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TRGS Annual Field Conference
July 27th - 29th

TRGS will hold its 43rd Annual Field Conference in Bozeman, Montana July 27–29, 2018. Bozeman is home to Montana State University (MSU), surrounded by the Bridger Range, Gallatin Range, Spanish Peaks and Tobacco Root Mountains in southwestern Montana. Located near Yellowstone National Park and a number of national forests, Bozeman provides a great launching pad for diverse geologic field trips and outdoor adventure. The region is known for classic examples of Laramide basement-cored uplifts, as well as thin-skinned fold-and-thrust belt structures, all superimposed by Neogene-Holocene extensional structures. In addition, several extensive centers of Cretaceous-Holocene magmatism are nearby and some have associated porphyry, gold, and other mineralization. Finally, MSU is affiliated with the Museum of the Rockies and its world-class dinosaur exhibit hall and research facilities. Sandra Underwood and John Childs are the conference organizers.

Meeting Location:

Our venue will be the campus of Montana State University ( in Bozeman, Montana. On-campus housing and meal options will be available for TRGS meeting participants.  If you feel so inclined, Bozeman also has multiple hotels and various restaurants, as well as abundant camping opportunities located in the nearby National Forests. If you wish to eat/stay at a location other than the campus venue, we recommend you make your reservations early, given that summer is a peak tourist season in Bozeman.

On-campus assembly areas for the TRGS Field Trip Departures near campus housing/dining in South Hedges Hall and Miller Dining Commons. Lot #2 called the “Roskie Lot” should be the lot where FT participants assemble, ready to leave for 8 a.m. departures on Saturday and Sunday. The individual trip assembly areas within this lot are indicated with a bold 1, 2, and 3. If you drive to campus to join a trip, you may leave your vehicle in either the SB area of lot 14 or lot #3 if it is not is closed for maintenance. 

​​Conference Schedule:

Friday, July 27, 2018

7 a.m.- 9 a.m.: On-site registration at the Procrastinator Theatre Lobby in the Strand (Student) Union Building on the MSU campus. You may also register for field trips and/or pay on-site at the registration desk. Information on informal afternoon activities will be available here. We recommend that you use the parking garage (#10 on the campus map) and purchase an all day tag (~$10).
10 a.m. – noon: Technical sessions at the Procrastinator Theater (30 minute talks)

  • Mary Hodges (USGS INL Project Office) - The Idaho National Laboratory Lithologic Core Storage Library: Subsurface Stratigraphy for Aquifer Studies

  • Frank Dudas (MIT) - Volcanic Pipes of Castle Creek (Northern Crazy Mountains) and the special xenoliths in them

  • Dave Lageson (MSU) - Focused Magmatic Channel Flow in the Northern Rockies: Himalayan Analogue

  • Matt Wanker (TRGS Scholarship Recipient - Indiana University) - Update on "Dynamics of sediment transport through a river bifurcation"

Lunch and afternoon activities on your own. 


Saturday, July 28, 2018

8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Field Trips (Pick up sack lunches, and depart from Lot #2 by 8 a.m., see map above)

  • Trip A1: Bridger Range hike (Lageson)

  • Trip A2: Big Sky (Rose and Warren)

  • Trip A3: Paradise Valley and Gardner Basin (English)

6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Catered BBQ @ Bozeman Pond Park (550 South Fowler Avenue) – Large Pavilion. The pavillion is shown by a star on the map below. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Field Trips (Pick up sack lunches, and depart from Lot #2 by 8 a.m., see map above)

  • Trip B1: Lewis & Clark Caverns (Schmidt and Whisner)

  • Trip B2: SW MT Shear Zone in Paradise Valley (Kalakay, Webber and Lageson)

  • Trip B3: Crazy Mountains (Dudas)

6 pm – 8 pm. Dinner on your own.

Monday, July 30, 2018

7 am – 8 am Checkout of MSU housing and breakfast on your own

Field Trips:


  • Trip A1: Bridger Range hike (Lageson) - Hike to summit of Sacajawea Pk.

