Kirk Bryan Field Trip

The Kirk Bryan Field Trip has been sponsored by the Division since 2006 to bring together the QG&G community during the Annual Meeting to discuss emerging and provocative ideas in an informal field setting. This one-day trip is usually held the day after (Thursday) or before (Saturday the meeting. Originally held during the meeting, the large number of Division-sponsored sessions now makes it impossible to avoid scheduling conflicts. The Kirk Bryan is run as a regular GSA Field Trip and must meet GSA requirements and deadlines. As part of sponsoring the field trip, QG&G subsidizes the registration cost for the first 10 students who register for the annual Kirk Bryan Field Trip.

*In light of the QGG-Includes task force's ongoing efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at QGG-sponsored events, QG&G strongly encourages field trip proposals to reflect a strong attempt to be inclusive of persons and topics representing those often marginalized or unrepresented in the geosciences. Proposals that focus on applications of QGG science in Indigenous or Urban landscapes, or those that highlight the effects of natural hazards, including climate change, on communities that are currently underrepresented in QGG sciences are particularly encouraged. We also encourage outreach efforts with local scientists and teachers that can increase experiential opportunities in geological sciences within underrepresented groups. We also suggest proposals include a brief statement that demonstrates how their proposed field trip promotes DEI in QGG sciences.

If you are interested in leading the Kirk Bryan Field Trip, please contact the Chair before proposing to GSA.

Kirk Bryan Field Trip Origin Story

The Geological Society of America national meeting provides a flexible venue for the presentation and exchange of the highest quality research, education, and outreach in the geosciences. Two ways that GSA distinguishes itself in this respect are through Divisions, like QG&G, that regularly solicit, organize, and promote topical or special sessions, and of course through field trips, which are signature events at all GSA meetings. In 2006, following a discussion with then GSA President Stephen G. Wells, a proposal was put forward by Frank J. Pazzaglia for the QG&G division to sponsor an annual field trip focused on raising the scientific impact of the national meeting. The vision of the Kirk Bryan Field Trip was to combine a during the meeting one-day field trip with the full slate of QG&G special sessions to create a meeting within a meeting feeling for the QG&G community. The goals of the field trip itself was to take QG&G participants away from the many (good) distractions of the meeting convention center and assemble them at one single provocative outcrop or landform where ideas could be expressed and shared in an informal atmosphere. Provided that the field trip was scheduled for a Tuesday, the participants could go directly from the trip to the QG&G social and business meeting to continue the networking and discussion. The focus of the trip was to be on ideas, different perspectives, and the seeding of new projects, rather than the showcasing of completed work with a published field guide and several stops. This was the case for the inaugural Kirk Bryan Trip to Hickory Run State Park in Carbon County, PA held in conjunction with the 2006 Philadelphia National Meeting. Eleven years later at the Denver national meeting in 2016, results of a new cosmogenic geochronology study of the enigmatic boulder field at Hickory Run were presented, realizing the original vision. Over the years, many QG&G members have stepped forward to run the Kirk Bryan trip, and its format and vision have evolved. Now, the trip is run as a regular, sanctioned GSA field trip with a formal, published field guide. The trip tends to highlight in-progress or completed work, rather than focusing the community on a single, provocative outcrop or landscape, and it has been held on days other than Tuesday to avoid scheduling conflicts as well as allow for coordination with other GSA special sessions or field trips, as was done for its 10th anniversary at the Baltimore national meeting. However it continues to evolve, the Kirk Bryan field trip offers a great venue for scientific engagement and impact in the QG&G community. Frank Pazzaglia

Upcoming Kirk Bryan Field Trip

None scheduled

Past Kirk Bryan Field Trips

2020 GSA Connects Online (Montreal Quebec)

Pre-LGM Stratigraphic Record in the Central St. Lawrence Lowla

2019 Phoenix, AZ:
The Co-Evolution of Verde Valley and the Verde River, Central ArizonaLed by Phil Pearthree, Kyle House, Kelin Whipple, and Joe Cook
2019 Kirk Bryan Field Trip

