CORVALLIS, Ore. – An expert on the effect of the geography and geology of the Dead Sea Rift Valley on Middle East culture and politics will speak at Oregon State University on Thursday, May 29, at the Geology Colloquium.

Uri ten Brink, a project chief at the Woods Hole Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey, will present “Peace and Science in the Middle East.” The lecture is sponsored by the OSU Department of Geosciences. It will be in Gilfillan Auditorium beginning at 4 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

In his presentation, ten Brink will explore how the diverse and comparatively young geologic landscape of the Rift Valley has helped shape human and animal migration, the ancient cultures of the Middle East and affects modern political conflicts there. He will also outline the range of important geologic studies under way in the region.

Ten Brink has done research on plate tectonics, the deformation of the Earth’s crust, seismic and tsunami hazards, and oceanographic instrumentation. His projects have ranged from the loading of the Earth’s crust by the volcanoes of Hawaii, the uplift of mountain ranges that cross Antarctica, the opening of Lake Baikal, the rupture of the Seattle Fault, coastal and offshore California tectonics, and many other topics.

He is the 2008 Distinguished Lecturer for the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology and the Seismological Society of America, which are supporting his lectures.

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Andrew Meigs,