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Book Chat Series: Davis Humanities Institute

More on David Osleger's Work

On Wedneday May 10th, from 5:30- 7:00pm at the I-House

David Osleger will be presenting on his book, Geology and Landscapes of America's National Parks.

Book Cover Art


About the Book

The US National Parks have been called 'America's Best Idea'. They also provide a beautiful and accessible set of examples around which to structure an introductory geology course, motivating students' curiosity about the science that explains the dramatic landscapes of our nation's unique protected lands. This book introduces core geologic concepts such as volcanism, mountain building, deep time, tectonics, sedimentation and glaciation using our beloved Parks as touchstones. Each chapter builds a broader narrative of how the country's geologic foundations were constructed through time, demonstrating the broader connections between national parks rather than viewing them as isolated entities.

About the Author

Dr. David Osleger is a sedimentologist / stratigrapher interested in paleoenvironmental reconstruction of carbonate platforms, ancient sea level change, and the paleoclimate record preserved within lake cores. He integrates standard field methods with geochemical techniques to answer fundamental questions. Past projects include the Sr and C isotopic signature of Cambrian oceans, the architecture of Cretaceous carbonates of northeastern Mexico, and the paleo-precipitation history of the northern Sierra Nevada as deduced from Lake Tahoe sediment cores. Dave’s primary effort these days is on geoscience education and outreach, focusing on majors in Geology as well as all UC Davis undergraduates.

Related Guides

Related Reading

Bishop, Ellen Morris. Living with Thunder: Exploring the Geologic Past, Present, and Future of the Pacific Northwest. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2014.

Dorf, Erling. Petrified Forests of Yellowstone: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Handbook 108. Washington, D.C: Division of Publications, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1980.

Dyson, James Lindsay. The Geologic Story of Glacier National Park. [3rd ed.]. Special Bulletin / Glacier Natural History Association ; No. 3. West Glacier, Mont: Glacier Natural History Association in cooperation with National Park Service, Dept. of the Interior, 1960.

Elias, Scott A. The Ice-Age History of Alaskan National Parks. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995.

Gregory, Herbert E. Geologic and Geographic Sketches of Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. [4th ed. Place of publication not identified: Zion-Bryce Natural History Association, 1956.

Harris, Ann G. Geology of National Parks. Sixth edition / Ann G. Harris, Esther Tuttle, Sherwood D. Tuttle. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Pub. Co., 2004.

Lee, Willis T. The Geologic Story of the Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Washington. D.C: Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1917.

Mackay, B. R. Geology of the National Parks of Canada in the Rockies and Selkirks. Ottawa: Canadian Government Travel Bureau, Dept. of Resources and Development, 1952.

McPhee, John. Annals of the Former World. First edition. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998.

New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, and L. Greer Price. The Geology of Northern New Mexico’s Parks, Monuments, and Public Lands. 1st ed. Socorro, New Mexico: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, 2010.

Ross, Donald C. Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks of Parts of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California. California. Division of Mines and Geology. Special Report 53. San Francisco, 1958.

Rowe, Royle C. Geology of Our Western National Parks and Monuments. [1st ed.]. Portland, Or: Binfords & Mort, 1974.

Thompson, Jessica, Ana K. Houseal, Abigail M. Cook, and Milton Chen. America’s Largest Classroom: What We Learn from Our National Parks. Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2020.

Articles by David Osleger

Bishop, James W., Isabel P. Montanez, and David A. Osleger. “Dynamic Carboniferous Climate Change, Arrow Canyon, Nevada.” Geosphere (Boulder, CO) 6, no. 1 (2010): 1–34.

Bishop, James W., David A. Osleger, Isabel P. Montanez, and Dawn Y. Sumner. “Meteoric Diagenesis and Fluid-Rock Interaction in the Middle Permian Capitan Backreef; Yates Formation, Slaughter Canyon, New Mexico.” AAPG Bulletin 98, no. 8 (2014): 1495–1519.

Le Heron, Daniel P., Christoph Kettler, Neil P. Griffis, Pierre Dietrich, Isabel P. Montanez, David A. Osleger, Axel Hofmann, Guilhem Douillet, and Roland Mundil. “The Late Palaeozoic Ice Age Unconformity in Southern Namibia Viewed as a Patchwork Mosaic.” The Depositional Record 8, no. 2 (2022): 419–35.

Li, Yong-Xiang, Timothy J. Bralower, Isabel P. Montanez, David A. Osleger, Michael A. Arthur, David M. Bice, Timothy D. Herbert, Elisabetta Erba, and Isabella Premoli Silva. “Toward an Orbital Chronology for the Early Aptian Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE1a, Approximately 120 Ma).” Earth and Planetary Science Letters 271, no. 1–4 (2008): 88–100.

Osleger, David A., Alan C. Heyvaert, Joseph S. Stoner, and Kenneth L. Verosub. “Lacustrine Turbidites as Indicators of Holocene Storminess and Climate; Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada.” Journal of Paleolimnology 42, no. 1 (2009): 103–22.