September 26 – 28, 2013- Williamsport- US 15 and the Nippenose Valley

78th Annual Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists
A Tale of Two Provinces: the Nippenose Valley and Route 15 Corridor

The Registration for the 78th Annual Field Conference is now closed to all professionals.  The wait list is also full. 
Students are encouraged to register until September 12, 2013. 

Thursday, September 26th, 2013 – Preconference Trips
Friday and Saturday, September 27-28, 2013 – Field Trip

Trip Leaders and Guidebook Contributors:
Bill Kochanov, Pennsylvania Geological Survey
Brett McLaurin, Bloomsburg University

Sarah Bradley, Shippensburg University
Duane Braun, Bloomsburg University, Retired
Cliff Dodge, Pennsylvania Geological Survey
Dana Heston, Shippensburg University
Gary Fleeger, Pennsylvania Geological Survey
John Harper, Pennsylvania Geological Survey, Retired
Don Hoskins, Pennsylvania Geological Survey, Retired
Jon Inners, Pennsylvania Geological Survey, Retired
Chris Oest, Temple University
Paul Washington, University of Pittsburg
Wayne O. Welshans, Author of “Nippenose Valley”
Edward Wynn, Lock Haven

The Holiday Inn, Williamsport, PA

The Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists will explore two primary areas. Day one will examine the Great Amphitheater of Pennsylvania, the Nippenose Valley of Lycoming and Clinton Counties, inside and out. The floor of this breached anticline exposes the Middle to Upper Ordovician, Bellefonte through Reedsville Formations. Just outside of the amphitheater are great exposures of the Marcellus, Tully, and Mifflintown. TENTATIVE STOPS:
Stop 1. Union Springs Member of the Marcellus Formation at Elimsport. It’s the Marcellus at its finest along with a nicely preserved bentonite bed.
Stop 2. The Nippono Spring and sinkholes. Stunning group of sinkholes amid the backdrop of Pennsylvania’s largest spring that serves as the primary discharge point for the Nippenose Valley and the “headwaters” of Antes Creek. Coffee and donut stop.
Stop 3. The Reedsville/Antes Shale. The type section of the Antes Shale. This is the stratigraphic equivalent to the Utica Shale, a major gas play in Pennsylvania.
Stop 4. Buffet lunch at Lockport.
Stop 5. Section at Lockport. An excellent section exposing the transition from Lower to Middle Devonian; includes one of the best exposures of the Tully Limestone in the area.
Stop 6. Mifflintown Formation. Rarely seen, the Mifflintown at this site is an abandoned quarry exposure, tilted just right for viewing. The big draw is patches of invertebrate fossils amid an overwhelming array of ripple marks covering multiple bedding surfaces.
Stop 7. Rail trail along Pine Creek. The end of the road for the Valley and Ridge? The exposures along this scenic trail exhibit a dramatic change in structural style. A site worth contemplating the end.

Day 2 will be along the US Route 15 corridor. There we will examine excellent exposures of the stratigraphic succession from the Devonian Brallier/Harrell/Lock Haven into the Pennsylvanian Bloss coal complex of Pottsville/ Allegheny age, only to return back to the Lock Haven. It’s a wild roller coaster ride from Williamsport to the New York border as you cross six “time zones” trying to figure out if it is half past the Devonian or a quarter after the Mississippian. Day 2
Stop 1. Blossburg Miss/Penn, coal. An overview of the stratigraphy of the Mississippian to Pennsylvanian and the problems that arise when rock units go missing from the geologic record.
Stop 2. Blossburg Dev/Miss transition. An abandoned entrance ramp allows one to view the Devonian Catskill to Mississippian Huntley Mountain? transition. Coffee and donut stop.
Stop 3. The Red Beds. As the trip examines the top and bottom of the Catskill Formation, this stop will provide a view of the “middle” red bed sequence with discussion on paleosols and trace fossils. Bone beds are scattered about. (Note: As of this date, 7/8/2013, this stop is tentative and may be included as part of Stop.4).
Brown bag lunch (site yet undetermined)
Stop 4. Catskill/Lock Haven Transition. The gradational contact between the deltaic Devonian Catskill and marine Lock Haven Formations will be examined.
Stop 5. Glacial Eskers. Nicely exposed deposits within an active sand and gravel mining operation.
Stop 6. Rest stop overlook. A stunning view of the glacial Tioga River valley and the Tioga-Hammond Lakes and dam.

