A Shallow Creek with a Deep View into History: Project RAISE Seminar Slated for Sept. 11

The Fullerton College community is invited to dive into a shallow creek with a deep glimpse into the travels of an ancient fish on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 4:30 p.m. in Building 400, Room 410. Refreshments will be served.

Join Cal State Fullerton Geology Professor Jeffrey R. Knott to learn about Salt Creek in Death Valley. This creek is barely a creek, it is two miles long, barely a trickle, saltier than the ocean and begins and ends below sea level. But here and other harsh environments of eastern California – Owens Valley near Bishop, Amargosa Valley near Shoshone and Devil’s Hole – is where the two-inch-long pupfish are found. Today, these environments are all isolated across an arid region, but genetics suggest that pupfish in the area had a common ancestor from which they diverged millions of years ago.

How and when these fish spread across this desert begins with identifying and dating volcanic ash deposits, some erupted from the Yellowstone caldera of Wyoming, and other rocks to document when and where ancient lakes and rivers filled and connected different valleys in the region.

Dr. Knott joined the Department of Geological Sciences at CSUF in 2001. He attended Glendale Community College and then received his geology degrees along Interstate 10 (B.S., UCLA; M.S. CSULA; Ph.D., UC Riverside). Knott worked as a consulting engineering geologist for private consulting (1984-1988), CALTRANS (1989-1992) and the Union Oil Company (1997-2001). He has worked on a variety of projects ranging from construction/development seismic hazard to forensic geochemistry of organic and inorganic contaminants related to oil field and mining operations. At CSUF, he has worked with students on Quaternary geology, geomorphology and tephrochronology studies predominantly in Death Valley.

This seminar is brought to Fullerton College through CSUF’s Project RAISE, which aims to increase transfer, persistence and graduation rates for Hispanic and low-income students interested in science, technology, engineering and math — STEM — careers. The program ties in with California State University’s Graduation Initiative 2025 to reduce time to graduation and close the achievement gap. Learn more about Project RAISE by visiting http://www.fullerton.edu/projectraise/.


Photo by Joe Ferreira, courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.






Author: Fullerton College

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