Recent GRI Activities

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Recent GRI Activities

by Katherine Ching
Geoscience Research Institute


This year 9 research grants ranging from $1000 to $3870 were awarded to college and university professors and graduate students. The grants cover a breadth of scientific research topics pertinent to the creation- evolution controversy, many of them dealing with the question of time for past events of earth history. Some examples are: 1) a study of depth and light regime on daily coral growth bands, 2) an analysis of tree-ring growth patterns in fossil trees, 3) paleocurrent direction patterns in the fossil record, 4) biogeography and speciation in selected North American plants, 5) growth lines in vertebrate otoliths, and 6) growth increment analysis using computer image processing.

The Geoscience Research Institute awards research grants on a semiannual basis. Potential investigators should contact Dr. Clyde Webster at the Geoscience Research Institute for information and application forms. The spectrum of funded research is quite broad, but must relate to issues regarding the origin and past history of the earth.


The staff of the Geoscience Research Institute devotes a significant amount of time to educational activities which include the teaching of classes, public lectures (over 70 last year) and field conferences. This past summer, from July 9-18, a group of 50 educators, editors and administrators in Europe (Figure 1) were introduced to the dramatic geology of the Alps by the Institute staff. Topics of study included: 1) concepts of Alpine genesis as related to plate tectonics, 2) fossil reefs in Austria and France, 3) gravity tectonics and time, 4) normal rates of erosion and Alpine erosion, and 5) sedimentary patterns as related to tectonic catastrophism. The conference traveled through some of the most dramatic scenery in Europe, beginning in the Austrian Alps, continuing through Switzerland and extending to the French Jura Mountains. Between field excursions, lectures on various topics related to the creation-evolution controversy and their implications were presented. To facilitate communication with this multinational group, the conference was conducted in both French and English.


FIGURE 1. Some of the fifty participants who attended the Geoscience Research Institute European Field Conference. With Dr. Ariel A. Roth they are discussing time factors related to metamorphism and rates of erosion in the Alps. The majestic Matterhorn which lies between Switzerland and Italy is on the left.

The Institute will be conducting another overseas, bilingual field conference in Puerto Rico from November 18-24. Dr. Clyde Webster is in charge of this English-Spanish conference.

During the summer of 1985 the Institute will be hosting a special comprehensive field conference in the western United States with in- depth study of locales important to the interpretation of the past history of the Earth. It will begin on July 8 in Keene, Texas, and conclude on August 6 in Loma Linda, California. Some areas of special study are: fossil tracks in the Paluxy River; the Permian Reef near Carlsbad, New Mexico; Florissant fossil beds and clastic dikes of the Front Range of Colorado; Yellowstone Fossil Forests; Dinosaur National Monument; Monument Valley; Grand Canyon; Bryce Canyon; the Paria Valley; and the Bristlecone pines of Utah. This conference is open to a limited number of participants. Those desiring further information should contact the Geoscience Research Institute at (714) 824-4548.