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Balancing granite boulders at sunrise at the Amerind Museum Campus

Geology Walking Tour at Amerind with George Davis, PhD

Geology Walking Tour at Amerind with George Davis, PhD

 Rescheduled to April 2, 2022, 10:00 am-12:00 pm

When people in Tucson learn that I am a geologist, I not uncommonly find myself being asked ‘question-after-question’ about certain landscapes in southern Arizona that arouse curiosity.  At the very top of the list is Texas Canyon. “Where did those big rounded boulders come from?”  “How did they get that way?”  “What kind of rock is it?”  “Why is the landscape so different?” During a two hour walk on the Amerind Museum property we should be able to cover those questions, and more. We will learn that the nature of the Texas Canyon landscape is directly related to the sequential history of intrusion, hardening, fracturing, and erosion of granite. Granite is the dominant rock in the continental crust of Earth, and thus it will be good to see and touch our foundation, including its essential mineralogy. Normally granite is out-of-sight ‘at depth,’ completely covered. We could not run this trip in Kansas, for example. You might find that one of the most interesting parts of the Texas Canyon story relates to the nature of the plate tectonic setting around 50 million years ago, for western North America plate tectonics caused the granite to be intruded in the first place.

This geology walk will be carried out on flat ground, over a distance of a mile or two.  Imagine a slowly moving conversation, with on-the-spot white board drawings to help clarify things. We will conclude at Amerind’s picnic area and participants are encourage to bring a sack lunch to enjoy after the tour. Wear comfortable shoes, preferably shoes/boots with some ankle support. I never recommend shorts on off trail hikes; scrubby Sonoran Desert vegetation does a job on your legs. Be sure to wear sun protection and bring water.

George Davis is Regents Professor and Provost Emeritus, The University of Arizona.   He is a field-oriented structural geologist whose main focus has been on the tectonics of the Colorado Plateau and the Basin & Range provinces, and geoarchaeology in the Peloponnesos of Greece. George joined the faculty of the Department of Geosciences at The University of Arizona in 1970, and over the years has held a number of academic leadership positions, including Department Head of Geosciences and Executive Vice President and Provost.  George received his BA degree from The College of Wooster, Ohio, his MA degree from The University of Texas, Austin, and his PhD degree from The University of Michigan.  He received an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Carleton College in 2012, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from The College of Wooster in 2016.  His honors, awards, and professional leadership contributions include the Lindgren Citation Award for Excellence in Research (Society for Economic Geologists); selection as among 100 most distinguished PhD recipients of The University of Michigan; UA Geosciences Outstanding Faculty Award; Chair of National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee on Atmospheric, Earth, and Ocean Sciences; Career Contribution Award in the Structure-Tectonics Division of the Geological Society of America; President of the Geological Society of America; and National Recipient of the Inspire Integrity Award conferred by the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Current projects include a 4th edition of his textbook, “Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions.”

The price is $20 per person. The tour will be limited to 20 guests, with 8 spaces available to Amerind members at no cost. Space is limited and is on a first-come-first-served basis for both paid and free slots. Amerind members must call 520-586-3666 to reserve their free space.

To purchase a ticket visit:

To reserve one of the limited free Amerind members’ tickets, please call 520-586-3666.

The event is finished.


Apr 02 2022


10:00 am - 12:00 pm



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