On Sept. 19, the Sisters Science Club will kick off the 2013 free science symposiums in Sisters, featuring current topics on science. The first of the series presented by OSU geology instructor, Daniele McKay, will be "Volcanoes in Central Oregon: When Will the Next Eruption Occur, and How Will It Affect You?" What a topic — when we live right in the middle of volcanoes on all sides of us!
The symposiums will all take place at the Belfry, 302 Main Street in Sisters. Doors open at 6 pm for food and beverages—followed by the one-hour lecture beginning at 7 pm.
McKay is a is conducting ongoing studies of recent volcanic activity in central Oregon. In 2012 she graduated with a PhD in geology from the University of Oregon where she studied the processes and products of cinder cone eruptions.
Cinder cones are the most common volcanic landform on earth and often produce extensive lava flows and ash deposits (such as Lava Butte). Much of McKay's research involved mapping ash deposits in Central Oregon, where there have been hundreds of recent cinder cone eruptions. The most popular cinder cone in Sisters Country is 4-Mile Butte, located about three-miles from Sisters High School — most of the kids know it well.
In addition to teaching geology and studying cinder cones, McKay enjoys hiking, climbing and skiing in the Cascades. A lifelong passion for exploring mountains sparked an early interest in science, eventually prompting her to examine natural processes in detail by studying geology.
Start jotting down your volcano questions now. This will be a splendid opportunity for Sisters Country residents to obtain answers to geological questions they have been pondering for years — like why are some cinders black, some have a sheen, while others are just a dull red...?