Bob Carson will be discussing his new book, THE BLUES: Natural history of the Blue Mountains in northeastern Oregon and southwestern Washington, published in November of 2018. The geology of the Blue Mountains is quite complex; while mostly underlain by young basalt flows, they are also composed of much older rocks that reveal hundreds of millions of years of earth’s history. Atop the Blues is a rare grass-tree mosaic, a mix of dense forests and wildflower meadows. Duane Scroggins, Bill Rodgers, and many others provided hundreds of excellent photographs for the book.
Robert J. Carson, Professor of Geology and Environmental Studies Emeritus at Whitman College, was raised in Lexington, Virginia. Mountaineering, whitewater boating, and spelunking in Rockbridge County, Virginia and during summers in northern New England sparked his interest in geology, which he studied at Cornell University. Bob earned an MS at Tulane University while employed by Texaco, exploring for petroleum in Louisiana and phosphate in Florida. His PhD research at the University of Washington led to positions with the Washington Department of Ecology and the Washington Geological Survey. Bob taught at North Carolina State University and the University of Oregon before joining the Whitman faculty in 1975. He taught on the Semester-At-Sea program twice, directed foreign study programs in England and Spain, and leads trips around the world. Most of his research has been on Quaternary geology in Washington, northeastern Oregon, northwestern Wyoming, and Mongolia. His books include Hiking Guide to Washington Geology, Where the Great River Bends, East of Yellowstone, Many Waters, and The Blues.