Explore the geology of Harney County. In this three-night program, participants will learn about the Steens Mt. and geothermal activity in South Eastern Oregon desert. September 23 - 25, 2022

GEOLOGY FIELD STUDY - SEPTEMBER 2022

Explore the geology of Harney County. In this three-night program, participants will learn about the Steens Mt. and geothermal activity in South Eastern Oregon desert.

Program, meals and lodging included in price of $550 per person. 

  • DATES: September 22 - September 25
    (check in before 5 pm on Sept. 22; check out Sept. 25 after breakfast)
  • MEALS: Breakfast served at 7:00 am, pack-away lunch for the field, dinner served at 6pm.
  • AMENITIES: There are various bathroom stops along the way.

Lead by Michael Cummings

Michael is a retired Professor of Geology from Portland State University and has a long history with Malheur Field Station. He has been leading university and general-interest geology trips in the Northern Great Basin for decades.


PROGRAM SCHEDULE

SEPT 22 THURSDAY

  • Arrive anytime, unpack into E-Dorm.  Meet at Malcolm Hall in the AV room at 5pm
  • Evening session at the station 
  • Dinner at 6pm in Dining Hall
  • Introduction to the geology of SE Oregon

SEPT 23 FRIDAY
NORTH OF BURNS ON HWY 395

  • Breakfast at 7:00 am in Dining Hall at MFS – depart for field trip to:
    • Accreted terrains and evolution of western margin of North American during the Mesozoic
    • Dinner Creek Welded Tuff (16million) and its local relation to older rocks (Silvies River valley)
    • Divine Canyon Welded Tuff (9.7 million) and the younger westward trend of rhyolites
    • Prater Creek Welded Tuff (8.0 million) and the newly discover caldera source west of Hines
    • Rattlesnake Welded Tuff (7.0 million) and characteristics of zones in welded tuffs
  • Dinner at 6pm in Dining Hall at MFSEvening session: 
    • Columbia River Basalt Group (CRGB) and its relation to rhyolite centers in Eastern Oregon.  Newly defined extent of the Picture Gorge Basalt, a member of the CRBG.

SEPT 24 SATURDAY
CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF STEENS MOUNTAIN

  • Breakfast served at 7:00am in Dining Hall at MFS – depart for field trip to:
    • Explosion structures in Steens Mountain Basalt flows near the crest of Steens Mountain
    • Steen Mountain front and active faults
    • Mickey Springs – silica sinter deposits formed between about 30,000 and 18,000 years ago
    • Hot spring ecosystems
    • Pluvial Lake Alvord and shoreline features
    • Borax Lake – construction of a biomorphic mound and silica sinter from hot spring activity
  • Dinner served at 6pm in Dining Hall at MFSEvening session: 
    • Brief wrap up of what we’ve seen

SEPT 25 SUNDAY
Check out after breakfast, end of program


4

Entomology in the High Desert

Sept - TBA - Learn more about the insects of sagebrush country and their importance to the ecosystem. This course will consist of a field trip to observe insects in the field, insect collecting demonstrations, and learning about insect anatomy and ecology in the classroom.

Matt Medeiros (http://www.mattjmedeiros.com/) has been coming to MFS as a student, employee, and biologist since 1995, and has taught Entomology at the high school and college level. He is also an active researcher at UNLV who studies the biodiversity, evolution, and conservation of insects in the Hawaiian Islands.

You will arrive on Tuesday afternoon, September ? and settle into E Dorm, meet and greet Matt and fellow learners. E Dorm is set up for cooking, the cafeteria will not be open.

September ?, first full day will be out in the field, September ?, second full day will be on station. You will depart on  morning of the ?.

The Field Station will be buzzing this time of year with our Members Meeting!

Making a bat house is more complicated than one might think. Over the summer, James, using his father's workshop built 24 bat houses! He volunteered his time and his own money to bring this project to fruition.

