning’s field trip outing.

A visit to the cliffs that sit beneath the well-known Penticton sign is part of the itinerary too, along with a drive to the Naramata Bench and Skaha Lake to explore various types of rock and glacial sediments.

READ MORE: B.C. mineral exploration permits taking longer: survey

But the most intriguing geoscience element that attracted attendees to the conference is in the wine that the region is so famous for. The local terroir is a focus of the conference, with a feature keynote held yesterday on the relationship between wine, geology and the soils of the sprawling vineyards of the south Okanagan.

“Wineries take the idea of terroir very seriously. It is a key consideration that most producers take into account when choosing a vineyard site,” Redding said.

While the conference kicked off Tuesday, it continues through until tomorrow. Held on campus to start, attendees had the opportunity to present research, teaching techniques, as well as undergraduate findings. The two days following include site visits mentioned previously as well as other outings, including a highly anticipated visit to a winery or two.

All of the field trip sites are within a short distance of the Penticton campus, and are locations that provide research and learning opportunities for Okanagan College students. As instructor of first- and second-year Physical Geography, Weather, Climate and Environmental Sciences courses, Redding takes his students on field trips regularly, noting the high value in learning about processes in the field.

READ MORE: Okanagan College graduate is preparing to bike across America

Eric Corneau, Regional Dean for South Okanagan-Similkameen adds, “the NAGT conference coming to Penticton is a great opportunity for both our instructors and students to learn from and collaborate with world-class geoscientists.”

“The Okanagan region has a naturally convincing pull, and we hope that by hosting this conference, we’re able to share more about diverse geography and the work our Geography, Earth & Environmental Science department is doing in the field of education and research.”

While Redding’s classes are out for the summer, he still has two students volunteering at the conference. The sessions and field trips are educational and social at the same time – an opportunity for people to meet, learn and glean from each other. Attendees will be permitted to take photos and collect rocks at certain sites, taking them back to their respective institutions for case studies and examples for classroom teaching.

For more conference information, visit the website or contact Todd Redding at tredding@okanagan.bc.ca.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan Water Board opens floodgates with call for grant applications

Water Conservation and Quality Improvement program open from Armstrong to Osoyoos

Free public transit in Revelstoke this New Year’s Eve

City council approved the budget to cover the cost

Grizzlies’ goalie name KIJHL star of the week

Noah Desouza had an amazing game on Dec. 6

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla Highway

Up to 25 cm of snow is expected to fall in the region by Thursday

Revelstoke schools graffitied

Revelstoke Secondary School and Begbie View Elementary were defaced last weekend

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Disturbing find: Shuswap family seeking Christmas tree locates several animal carcasses

Black bear, a coyote and five deer found dumped in gravel pit west of Salmon Arm

RCMP uncover meth in arrest of Sicamous woman linked to alleged pellet gun shooting

Police say methamphetamine and other drugs found in car driven by suspect

Pawsative Pups: Help your dog love their crate

Lisa Davies is a new columnist for Black Press who writes about dog training

Spark Joy: The art of giving and receiving

Barb and Wendy at Simply Spark Joy help you to create a clutter free home on the Black Press Media

Coldstream surf shop welcomes winter with paddle

Winter Chill event Saturday, Dec. 21, on Kal Lake is ‘food’-raiser for food bank

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

Most Read