My family moved to Los Alamos when I was three years old, and I’ve been
interested in science and technology for as long as I can remember. My
parents remember me carefully copying a car engine diagram from the wall
at the car dealership when I was four years old, with my artistic medium
being pencil on discarded LASL computer printouts. I’ve been interested in
geology almost as long, with my interest fanned by a superb junior high
school geology course that included trips to the Harding Mine and Jemez
Springs. Although I ultimately chose astronomy, completing my Ph.D. at
Caltech in 1990, and have since mostly worked as a computer jockey, I
spent a year at Sandia National Laboratories helping model ground water
contaminants at WIPP. After returning to Los Alamos, my interest in
geology was rekindled when my doctor recommended more outdoor exercise.
I’ve been hiking, collecting, and photographing the local geology ever
Photographing the Geology of the Jemez Mountains
The Jemez Mountains are a geologists’ playground, where young volcanic
rock of the Jemez volcanic field overlies the boundary between the
Colorado Plateau and the Rio Grande Rift. The Valles caldera is well known
to geologists worldwide, but the rocks exposed in the Jemez record events
extending back to the Paleoproterozoic, over 1.7 billion years ago.
Combined with a nearly pristine landscape reaching from the high desert of
the Upper Sonoran Zone to the alpine Canadian Zone, this makes the Jemez a
paradise for the camera-equipped geology enthusiast.