A footbridge over a pod with aquatic plants with a background of bright green trees.

The former site of a coal mine, the Botanical garden is a great place to learn about the power of environmental remediation. Credit: www.pittsburghgardentrail.com


We did not get enough people to make the field trip go. Stay tuned for an amazing field trip opportunity at a fall conference in 2024.

Land of Ice and Water: An Accessible Introduction to Glacial and Watershed Processes in Western PA


Thursday, October 19th, after GSA Connects conference.

We will explore the geology of western Pennsylvania and the impacts of water on the region’s geomorphology in this day trip, which will leverage accessible field trip stops to provide all attendees with an opportunity to interact with the local geology, hydrology, and history. The first part of the trip will explore local and regional geological history visible from Frick Park, located within the Pittsburgh city limits, via landscapes, overlooks, and outcrops along paved trails and park roads. After this introduction to the local geology, we will visit two passive treatment systems, one at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden and one at Wingfield Pines, which were installed to treat net-acidic and net-alkaline coal mine drainage, respectively. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about passive treatment system design, engage in water sampling and discuss their analysis with local experts to examine the effectiveness of these treatment systems.

This trip is sponsored by the International Association for Geoscience Diversity (theIAGD.org) and is offered at no cost to participants.

Accessibility: Stops in Frick Park will utilize park trails and paths, and will require minimal walking. Restroom facilities will be available at the lunch stop and at the Botanic Gardens.  Water-sampling stops are within 250 yards of parking areas and can be accessed on low-slope wide paths that will accommodate mobility devices. Driving time between sites will be approximately 30 minutes. Accommodations such as ASL interpreters will be provided upon request. Everyone is welcome, but in order to ensure that priority is given to geoscience colleagues with disabilities, an application form is required (see below for link).


Thursday Oct 19th

  • 8 AM: Meet at GSA Field Trip Check-in Desk, Convention Center
  • 8:30 AM: Depart Convention Center
  • 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Overview of regional geology and geomorphology through exploration of outcrops and landscapes in Frick Park (Pittsburgh, PA).
  • 11:00 AM – Depart for lunch stop (lunch will be provided; stop will include restrooms)
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Arrive Pittsburgh Botanic Garden (Pittsburgh, PA). Overview of garden and history, followed by discussion of water sampling and passive treatment processes.
  • 3:00 – 5:00 PM – Depart for Wingfield Pines; comparison of samples/processes with previous site.
  • 5:00 PM – Depart for return to Convention Center: anticipate return to downtown area approximately 5:30 PM. Vans will depart promptly for drop-off points near the airport.
  • 6:30 PM = Drop-offs at airport or airport-adjacent hotels. We cannot guarantee drop-offs prior to this time, so we request that participants not make reservations that require arrival at the airport prior to 6:30 PM.

Apply for the field trip by completing this form.

We will notify applicants by early September if they have been accepted for the field trip. We know this can be inconvenient, but we feel strongly about ensuring we have plenty of spots for geoscientists with disabilities first and foremost. An application process is the best way to do that.

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©2024 IAGD. The IAGD is a 501c3, volunteer-driven, non-profit organization.

Disclaimer: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0939645. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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