South Mountain Speaker Series to Focus on Geology in April

Apr 03, 2013, 09:09 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rhyolite, a geological feature of South Mountain, will be the topic of the next lecture in the South Mountain Speakers Series on Wednesday, April 10, at Penn State Mont Alto in Franklin County.

This is the fourth year for the South Mountain Speakers Series, envisioned as a revival of the talks given by Joseph Rothrock in the late 19th century as part of his work to preserve and restore Pennsylvania's forests and natural landscape.

The lecture is sponsored by Penn State Mont Alto, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the South Mountain Partnership.

April's discussion, entitled "South Mountain Rhyolite: Geology and Archeology," begins at 7 p.m. in the General Studies Auditorium at 1 Campus Drive, Mont Alto.  It is free and open to the public.

"Rhyolite is an igneous rock that was quarried extensively by Native Americans for making tools and weapons," Allen Dieterich-Ward, associate professor of history at Shippensburg University and the chair of the committee on the speaker series said. "This lecture will include information about the geology and distribution of the formation that contains the stone and its historical importance to Native Americans."

In 1986, the Carbaugh Run Site in Franklin Township, Adams County, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is only one of several rhyolite quarries in the South Mountain region with archaeological significance.

The lecture will be given by geologist Bob Smith and State Museum of Pennsylvania Curator Kurt Carr.

The two remaining lectures this year will be:

  • "Bee Well: Native Pollinators and the Working Landscapes of South Mountain," Sept. 12 at Wilson College; and
  • "Crimes Against Nature: Conservation Law and the History of Wildlife Protection in the South Mountain Region," Oct. 24 at Shippensburg University.

The South Mountain Partnership is a group of citizens, businesses, non-profit organizations, academic institutions and government representatives in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties, working together to protect and enhance the landscape.

The partnership was sparked by DCNR's Conservation Landscape Initiative, an effort to engage communities, local partners and state agencies and identify funding opportunities to conserve the high-quality natural and cultural resources while enhancing the region's economic viability.

South Mountain is at the northern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Communities in the 400,000-acre region have thrived off fertile limestone agricultural lands, the timber that fed iron furnaces, plentiful game and wildlife, and abundant pure spring water that is captured by the mountains' permeable soils and released into the valleys.

For more information about the speaker series, visit or call the Appalachian Trail Conservancy at 717-258-5771.

Some of the earlier lectures in the speaker series can now be found on YouTube at

Media contact: Christina Novak, 717-772-9101

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources