Continuing and Professional Education
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Geology of Central Oregon

Central Oregon Volcanoes

A New Series Featuring Lectures Plus Field Trips in Central Oregon

Although you may not spend a lot of time thinking about volcanoes, these geologic features impact our daily lives in many ways—especially in Oregon and the rest of the Pacific Northwest. The spectacular volcanoes of the Cascades provide exceptional wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and natural resources.

Volcanoes can also be dangerous. Lava flows can bury roads, houses, and everything else in their path. Volcanic ash can cause severe problems for transportation, agriculture, drinking water supplies, and air quality. Volcanic gasses can be deadly to breathe, and they can alter global atmospheric conditions and climate. For these reasons, it is important to study volcanoes and to be prepared for future volcanic activity.

Each academic term, Dr. Daniele McKay offers a two-day course focusing on how and why volcanoes erupt, and the geologic history of the Central Oregon Cascades. In our summer session, we explore the volcanic history of the Central Oregon Cascades, with an emphasis on the Three Sisters and Mt. Bachelor area. Participants will learn about the hazards these volcanoes pose, as well as the benefits they provide. The field trip will focus on recent volcanic deposits in the Three Sisters area, and how these deposits have impacted water resources, agriculture, tourism, and recreation in Central Oregon.

The field trip will involve short walks on generally flat trails that are either paved or well-maintained dirt or gravel. Total walking distance will be less than one mile. The field trip will also include a ride on the summer chair lift at Mt. Bachelor. Lift tickets are included in the registration cost.

These courses are designed for people with little or no background in geology. We will cover the basics of how and why volcanoes erupt, and the deposits they produce. Participants with previous knowledge of geology and geologic process will broaden their understanding of the volcanic history of Central Oregon, and of volcanoes in general.

Registration is required. Payment is due at the time of registration. CEU verification available.

2018–19 Geology of Central Oregon Courses

Previous Topics

The topics for past courses were as follows:

  • Fall 2018: Newberry Caldera
  • Winter 2019: Living on Volcanoes
  • Spring 2019: Crooked River Caldera