Nebraska Geological Society

Nebraska Geological Society 2023 Field Trip

When: 05/06/2023 8:45 AM, MDT
Where: Omaha Metro Area


Dr. Robert “Bob” Shuster, NGS Vice-President

May 6, 2023

(Rain Date: May 13, 2023)

Urban Geology in the Omaha, Nebraska area

Presented by: Ashlee Dere, Dave Becker and Harmon Maher

Program Background

The field trip will provide a general overview of the geology of eastern Nebraska and examine research relating to critical zone processes in the vicinity of the Omaha metro area.

This program will be comprised of an auto tour with four stops on Saturday, May 6. Participants will spend the morning at the Glacier Creek Preserve along Big Papio Creek south of Bennington to learn about the Critical Zone Observatory and its work to better understand how rock, soil, water, air, and living organisms interact to shape the Earth's surface.  The afternoon will consist of three stops at Hefflinger Park (including an abandoned landfill and outcrop nearby), Elmwood Park, and the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge to examine various aspects of the geology and critical zone processes as we proceed east through the Metro area.

Program Objectives

· Provide participants a general understanding of the surface and bedrock geology of the Omaha Metro area.

· Learn about the Critical Zone Observatory and how rock, soil, water, air, and living organisms interact to shape the Earth's surface.


Dr. Harmon Maher is a Professor Emeritus in the UNO Geography/Geology Department. His research expertise includes structural geology, geologic mapping, geologic fracture development, structural diagenesis, geology of Svalbard, geology of the Great Plains. During his career, Dr. Maher has routinely taught Physical Geology, Environmental Geology, Structural Geology and Plate Tectonics. His pedagogic foci are on undergraduate research, experiential learning in the field, and earth system science. Current research foci are the structural geology and tectonics of Svalbard (Norway), the Tertiary of the Great Plains, diagenetically driven deformation, and minor forays into the history and philosophy of geology. He has also spent time in administration as Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activity and as department chair.

Dr. Ashlee Dere is an Associate Professor in the UNO Geography/Geology Department. Her research expertise includes land use impacts on critical zone processes; and lithologic, topographic, and climate controls on weathering and soils. Dr. Dere teaches courses in Physical Geology; Soil Judging; Process Geomorphology; Soil Genesis, Morphology and Classification; and Critical Zone Science, among others. Her current research examines land use impacts on critical zone processes in Nebraska and Iowa, lithologic and topographic controls on weathering and soil formation in Alaska and British Columbia, and climate controls on weathering and soil formation in the US, Puerto Rico, and Australia. 

David Becker is an Adjunct Professor in the University of Nebraska - Omaha Goelogy Department, and a geologist in the US Army Corps of Engineers Environmental and Munitions Center of Expertise.

2023 Field Trip

Tentative Schedule (all times CST)

8:45 AM Meet at Glacier Creek Preserve

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Tour Glacier Creek Preserve and critical zone observatory facilities.

12:00 – 12:30 PM: Lunch at Glacier Creek BRING YOUR BOX LUNCH

12:30 – 1 PM:  Travel to Hefflinger Park, parking at the dog park.

1:00 – 2:00 PM: Tour the park and old landfill, and nearby glacial striae outcrop.

2:00 – 2:30 PM: Travel to Elmwood Park, parking near the pavilion.

2:30 – 3:30 PM: Tour Elmwood Park

3:30 – 4:00 PM: Travel to Bob Kerry bridge, park where you can, meet on foot at the Omaha side bridge entrance.

4:00 – 5:00 PM: Tour bridge area.

End of field trip, but those who desire can meet to catch a meal and beverage at Upstream at the Old Market District.

Anyone who needs the registration form and did not receive it in NGS mail, please contact NGS Secretary Jim Anderson at Nebraska Geological Society

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