Annual Meeting 2021

Join us on Zoom for a lecture with Prof. Kurtis C. Burmeister of Sacramento State University, over Zoom, for the Economic History of the Rosendale Natural Cement Region. Prof. Burmeister was here in October and was happy to visit the archives and the Widow Jane Mine again.

The Rosendale region of eastern New York State is widely recognized as the source of one of the highest quality natural cements ever produced. Founded in 1819 by Canvass White in central New York, the American natural cement industry soon shifted to Rosendale where it flourished for over 150 years. By the end of the 19th century, the superior quality of Rosendale cement was known worldwide and actively used in the construction of some of America’s most enduring landmarks. Rosendale natural cement’s reputation stems from the unique composition of the dolostone in the Silurian Rondout Formation from which it is manufactured. Miners utilized room-and-pillar techniques to extract this dolostone from strongly deformed strata in the Rosendale region, creating unique bedrock exposures that are truly engineering marvels. These mine exposures have long attracted the attention of geologists for research and education. Production of natural cement transformed extracted dolostone into cement through a labor-intensive process involving calcination in kilns, cracking, grinding, and packaging. Barrels of cement were quickly shipped at competitive prices via the Delaware & Hudson Canal, which directly connected the Rosendale region to major shipping avenues.

Kurtis Burmeister, Ph.D. – Kurt is an Assistant Professor of Field Geology in the Geology Department at Sacramento State University. His research explores topics broadly associated with convergent tectonics and has active projects in western Ireland, Sierra Nevada, upstate New York, and southern Japan. Kurt holds a BA in Biological Sciences and an MA in Vertebrate Paleontology from UC Santa Barbara, and a PhD in Structural Geology from the University of Illinois. Kurt is also the Executive Secretary of the USGS/NAGT Cooperative Field Training Program, Director of the Wasatch-Uinta Geological Field Camp Program, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Illinois.

Along with this lecture will be a related recorded presentation from Patrick McCarthy:

Growing academic outreach with digital tools honed during the COVID pandemic

Authors: Patrick McCarthy, Kurtis Burmeister, Ryan Petterson, Corey McCarthy, and Jake Finley

Description: The sudden and unexpected onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated distance learning restrictions created an urgent need for the development and implementation of digital/online alternatives to traditional, field-based, face-to-face instruction. In response the geoscience community rapidly mobilized new tools and techniques to create alternative experiences using aerial photographs, digital 3D models, and virtual field trips. Interestingly, these virtual experiences spread quickly among a much wider audience than anticipated, effectively overcoming long-lived barriers to accessibility and inclusivity. We now have a much better understanding of how to utilize these tools to quickly generate and integrate powerful educational materials that can grow the educational and outreach efforts of groups like the Century House Historical Society. By integrating historical documents with these emerging technologies, we can open the door to new ways of sharing history more effectively and to wider audiences.

Bio: Patrick McCarthy – Patrick is a second year Masters Candidate at the California State University, Sacramento. Pat earned a bachelor’s degree in Geology at University of California, Santa Cruz before joining the Burmeister Lab at Sacramento State. While his primary research interests are broadly focused on structural geology and tectonics, he also has a passion for science education, community outreach, and enjoys finding new ways to instil in others an appreciation for and engagement with their environment.

Read the Prof. Burmeister and Dietrich Werner’s paper on this subject from 2007 here:

This talk was presented live over Zoom and recorded. At some point you should be able to visit this page to see the recording.