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Exploring the Ice Age floods

Well-known geologist explores shaping of landmarks

The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center invites the public to a program by well known Ice Age geologist and author, Bruce Bjornstad and Ice Age artist, Stev Ominski on Sunday, Aug. 19, at 2 p.m. in the M.J. Murdock Theater.

The pair will explore the great Ice Age floods responsible for shaping many well-known landmarks in the Northwest.

Bjornstad, a professional geologist and author of On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods, will present a slide lecture entitled "Exploring the Ice Age Floods."

Ominski will start the presentation with a discussion about the Ice Age floods mural he has been commissioned to create for the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. In addition to the permanent exhibit in process, Ominski's art exhibit "Age's End: Art About the Missoula Ice Age Floods" is also on display at the Discovery Center through October 2007.

Immediately following the program, Bjornstad will be signing his book, a geological field guide to the Mid-Columbia basin.

Bjornstad is a senior research scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He lives in Richland and has studied the Ice Age floods for more than 25 years, regularly leading lectures and field trips on the subject as an active member of the Ice Age Floods Institute.

His 45-minute slide lecture is a Power Point presentation with lots of maps, photos and background on the floods, and on hiking and biking opportunities in Washington's Mid-Columbia Basin.

A longtime professional in the fine arts, Ominski has been studying the subject of the Ice Age floods for nearly 10 years. Countless journalists and educators throughout the region have utilized Ominski's imagery.

Keeping close ties to the geologic community, Ominski cites Bjornstad as his go-to-guy regarding questions about the floods.

"I consider myself just a messenger, trying to put a face on the ever-unfolding portrait of the Ice Age floods. It's the expert investigators like Bruce that are telling the real story," he said.

Ominski's work appears on the front and back covers of On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods.

Bjornstad said he plans to "share the secrets of the great Ice Age floods and the best places to hike, bike, drive or fly to see the awesome features they left behind" in the Mid-Columbia Basin that surrounds the Tri Cities.

Bjornstad's book covers the 19 types of landforms the floods created and offers a guide to 70 flood-formed features. Included are 30 off-road hiking and biking trails, as well as five driving tours and two aerial tours.

Published by Keokee Books of Sandpoint, Idaho, the 320-page book includes 262 illustrations, a color plate section and a comprehensive index.


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