May 2014

The luncheon meeting speaker this month at the Town Club (Wed. May 21) will be Dr. Peter R. Rose. His topic will be “Geology Impacts History: Influence of the Edwards Plateau on Frontier History of the Texas Hill Country.”

The next CCGS event after the May luncheon:
– July 25 CCGS/CBGS Fishing Tournament Port Aransas

One of my goals as President of the CCGS was to restore field trips as an annual function of the society. To gain a historical perspective, all the CCGS field trip guidebooks from the library at the CCGS headquarters office were digitally scanned and reviewed. These guidebooks (except those available for sale at the BEG) will be placed in the CCGS web site. I found 27 guide books the following years:
1950 – 1966 (17 continuous years, 1964 guidebook exists but was not found)
1968, 1970, & 1975
1978 – 1984 (7 continuous years)

There may be field trip guidebooks associated with GCAGS conventions in 1964, 1972, 1981, 1989, 1998 and 2007 that are not in the CCGS library. There is a field trip guidebook with the AAPG as co-sponsor in 2004. The Gulf Coast or South Texas was the destination for most field trips, including three uranium and two salt dome field trips. The remaining localities comprised nine trips to Mexico, eight to the Hill Country and one to Big Bend. The CCGS field trips had an average of seven members on the field trip committees and three leaders per trip. At the peak in 1961, there were 25 sponsors and 11 committee members for the field trip.

Why have field trips? Some quotes from the CCGS guidebooks provide possible answers:

“If oil companies, either large or small, prevent wide attendance on such trips by their geological personnel they make a serious error in my judgment. The area you are about to visit is fraught with potentialities for Gulf Coast oil finders.” – Wallace Pratt, 1959

“I am thoroughly sold on the idea that a knowledge of surface conditions is essential for the best subsurface understanding.” – A. I Levorson, 1959

“Pity then, as you observe, the geologist who has not seen these true scale models but has only a length of paper (log) which incompletely documents a mere “peek” every few miles. …It should be clear, however, to that fortunate few when they return as to why the really great contributions to the science came during the time when the rocks alone told the story.” – T. D. Cook, 1963

“The colors of the rocks are drab and the beauty of the country results mainly from its vastness, and the wild flowers and cactus that bloom in the spring. Unlike the layman, however, the beauty of the rocks to the geologist is in the story that is told.” – Unknown Author, 1965

Bob Critchlow
CCGS President 2013 – 2014