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Date(s) - 08/20
All Day


American Association of Petroleum Geologist will be in Casper, Wyoming to see the rare total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, learn basic astronomy through presentations and star gazing, and do field geology at world-class paleontology sites and a documented terrestrial impact site. Casper is also home to historic petroleum geology sites such as the nearby Teapot Dome. Jack Schmitt and Jim Reilly will be at the eclipse event to discuss the challenges of a manned mission to Mars and a return to the Moon to embark on a new energy frontier with He-3 fusion.

Seminar Leaders

  • Dr. Harrison H. (Jack) Schmitt, Apollo 17 Astronaut: 12th and last man and only geologist to step on the Moon. Former U.S. Senator (NM). Aerospace and Earth Science Consultant and Director Orbital ATK.
  •  Dr. James (Jim) Reilly   NASA astronaut on shuttle missions STS-89, STS-104, and STS-117.  Former Exploration Geologist at Enserch Exploration, Inc.

Who Should Attend

Geoscientists, engineers, and naturalists interested in learning from a once in a lifetime convergence of the total solar eclipse event, NASA veteran astronaut geologists, and world class paleontology and petroleum geology in beautiful Casper, Wyoming.

Schedule of Events

August 18. General Arrivals La Quinta Hotel check-in.  Contact events coordinator for arrival details. Campers check-in with group at La Quinta then go to Lion’s Camp with student guides.  Lunch and Dinner at your leisure.

Evening activity: Meet and Greet / Presentation / Orientation / Basic astronomy
Distribute Guide books. Eclipse glasses/filters. Safety briefing.  Dr. Kent Sundell paleontology presentation.

August 19. Breakfast at hotel

Day trip to Douglas, Wyoming (45 minutes from Casper) to visit a series of five small impact “exhumed” impact craters within the Pennsylvanian Casper Formation.  These features have never been studied in detail and could provide a lively discussion in the field as to timing, size and speed of impactor.  After lunch we would visit nearby scenic badlands featured in numerous paleontology films (Walking with Prehistoric Beasts-BBC, Razor Jaws-Nat Geo, Killer Pigs-Nat Geo, Dawn of the Cats-Paleoworld, Valley of the Uglies-Paleoworld) and be allowed to collect Oligocene and late Eocene vertebrate fossils, possibly including saber tooth cats, Archaeotherium-killer pig, Hyaenodon-razor jaws, oreodonts, camels, horses, rhinos, deer, rabbits, rodents, insectivores, marsupials, snakes, lizards, and large land tortoises (some > 200 pounds).  Dr. Sundell has studied this badlands area for more than 40 years and collected more than 5,000 skulls and skeletons; Box lunch.

Evening Activity:  Catered dinner at Casper Country Club.  Astronaut geologists Jack Schmitt and Jim Reilly present and discuss the challenges of a manned mission to Mars and a return to the Moon to embark on a new energy frontier with He-3 fusion.

August 20.Breakfast at hotel

Day Trip: to Lynch, Wyoming to visit an early recorded and well located K/T boundary site having almost all classic features carbon, clay, shocked quartz, fern spike above, and dinosaur bones below.  On the way to Lynch boundary site we can stop at a newly discovered Cretaceous dinosaur quarry with various remains of Triceratops, Ankylosaurus, and T. rex. and help dig or search for your own dinosaur bones in the Lance Formation.  We will also pass through the famous Salt Creek and Teapot Dome oil fields having produced more than 1 billion barrels of oil from the western margin of the Powder River Basin, which is one of the largest energy production regions of the United States.  Resources include: Coal, oil, gas, coal bed methane, horizontal drilling and fracking of shales and tight/thin sands, U.S largest uranium resources, and numerous wind farms; Box lunch; Dinner at your leisure.

Evening Activity:  Astrophotography briefing; Star gazing

August 21.  Breakfast at hotel

Total Eclipse (9 AM to 1 PM) set-up, view, and photograph the eclipse; Box lunch; Dinner at your leisure.

Evening Activity: Share eclipse photos/stories

August 22.
Breakfast at hotel.  Check-out.  Departures for those scheduled.
Post event field activity for those scheduling these events.

**Package includes accommodations, breakfast and other meals as indicated.

AAPG Astrogeology Committee | ahcood@yahoo.com |  Download the full brochure HERE