Additional details are available on-line at

Thursday, September 26th, 2013
• PRE-CONFERENCE FIELD TRIPS – Four Pre-Conference trips are planned. See descriptions below.
• CONFERENCE REGISTRATION – 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM – Rear Lobby, Holiday Inn, Williamsport, PA.
• ORIENTATION AND RECEPTION – 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM – Grand Ballroom, Holiday Inn, Williamsport, PA. Reception includes beer, hor d’oeuvre, rock swap, map blast, student posters, and silent auction.
• OVERVIEW OF FIELD TRIP–8:00 PM-8:30 PM – Grand Ballroom, Holiday Inn,

Friday, September 27th, 2013
• REGISTRATION- 6:00 – 7:30 AM – Rear Lobby, Holiday Inn, Williamsport, PA.
• BREAKFAST- 6:00 – 7:00 AM – Grand Ballroom, Holiday Inn, Williamsport, PA.
• FIELD TRIP- 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM – Buses depart from the Holiday Inn parking lot promptly at 7:30 AM. A hot lunch will be served. Doughnuts, fruit, coffee and other beverages will be provided.
• RECEPTION- 6:30 PM – 7:00 PM in Grand Ballroom, Holiday Inn, Williamsport, PA. Hors d’oeuvres and cash bar will be available.
• ANNUAL BANQUET AND BUSINESS MEETING- 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM- Grand Ballroom, Holiday Inn, Williamsport, PA.
Saturday, September 28th, 2013
• BREAKFAST- 6:00 to 7:00 AM- Breakfast will be served in Grand Ballroom
• FIELD TRIP- 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM- Buses depart from the Holiday Inn parking lot promptly at 7:30 AM. A box lunch will be served. Doughnuts, fruit, coffee and other beverages will be provided.

ATTENDANCE- The number of conference attendees is limited to 160. If the attendance limit is reached, a waiting list will be developed. Spaces will be reserved for students until September 12th. If not filled, they will be released to the waiting list.
The Field Conference is intended for geologists, earth science teachers and students, including graduate students and undergraduates with a faculty recommendation. Please note: in order to encourage student participation, the Field Conference is offering a half-price student rate. Several full scholarships are also available. Student spaces will be held until September 12th, 2013, then if unfilled will be released to the waiting list.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT HOURS –Participants will receive a certificate of attendance. It will be their responsibility to track and report the number of professional development hours obtained based on the FCOPG agenda.
GUIDEBOOK- Starting this year the guidebook will be available about a month ahead of time for digital download. When it is available, you will receive a link to download it. If you wish to receive a printed copy of the guidebook, please indicate such on your registration form. We will not be giving out CDs at the meeting; however there WILL be a printed road log with stop abstracts printed for everyone and provided to you at registration.

TRANSPORTATION- Transportation is by bus only. No private cars are allowed inasmuch as parking space and traffic control require that we limit the number of vehicles.
REGISTRATION- Registration is required for all conferees. To register, fill out and mail the registration form, the original, signed liability release form, and a check or money order for registration fee, made payable to the “Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists.” OR
Fill out the form and send electronically to and submit your payment via PayPal by visiting
Registrations will be taken in order received based on post-mark date of envelope or digital time stamp of PayPal account.
A release and hold harmless waiver is required for this field conference. Failure to sign and return the waiver will result in return of your registration without a reserved space.
Registrations will be accepted only if accompanied by payment. Reservations will NOT be accepted without payment.
REFUND POLICY- If you need to cancel before August 25th, 2013, a full refund will be given. If you cancel after that date, refunds will be given upon request, if your space can be filled.
ACCOMODATIONS- The headquarters for the 2013 Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists will be the Holiday Inn, 100 Pine Street, Williamsport, PA 17701. The hotel is located just off Route 15 and I-180. Directions are available on the hotel’s website at: block of 50 rooms has been reserved for the Field Conference, and will be held for the nights of September 26th and 27th, 2013 until AUGUST 25th, 2013. PLEASE BOOK ASAP. The room rate is: $136.74 after tax for singles and doubles. Parking is free. When making your reservation, be sure to indicate that you are with the Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists to get the above rate. The phone number of Holiday Inn is 570-327-8231. Make your reservations as early as possible.
There are a dozen hotels, one bed and breakfast, and four campgrounds within fifteen miles of the FC headquarters. Please visit your friendly internet for options.

Pre-Conference Field Trips
Fossil Collecting in North Central PA (free)
Leader: Bill Kochanov, Pennsylvania Geological Survey
Limit: 20 people

This collecting trip will highlight some of the finest fossil collecting! Join super-rockhound Bill K. in visiting some of the best Devonian haunts and filling your sample bags with goodies!
Participants will meet Thursday September 26th, 2013 at the Holiday Inn, Williamsport at 10:30AM. We will carpool to the fossil collecting sites. Please bring a rock hammer, chisel, sample bags, water and snacks as needed, and a hard hat and safety vest.
Contact: Bill Kochanov,

Jewel of the West Branch Guided Kayak Trip ($50 if renting boat, $40 if you BYO Boat)
Leaders: Kristen Hand, Pennsylvania Geological Survey
Canoe Susquehanna Outfitters
Limit: 60 people

Enjoy a 10-mile river trip from Montoursville to Muncy on the West Branch of the Susquehanna with history, geology, and nature stops galore.
Participants will meet Thursday September 26th, 2013 at the Holiday Inn, Williamsport at 10:30AM and return at 4:30PM. Snacks and water will be provided. Boat rental is $50 per person, or $40 if you bring your own boat.
Contact: Kristen Hand,

Geology and Industrial Archaeology of the Ralston area- Coal, Iron, and McIntyre ghost town (free)
Leaders: Jon Inners, Pennsylvania Geological Survey, Retired
Cliff Dodge, Pennsylvania Geological Survey
Aaron Bierly, Pennsylvania Geological Survey
Limit: 20 people

Take a guided tour of the geology and industrial archaeology of the once-booming Ralston area, known for its coal and iron mining. Visit the ghost town of McIntyre which shut its doors in 1886.
Group will meet at the Holiday Inn, Williamsport on Thursday September 26th, 2013 at 10:00 AM. We will carpool on this trip and return at 4:30PM.
Contact: Jon Inners,

The Geology of the Pine Creek Rail Trail Bike Ride ($35 per person, or less)
Leader: Steven Bill, Keene College
Limit: 25 people

Starting at Darling Run and biking gentle grades and flat trails for 17.5 miles, we will view the geologic record of the Lake Devonian including deposition of Lock Haven and Catskill formations, followed by folding during the Alleghanian Orogeny, and drainage changes related to glaciation(s) as well as beautiful Pine Creek and its gorge. Possible collecting of marine body and trace fossils (but you will have to bike them out!).
Group will meet at trail parking area at Darling Run near US 6/362 Thursday September 26th at 10:00 AM, bike to Blackwell, and return to your vehicle by 6 PM. Williamsport by 7 PM. The trail is pea gravel and easily negotiated, but conditions are ‘rustic’ and will require self-sufficiency and good insect repellent! Cost is $35 per person and includes bike rental, guided tour and shuttles. If more than 12 participate, price will be reduced to $28.
CONTACT: Steve Bill