Richard A. Young, Ph.D .— SUNY Geneseo
Department of Geological Sciences
Dr. Young is true expert in his field, with a very elaborate and interesting professional career including: research with NASA, various expert committees, and a plethora of publications. We suggest you read more about his many accomplishments here. He is also a great presenter with a topic many of us deal with every day - depositional environments of WNY glacial unconsolidated deposits. Come further your ability to understand the geological conditions of local geology, and decipher the subsurface history beyond "Silt, some Sand, some Clay, trace Gravel".
Topic: Updating the evidence for an undocumented late glacial ice advance ca. 13,300 years ago in western NY: 115 backhoe trenches can't be wrong!
The USDOE/NYSERDA-funded geologic fieldwork for the West Valley Demonstration Project during the 2015-2016 field seasons has provided undeniable evidence for the existence of an undocumented late glacial ice advance well south of Cattaraugus Creek approximately 13,300 years ago (calendar corrected carbon 14 ages). This widespread evidence, corroborated by similar studies in the Genesee Valley, indicates that a rapid glacial advance, possible a floating ice shelf, spread a thin glacial till on top of the previously recognized landforms and stratigraphic units mapped in ascending order as the Olean, Kent and Lavery tills and associated moraines, lacustrine sediments and outwash deposits. The opportunity to utilize a full-time backhoe crew in challenging hilly wooded terrain is a good example of what a rich section of geologic information probably lies just below the surface in many parts of New York State. Providing qualified researchers access to local engineering projects could go a long way towards reconstructing an improved understanding of the complexities of the "overburden" and "soils" that are sometimes underappreciated in engineering/consulting reports. Even basic photography of test pits and/or split spoon cores, when accompanied by very small samples of organic materials, could revolutionize our understanding of critical geologic information of use to both the academic and engineering communities.