CORVALLIS - The 98th annual meeting of the Cordilleran Section of the Geological Society of America will be held May 13-15 at Oregon State University, an event that will attract about 1,000 geoscientists to Oregon from the western United States and Canada and includes a public keynote lecture.

"Where Plates Collide" is the theme of this professional conference, recognizing its location near the volcanic Cascade Range of Oregon and the boundary of the North American and Juan de Fuca Plates that make up part of the Earth's crust. It is hosted by the OSU Department of Geosciences.

John R. Delaney will deliver a free, keynote address that is open to the public. Delaney, a professor of oceanography at the University of Washington, will speak on Monday, May 13, at 8 p.m. in Austin Auditorium of the LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus. His lecture is titled "Volcanoes, Oceans and Life in Our Solar System."

Delaney is leading Project NEPTUNE, a $250 million, multi-institution project to "wire" the Juan de Fuca Plate off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and British Columbia to examine, in real time, such processes as subduction-related earthquakes, underwater volcanic eruptions, and other issues. More information on the conference, fees, schedule and agenda can be found at the web site The meetings will include workshops, a variety of field trips across Oregon for K-12 educators and others, exhibits, a poster session, and many other activities.

There are 33 different theme sessions at the conference. Organizers say they will reflect the shift in the Geological Society of America from strictly academic topics to earth science policy, and include such topics as volcanic hazards of the Cascade Range, debris flow and landslides in the Pacific Northwest, environmental cleanup, and lessons learned from last year's confrontation in the Klamath Basin between farmers and environmentalists, including Native Americans.

Other sessions will highlight ways to present geology to the public, active tectonics of the Cascadia subduction zone, new applications of geographic information systems, natural hazard monitoring and warning systems, and many other topics.

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Roy Haggerty, 541-737-1210