Geological Society of Oregon (GSOC) Coming to Camp Hancock Star Party

 GSOC will be developing a walking tour guide for the fascinating geology and paleontology of Camp Hancock.

GSOC will be developing a walking tour guide for the fascinating geology and paleontology of Camp Hancock.

We are very pleased to announce that a delegation from the board of the Geologic Society of Oregon Country (GSOC), including our own Paul Edison-Lahm, will be joining us for our May 11-13 Camp Hancock star party. The “GSOCers” will be sharing their knowledge of the local John Day basin geology and will in turn be learning from us about dark sky observing. All board members have had training in star party etiquette and their impact on parking and cabin space should be minimal.

RCA, GSOC, and OMSI share a long history at Camp Hancock originating with its namesake Lon Hancock, an amateur geologist and charter member of GSOC. Lon devoted many years to exploring the paleontology of the John Day region and was the first in Oregon to discover an Eocene vertebrate fossil: a rhinoceros tooth embedded in a nut in the nut-beds above the camp. A 1951 OMSI field trip led by Hancock and other GSOC members would quickly become “Camp Hancock” and plant the seeds for the OMSI Astronomers, a parent organization to RCA.

 Young geologists and astronomers at Camp Hancock in 1957.

Young geologists and astronomers at Camp Hancock in 1957.

We will be opening up the September Camp Hancock visit to a larger group of GSOC members, including Oregon’s premier paleontologist, Dr. Bill Orr, author of Oregon Geology and Oregon Fossils. At this time, GSOC guides will provide geologic walking tours of the camp for interested RCA members.

Parking Issues

Parking may become trickier in September, so I’ve started a forum thread for offering or obtaining a carpool ride to Camp Hancock under “RCA Organized Star Parties.” Parking space in May should be adequate, but camp management cannot guarantee a parking space. It has always been first come, first serve. As always, membership feedback is very valuable, so I would ask for folks to provide feedback after the May Camp. We hope the GSOC addition will add great value to our experiences and we will build new friends.

Please join me in welcoming our new guests/friends. I personally am eager to learn more about the geology of the area and make new friends.