Loading Events

An Evening With Markes Johnson

Wed, December 6th, 2023
4:00 pm
- 5:30 pm

  • This event has passed.

Join us for an evening with Markes Johnson for a discussion of his book, Islands in Deep Time: Ancient Landscapes Lost and Found.

Markes E. Johnson is the Charles L. MacMillan Professor of Natural Science, Emeritus, at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he taught courses in historical geology, paleontology, and stratigraphy in the Geosciences Department over a 35-year career. He grew up in the Midwest, where bluffs along the Upper Mississippi River drew his attention as a hobbyist collecting marine fossils that once lived in a vast continental sea.

His undergraduate education in geology concluded with a BA degree (1971) from the University of Iowa. Advanced training in paleoecology through the Department of Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago culminated with a PhD degree (1977). The event that led to his book, Islands in Deep Time, occurred during a 1984 excursion to the Town of Churchill on Canada’s Hudson Bay. There, he and his students made a chance discovery of “fossil” islands representing a tropical paradise some 445-million-years old, now exposed on coastal tundra patrolled by polar bears.

In the years that followed, every attempt was made to track down similar islands from around the world that trace island life through geologic time up to the present day. The exercise took him to places in Mexico’s Baja California, to China’s Inner Mongolia, to the Oscar Range in Western Australia, as well as localities in the Cape Verde, Madeira, and Azores archipelagos of the North Atlantic. Island adventures continue apace with his most recent visit to Taiwan, where like-minded colleagues have established several geoparks to help introduce the populace to our common geoheritage.

Event/Announcement Navigation