  • Trip A2: Big Sky (Rose and Warren) - Geology of Big Sky, MT /includes aqafers / landslides / geotech / tram towers

  • Trip A3: Paradise Valley and Gardner Basin (English) - Paradise Valley / Gardiner Basin / hydrology


  • Trip B1: Lewis & Clark Caverns (Schmidt and Whisner) - Structural Geology of The Lewis and Clark State Park and surrounding area: Some new ideas and more questions

  • Trip B2: SW MT Shear Zone in Paradise Valley (Kalakay, Webber and Lageson) - Paradise Valley SW Montana Shear Zone

  • Trip B3: Crazy Mountains (Dudas) - Xenoliths in northern Crazy Mtns: Constraining magma yield strength from field observations (FT will visit 3 sites).  Advisory: Trip will be on 4WD roads in the Northern Crazy Mountains. Access to one locality will require participants to cross Cottonwood Creek by wading, and then climbing a steep slope (~500') to reach outcrops. 

Conference Registration:

On site registration will be available in Bozeman.

Instructions for Reserving Campus Housing:

1. Click on the following link

2. Search for Tobacco Root Geological Society in the “Search Conferences” text box

3. Registration Details Page: Click on the “Sign Up” button and fill-in the required information.

4. Once the Sign-Up information has been completed, your email and a password will be provided in case you want to edit your housing reservation.

5. Register Group Page: The MSU housing that is available is either a single room ($28/night + tax) or double room ($46/night + tax).

6. If you are requesting a single room, select “no” in response to the question “Do you want to register a group of people?” and then “Save and Continue”.

7. If you are requesting a double room, you will register as a “group of people” and will need to enter the other names of the occupants for that room.  Press “Save and Continue”.

8. Housing Page: Select “Yes” to indicate that you will require housing and then select either the single room or double room from the drop down menu.  You may change the check-in and check-out dates as necessary.  Once you’ve entered the dates, the total cost will be calculated for you at the bottom of the page.  Press “Save and Continue”

9. Special Housing Request Page: Add any additional information that you would like to your housing registration.

10. Conference Payment Page: You will have the option to pay by credit card or not.  Payment can be made upon arrival at the front desk (cash, check, credit card -no American Express – all accepted).  Press “Save and Continue” to complete your registration.

11. If you are not paying by credit card online, exit out of the system after pressing “Save and Continue” (Do NOT cancel your registration) and look in your email inbox to see that your registration has been completed.  The email contains all of the information regarding dining hall cost and hours, room amenities and parking.  If you do not receive this confirmation email, please contact

12. You may cancel your housing registration (at least 24 hours before your arrival date) via the registration site using the email and password provided to you upon sign-up.

The Richard I. Gibson TRGS Travel Fund:

Undergraduate, and graduate students in geosciences, as well as to young professionals may apply for support for travel expenses to attend the TRGS summer field conference. Young professionals include those up to age 30 at the time of the award including those in academia, and other earth science disciplines. Travel expenses include like lodging, airfare, vehicle rental, or gasoline for personal vehicles. The recipient must attend substantially all of a TRGS meeting, i.e. typically a Friday-Saturday-Sunday. The award money available to applicants each year is $1,000. The maximum amount that can be awarded to one person is $500. Payments will be made after the conference. Applications must be submitted by July 1. Awardees will be notified by July 13 if they have received the award. Apply now.


Direct questions about the field conference or accommodations to Sandy Underwood (SandyUnderwood903 at Additional conference information may be posted on the TRGS webpage ( or the TRGS facebook page.  Contact Emily Geraghty Ward ( If you are interested in helping out at the conference.

Bozeman is home to Montana State University, and is located between the Bridger Range and the Gallatin Range in western Montana. Located near Yellowstone National Park, and a number of national forests, Bozeman provides a launching pad for geologic wonder and outdoor adventure.


Driving Times

85 miles (1.3 hours) from Butte, MT

144 miles (2.2 hours) from Billings, MT

203 miles (3.0 hours) from Missoula, MT

216 miles (3.2 hours) from Jackson, WY

247 miles (4.2 hours) from Pocatello, ID

358 miles (5.5 hours) from Logan, UT

399 miles (6.1 hours) from Spokane, WA

417 miles (6.3 hours) from Salt Lake City, UT

419 miles (6.0 hours) from Casper, WY

451 miles (7.1 hours) from Moscow, ID

485 miles (7.5 hours) from Boise, ID

541 miles (8.1 hours) from Tri Cities, WA

595 miles (8.5 hours) from Cheyenne, Wyoming

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