Science Pub Eugene: Geology of Oregon & Washington

OCT 12 | 6:30-8:30PM

Rocks Along Our Roads: Exploring the Geology of Oregon and Washington

With Marli Miller, PhD, Senior Instructor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oregon

October 12, 2017 | Doors open @ 5PM | $5 Suggested Donation

Ever wonder about the origins of an interesting rock along the road –or why some parts of the Pacific Northwest look so different from others? Chances are, you’re onto an amazing story. Together, Oregon and Washington host an unusually diverse and eventful geological history that illustrates—among other things—the growth of our continent, enormous floods of both lava and water, explosive volcanic activity, and the effects of glaciation.


In this presentation, geologist and photographer Marli Miller will outline the geology of Oregon and Washington as seen along our federal and state highways. Beginning with our plate tectonic setting, she will describe the process of continental growth that forms the underlying but diverse “basement” of the region and is readily visible in the Coast Range, North Cascades, Okanogan, Klamath, and Blue Mountains. Following that, a photographic “roadtrip” up I-84 and Washington State Highway 14 in the Columbia Gorge will illustrate many of the younger features that make our landscape so unique.


Marli Miller is a senior instructor and researcher in the Dept. of Earth Sciences at the University of Oregon, where she’s been since 1997.  Most recently, she and coauthor Darrel Cowan completed a complete rewrite of the book Roadside Geology of Washington; before that she rewrote Roadside Geology of Oregon, (both published by Mountain Press in Missoula). She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in geology at the University of Washington in 1987 and 1992 respectively and a B.A. in geology at Colorado College in 1982.  As a photographer, she concentrates on geological images, and contributes regularly to textbooks, museum exhibits, journals, and teaching collections of other instructors.  Her website ( offers free downloads of more than 2000 images for non-commercial use.


Science Pub Eugene is a monthly event that is open to anyone and everyone. No RSVP or scientific background required. Just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks, and knowledge! For more information or to sign up for our mailing list, email: