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Geology Along Skyline Drive Will Stand In Stark Relief At September Event


The rocky summit of Black Rock in Shenandoah National Park fascinates casual hikers and geologists alike. A September 15th program by Dr. Robert Badger, author of the Falcon Press book Geology Along Skyline Drive – A Self-guided Tour for Motorists, will offer insight into the park's mysteries. Photo copyright by Q.T. Luong,

A September 15th geology program at Shenandoah National Park’s Byrd Visitor Center offers proof that scientists may be objective about research—but very subjective about where they pursue their studies.

“Geologists have sometimes been accused of finding a beautiful place to work and then finding a project to work on there,” says Dr. Robert Badger, author of Geology Along Skyline Drive. “To that charge, I plead guilty.”

Badger returns again to one of his favorite research sites, Shenandoah National Park, on Saturday, September 15 at 1 pm to discuss the fascinating geology preserved in the rocks readily accessible along the Skyline Drive. His 1999 book by Falcon Press, Geology Along Skyline Drive – A Self-guided Tour for Motorists, has recently been updated and will be available for sale in the park book store.

Dr. Badger became interested in the geology of Shenandoah National Park while pursuing his doctorate in geology at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. He returns to the rocks and peaks of the park whenever he can get away from his duties as chairman of the Geology Department at the State University of New York’s Potsdam campus in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.

A release from the park announcing the event said, “National Parks are living laboratories where visitors can experience the wonders of nature and our shared human heritage.” The parks are also important resources for researchers like Badger, and the geologist’s program will be the perfect opportunity to hear a scientist’s insight into the scenery of the Skyline Drive.

The park’s signature motor road is particularly well-suited for appreciating scenery from a scientific slant. Views stretch along the single spine of the Blue Ridge, from the ledge-covered peaks of Stonyman Mountain, to the rounded boulder-strewn crest of Old Rag, and east and west across vast rural valleys far below.

Badger was honored with the 2010 Award of Merit from the Vermont Historical Society for his 2010 book, Fading Memories from a Vermont Hillside. That book is a first-person overview of the evolution of his family land in Vermont over four generations. The book uses photographs depicting country and village life in and around Landgrove, Vermont taken by Dr. Badger's father in the 1920s and '30s.

In addition to this special presentation regularly scheduled ranger-led programs are occurring to and through peak autumn color with a final event on October 27. If you're heading to the park this fall, check out the complete activity schedule for the park's programs. For more information about Shenandoah National Park visit the park's website.

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