2018 Indianapolis, IN: Saturday, November 3

407. Kirk Bryan Field Trip: At the Edge of the Laurentide Ice Sheet: Stratigraphy and Chronology of Glacial Deposits in Central Indiana. Led by: Henry Loope, Jose Luis Antinao, William Monaghan

2017 Kirk Bryan Field Trip

2017 Seattle, WA: Saturday, 21 October

411. Kirk Bryan Field Trip: Exploring the Mechanics, Frequency, and Impacts of Deep-Seated

Landslides in Washington State. Led by: Alison Duvall, Sean LaHusen

2017 Kirk Bryan field trip participants in rain gear standing at an overlook of the Oso landslide with forests and clouds in the background
2017 Kirk Bryan field trip participants. (Photo credit Robert Marvinney, Maine Geological Survey)

2016 Denver, CO: Tuesday, September 27

424. Kirk Bryan Field Trip: Quaternary Landslides, Fluvial Terraces, and Recent Geomorphic Events along the Colorado Front Range. Melissa Foster, Robert Anderson

2016 Kirk Bryan field trip participants on a sunny day with grassy and conifer covered hillsides and surroundings
2016 Kirk Bryan field trip participants (Photo courtesy of Jay Patton)

2015 Baltimore, MD: Saturday, October 31

416. Kirk Bryan Field Trip: Great Falls of the Potomac and the Evolution of a Decay-Phase Orogen, the Appalachian Mountains. Led by: Paul Bierman, Eric Kirby, Wil Ouimet, Eric Portenga, Frank Pazzaglia, Greg Hancock

Paul Bierman and other leaders stand in front of a bus while adults look on
2015 Kirk Bryan field trip in progress

2014 Vancouver, BC: Thursday, October 23

423. Kirk Bryan Field Trip: Glacial History, Geomorphology and Natural Hazards along the Sea-to-Sky Highway. Led by: Brent Ward, John Clague, Pierre Friele

2013 Denver, CO: Wednesday, October 30

421. Kirk Bryan Field Trip: Critical Zone Evolution: Climate and Exhumation. Led by: Suzanne Anderson, David Dethier, Gregory Tucker, Robert Anderson

2012 Charlotte, NC: Wednesday, November 7

411. Piedmont Potpourris: New Perspectives on an Old Landscape (and some of its younger parts). Led by: Missy Eppes, Anne Jefferson, Karl Wegmann, Paul Bierman, Ryan McKeon

2012 Kirk Bryan field trip participants (50ish) gathered on a front porch, smiling
2012 Kirk Bryan field trip participants

2011 Minneapolis, MN: Wednesday, October 12

426. Holocene landscape evolution and erosional processes in the Le Sueur River, central Minnesota. Led by: Karen Gran, Patrick Belmont, Carrie Jennings, Chad Wittkop.

2010 Denver, CO: Wednesday, November 3

417: Kirk Bryan field trip: Historical range of variability in the Colorado Rockies. Led by: Ellen Wohl, Sara Rathburn

2009 Portland, OR: Tuesday, October 20

427. Kirk Bryan Field Trip: Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology of the Columbia River Gorge. Led by: Jim O’Connor, Scott Burns

2008 Houston, TX: Tuesday, October 7

420. Kirk Bryan Trip: Coastal Geomorphology and Change along the Upper Texas Coast. Led by: Jim Gibeaut, Rick Giardino, Doug Sherman (cancelled)

2007 Denver, CO: Tuesday October 30

419. Fluvial-Hydraulic Processes in the Colorado Front Range. Led by: John Pitlick, Ellen Wohl

2006 Philadelphia, PA: Tuesday October 4

Inaugural Kirk Bryan Field Symposium Field Trip #22. Erosion and the Hickory Run Boulder Field. Led by: Frank Pazzaglia, Paul Bierman, Milan Pavich, Dorothy Merritts

2006 Kirk Bryan field trip participants sitting and standing on top of boulders
2006 Kirk Bryan field trip participants