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K-State Today

September 7, 2012



Marston co-organizes Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium

By Richard A. Marston

Richard Marston, university distinguished professor of geography, is co-organizer of an international meeting of geomorphologists, Sept. 21-23, in Jackson, Wyo.

Geomorphology studies the shape of Earth's surface, the physical processes that act upon the surface and the manner in which these processes vary across space and time to create distinctive landscapes and direct their evolution.

Named after the original venue at Binghamton University in New York, the 43rd annual Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium, or BGS, includes invited oral and poster presentations from leading international scholars, plus contributed posters from others.

Pre-meeting registration is running at near record levels. One poster presenter will be Kansas State University geography graduate student Brandon Weihs, who conducted field research in the Teton Range in 2010. The invited contributions will be published by Elsevier in a special issue of the journal, Geomorphology.

Marston is one of the three co-editors-in-chief of Geomorphology, and he will also serve as guest co-editor of the special issue. The other co-organizer of the symposium is Carl Legleiter, professor at the University of Wyoming, who will share guest editorial duties with Marston.

The goals of the symposium are to celebrate the long tradition of field work in geomorphology and to identify ways researchers can draw from and build their heritage as the discipline moves forward into a new, more technologically- and computationally-driven era.

In recognition of the significance of field observations, field work and field experience to the discipline, the theme of this year's symposium is "The Field Tradition in Geomorphology." The meeting includes two daylong field trips.

The first involves a raft trip on the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park to examine the links between operation of Jackson Lake Dam, the stability of the Snake River, interactions between the river and floodplain vegetation, and wildlife habitat dependent on those river-floodplain interactions.

Marston is co-leader of the first field trip and will describe the work he conducted with students – published in 2005. The second field trip will cover Quaternary glaciation and geomorphology of scenic Jackson Hole at the foot of the spectacular Teton Mountains, led by retired geologists Ken Pierce and John Good.

The symposium will be at the Snow King Resort in Jackson and is supported by a National Science Foundation grant, and funds from the University of Oregon, University of Wyoming and Kansas State University's College of Arts and Sciences and geography department. K-State's Division of Continuing Education is handling the logistics and registration for the meeting.