24 Bat Boxes

James Lane was a junior at Catlin Gable School in Portland, when he attended a spring program in 2019 at Malheur Field Station to build bat boxes.  James’s stepfather, Scott Bowler was to lead the group and at the last minute couldn’t make it.  The students built and repaired bird boxes during their stay instead.

James said “I’m interested in conservation and my step father, Scott Bowler introduced me to the Malheur Field Station. James couldn’t forget the bat boxes and their importance on the refuge.  “It seemed a good way to combine my interests into a school project.  According to Alexis Martinez, biologist at MNWR says “There are 15 species of bats in Oregon, twelve of those species are found at Malheur”.  Test results in 2019 yielded information that the 12 species on the refuge are free of white nose syndrome, a fungus decimating bat populations in some parts of the country.  According to MNWR, bats eat insects, including mosquitoes and are a food source to hawks, owls, and some snakes.  Weasels and raccoons will climb trees to get them.

Making a bat house is more complicated than one might think. Over the summer, James, using his father’s workshop built 24 bat houses! He volunteered his time and his own money to bring this project to fruition.  With help from his step father Scott, they coordinated in November to deliver 24 bat boxes to the Malheur Field Station.  The Malheur Field Station is sharing 10 of these to be distributed and put up all around the MNWR headquarters, Buena Vista and Double O as well as the Malheur Field Station.

James is an incredible young man with no doubt a bright future.  We are thankful to James and his stepfather Scott for their time and donation to the Malheur Field Station.  We may not see James for a while, as he is heading farther east to pursue his studies at Colby College in Maine.  We wish him success and hope to see him again on station in the future.
 
 

Our Kitchenettes are named Owl East, Owl West and Pelican. All three units have Central Air and Heat.

Kitchenette Upgrades - 2019

Our Kitchenettes are named Owl East, Owl West and Pelican. All three units have Central Air and Heat. The Owls have 3 bedrooms each and can sleep six in each unit, with shared living, dining, kitchen and bath. Owl East and West are kept open year around and are available all winter.

Visitors can rent any of our kitchenettes exclusively. Pelican has six bedrooms and sleeps ten with shared living, dining, kitchen and bath. All units are fully furnished with cookware, dishes, silverware, stove, fridge, microwave, coffee pot and are centrally located near each other and Greasewood our Recreation/Social Hall as well as Malcolm Hall.

We’ve worked on the kitchenettes starting with plumbing issues underneath the buildings. Painting, carpeting, upgrading furniture, toilets and fixtures.

Here are photos concerning some of the work done through 2019.

Owl East
Repairing the steps
Living room before
Living room after full upgrade
Owl E bathtub before
Toilet before
After
Owl West
Upgrade in process
Living room after upgrade
After upgrade
Bedroom 1
Bedroom 2
Bedroom 3
Pelican
Major toilet repair in process
Fully upgraded
the end
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Our Thanks to Steve Arndt, one of Oregon’s Ghost Town experts, who volunteered his time to be the Guest Speaker at the MFS Board and Membership meeting on September 14, 2019.

Guest Speaker - 2019 MFS Member's Meeting

Our Thanks to Steve Arndt, one of Oregon’s Ghost Town experts, who volunteered his time to be the Guest Speaker at the MFS Board and Membership meeting on September 14, 2019.

photo: Diane Arndt

He presented a very interesting slide show featuring ghost town photographs taken by his wife Diane–the photographer for all of his books.

Steve has authored 14 travel guide books. “Oregon – Uncommon Facts and Unique Information” is his newest book, released late last year. He wrote his first book, “Roads Less Traveled in Northwest Oregon” in 2003.

A noted speaker, Steve has given over 100 talks to groups wanting to know more about the Backroads of Oregon, its Ghost Towns, and it’s lesser known facts. He has been seen on Grant’s Getaways, OPB, and was featured in the OSU Ghost Town production entitled “Unabandoned.” He is scheduled months in advance

and continues to add presentations to his repertoire.

