N E W S  &  E V E N T S


Florissant Scientific Society isn't confined to Florissant anymore
by Sheila J. Nevinczenko
Ute Pass Courier
Wednesday, March 23, 2005

[transcribed from the news article]

Don't let the name mislead you.  The Florissant Scientific Society isn't confine to Florissant.  While Florissant may be the group's place of genesis, up to half of its members, lovers of earth science all, hail from the Denver area.  Many science enthusiasts may be aware of the unaffiliated Colorado Scientific Society based in Denver with over a hundred members.  But the Denver group is more formal and structured.  In contrast the Florissant Scientific Society is casual--a trait appreciated by its 50 or so members.

The Florissant Scientific Society was formed one and a half years ago by David Atkins--a retired computer executive/electronic engineer with a love for natural science.  Atkins is a volunteer at the Florissant Fossil Beds and is on the board of the Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds.  Atkins also has earned a one-year paleontology certification from the Denver Museum of Nature and science and is in the process of pursuing two more advanced certifications from the DMNS.  Presentations are often made by the DMNS at the Florissant Scientific Society meetings.

Atkins said "The purpose of the Florissant Scientific Society is educational--to exchange scientific information."  The science disciplines of focus are geology, paleontology, and mineralogy.  Speaking of the Courier's readers as potential member, he said "IF they have a science background, they'll sure enjoy it."

Atkins describes the monthly meetings as an "informal gathering of colleagues."  He said there are a number of natural scientists/geologists in the area including geologists from the Cripple Creek Victor Mine but members come from all over and almost all have been published.  Twelve to 15 members usually attend any meeting.

The Florissant Scientific Society is open to everyone and there are no dues.  Any expenses, such as those incurred for field trips, are divied up.  Although most field trips are day trips, the group went on a three-day field trip last September to the San Juan mountains.  Atkins estimates there will be two field trips this summer.

The last Florissant Scientific meeting was held Sunday, March 20 at 1 p.m. at the Woodland Park Library.  Meetings last from one and a half to three house.  Many members enjoy meeting for lunch at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant at 11:30 a.m. before the meeting.  Anyone interested in joining the group for lunch should contact Atkins at 689-7666.  Interested parties are encouraged to email Atkins at datkins@n-tuition.com to be put on his mailing list.

The last meeting's program was presented by Dr. Thomas A. Steven and Dr. Daniel R. Shawe -- both U.S. Geologic Survey scientists.  "Steven," said Atkins, "mapped the San Juans--a landmark work."  Steven's 170 scientific and technical publications have been called some of the best scientific writing ever published.  Both scientists are working closely with state scientists on earthquake hazards in Colorado.  Steven and Shawe describe their work (upon which their presentation was based) as "a complex assemblage of concurrent and sequential tectonic and geomorphic elements that confound not only conventional wisdom, but the 'wisdom' of us who are studying it."  Atkins description of Steven's and Shawe's latest work serves as a traslation:"it is some of the most exciting geologic discoveries that I have ever seen....  This is going to be a fantastic program...." Anyone interested is invited to attend.