For more information please visit
https://www.roadslesstraveledoregon.com/

In May, 2019 Mark Miller and David Hibbs from Corvallis joined 10 friends for four days of birding and some volunteer work.

Help From Corvalis

In May, 2019 Mark Miller and David Hibbs from Corvallis joined 10 friends for four days of birding and some volunteer work–installing screens repaired by recent volunteer Stan Tomich, and sorting LOTS of recycling.

Before Sorting

When we are busy we accumulate a lot of recycling that needs further sorting.

After Sorting

It is a job that is easy to procrastinate. We truly appreciated the timely help from this group.

In July, 2017, thanks to grants from The Collins Foundation and the Oregon Community Foundation, new windows and siding were installed

Malcom Hall Renovations 2017 - 2019

In July, 2017, thanks to grants from The Collins Foundation and the Oregon Community Foundation, new windows and siding were installed to improve the energy efficiency and aesthetics of our main office and classroom facility. That was just the beginning.

View Slide Show

The load of materials that started it all
Back of Malcom Hall with fresh paint
The main hallway before...
After paint, carpet and new lights
Looking the other way
The lab getting new lighting and ceiling repair
The lab done and ready to use
Entomology class using the lab
Locating water leak
Found and ready to repair
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"Septic problems" is the dreaded phrase country folks least want to hear and we have had our fair share.

Septic Problems - 2019

It was Peak Season and the septic system for the small trailers was not functioning. People were everywhere, nothing like a real-time test! We brought in two porta potties and had to shuffle people around in different units to keep the ‘flow’ going on station. Our guests were wonderful and patient!

This, of course, is not a new problem but an old one that has not been addressed and fixed until now. It took two men working many days to get it functional and still it has a small leak that we have to look at after the season for small trailers is over.

We will be ready for the 2020 season with Egret, Flicker and Grebe, and possibly Dipper, surely things will flow much more smoothly! 😊

Optimistic start with a snake - worth a try
Lots of digging and filling
Fixing collateral damage
Yuk.... !
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This project seems to be never ending; we started the cleanup in 2018 and it continues to this day. Getting rid of junk and garbage costs time and money

Maintenance Yard Cleanup

This project seems to be never ending; we started the cleanup in 2018 and it continues to this day. Getting rid of junk and garbage costs time and money but is the responsible thing to do. Some of the stuff that was making it hard to even turn a vehicle around in the yard was the classic “I might make use of that someday” type things but most of it was just pure and simple rodent habitat.

One of two old FEMA trailers heading down the road
Another load on the way to the dump
Some unusable vehicles being hauled away
Some unusable vehicles being hauled away
Another load on the way to the dump
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Luckily, we were able to sell some of needless things like two FEMA trailers and that trailer load of old vehicles–not for much but better than paying for their removal. There’s more to go and it will stay on our radar.

July 10-13, 2020 From Steens Mountain to the Alvord Desert, from alpine to meadow to sagebrush steppe, butterflies and moths abound in this hotspot for Northern Great Basin species.

Great Basin Butterfly CANCELLED

CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19

July 10-13, 2020 From Steens Mountain to the Alvord Desert, from alpine to meadow to sagebrush steppe, butterflies and moths abound in this hotspot for Northern Great Basin species. We will base our studies at Malheur Field Station, where we’ll learn both the typical and rare species historically seen in southeast Oregon in a classroom session and by examining collected specimens. Then we’ll foray over the weekend and into Monday, exploring desert canyons, lakes and roadsides and Steens Mountain streams, canyons, steppe and summit. Findings may include swallowtails, checkerspots, coppers, Admirals, fritillaries and blues and whites.

Instructor: Dana Ross, M.S.

Location: Meet and lodge at Malheur Field Station, Harney County, OR

Tuition includes 3 nights shared dorm room: $335 Commuter tuition: $245 Extra nights or single bedroom: add $30 per night

Click Here:

Malheur Field Station