Come to West Virginia in the Spring!

Information on another enjoyable, economical, and educational Eastern Section conference starts below and continues on other pages in this issue, so please plan on joining us and bring your colleagues - it's a great way to spend a spring weekend.  See old & new friends, and familiar & new places.  Note registration & accommodations deadlines and get your registration in soon!

Yes, we do still want and need your award nominations this year - please see information in this issue & on the section website, and nominate someone you admire.


The National Association of Geoscience Teachers

Eastern Section Spring Conference 

May 14-17, 2015

Beckley, VV

“Scenic South Central West Virginia Geology Above and Below”

Randy Newcomer and Deb Hemler, Conference Hosts

Contact Randy Newcomer, conference coordinator at: randy@randysbooks.com 

It’s difficult if not impossible to think about West Virginia without considering coal. Our meeting this year will begin at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beaver, WV where miners from West Virginia, the rest of the country, and even the world come to work on improving the safety of miners. The building itself is designed to have the appearance of a mine and as you walk the hallways there’s an industrial, underground feel to it. The halls are lined with mining memorabilia, minerals from various historic mines, and plaques celebrating mine safety and mine rescue classes.

The National Mine Health and Safety Academy is the seventh permanent Federal Academy, joining the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Maritime, Navy, and FBI Academies in serving our Nation. It is responsible for training the mine safety and health inspectors and technical support personnel of the Mine Safety and  Health Administration. The Academy is located on an 80-acre site near the Raleigh County Airport. The Academy complex consists of nine buildings including a Mine Simulation Laboratory.

The New River Gorge where one of the oldest rivers, despite its name, has exposed “seven formations, the four oldest being of Mississippian age (the Mauch Chunk Group) and the three youngest of Pennsylvanian age (the Pottsville Group). This younger Pennsylvanian Group is distinctive because it is the oldest one containing commercial coal beds in West Virginia. The major boundary between the older Mississippian and younger Pennsylvanian occurs in rocks approximately 325 million years old.” [WVGS]

Other Nearby Attractions include:

Tamarack, Beckley, WV – A single destination near our hotels for all things West Virginia. Includes galleries, crafts, artisan studios, food, and more. www.tamarackwv.com

Lost World Caverns, Lewisburg, WV – An education friendly commercial cave with lighted easy walking tours or wild tours for the more adventurous. www.lostworldcaverns.com

Grandview State Park, Beaver, WV – Stunning views of the gorge. Great hiking and picnicking.

There are also numerous opportunities in the area for other hiking, biking and paddling.

Conference Agenda

Thursday, May 14:

3:00 pm – 5:30 pm Conference Registration at Holiday Inn.  Dinner on your own this evening.  

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm Dr. Kathryn Williamson, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, will do a talk on "NRAO: Opportunities for Professors, Teachers, and Students." The talk will be given at the Mine Safety Academy. 

Friday, May 15:

8:00 am – 9:00 am Conference check-in and registration at Mine Health and Safety Academy.  Breakfast available on your own or at the Academy cafeteria.

9:00 am – 10:00 pm Guided tour of Mine Health and Safety Academy. 

10:00 am – 12:00 pm Presentations.

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm    Lunch on your own at Academy Cafeteria.

Friday continued on next page

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Beckley Mine Tour. Underground tour of a coal mine along with a tour of a recreated coal camp including Coal Company House, Superintendent House, Coal Camp School, Church, and Miner’s Shanty.  Also includes a tour of the award-winning Youth Museum.

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Dinner on your own.

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Mine Health and Safety Academy - Geo-auction, with desserts and other sweets.

Saturday, May 16:

8:30 am – 5:00 pm Field Trip – Box Lunches are provided!

Locations TBD.  Current possibilities include the New River Gorge and New River Gorge Bridge, the longest single-arch steel bridge in the world with a lookout that affords a stunning view of the gorge; Hawk’s Nest where tunneling through Gauley Mountain at least 109 and perhaps as many as 476 workers died of silicosis from 1930 – 1935, and more.

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Eastern Section Awards Dinner Banquet.  Holiday Inn.  Speaker:  Kenny Ashton, WV Geologic and Economic Survey Geologist, “Hawks Nest:  Worst Industrial Disaster in U.S. History”.

Sunday, May 17:

9:00 am – 11:00 am Eastern Section business meeting. Breakfast will be available on your own at the meeting which will be held nearby.

Hotel/Housing Information:

It is the responsibility of the conference attendees to arrange for their hotel rooms or other housing. Conference lodging is NOT included in your registration fees.

The Conference Hotel will be the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites where a block of rooms have been reserved:  Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites: 114 Dry Hill Road, Beckley WV.  This location has single rooms only reserved for the conference attendees.  Please be sure to mention that you are in the National Association of Geoscience Teachers group.  Hotel rooms have been reserved at a cost of  $119 plus taxes and will be held only until April 14thOther hotels in walking distance include a Country Inn & Suites, 2120 Harper Road and Microtel Inn & Suites, 2130 Harper Road. Also a short distance away are Hampton Inn, 110 Harper Park Drive; Baymont Inn & Suites, 134 Harper Park Drive; Super 8, 2014 Harper Road; Travelodge, 1939 Harper Road; Courtyard, 124 Hylton Lane; Quality Inn, 1924 Harper Road; Econo Lodge, 1909 Harper Road; and Howard Johnson Express Inn, 1907 Harper Road, as well as others.

Saturday the banquet will be at the Holiday Inn and field trips will leave from there. Friday events are within 15 minutes of the Holiday Inn and participants will drive or carpool between those events.

Registration Form

National Association of Geoscience Teachers Eastern Section Conference and Field Trips

May 14-17, 2015, Beckley, WV

Each participant must submit a registration form.  Lodging accommodations are the responsibility of the registrant.  Pre-registration for the conference deadline is April 25, 2015, but hotel cut-off date is different.

Please fill in the form below and indicate your registration preferences.

Make a check for the total registration fee payable to Randy Newcomer and send it along with this form to: Randy Newcomer, PO Box 214, Akron, PA 17501


Affiliation: __________________________________________________________________

E-mail: _____________________________________________________________________

Mailing Address: _____________________________________________________________   

Cell phone: ____________________   Home phone: ___________________

OESTA Award Winners from Spring 2014 meeting attend Free! Please indicate this on your registration information.

Please circle the appropriate selection(s) below:

Full Conference Registration  (includes Saturday field trip but not Saturday Banquet)

NAGT member $55

(after April 25, 2015) $65 Check if OEST 2014 Awardee: _______

Spouse/Significant Other $35

Student $35

Non-member $65

(after April 25. 2015) $80

Friday-Only registration

NAGT member $40

Student $35

Non-member $45

Saturday-Only registration

NAGT member $40

Student $35

Non-member $45

Saturday Awards Banquet and

   Keynote Speaker -all $28 (no charge for 2014 OESTA winners and one guest)

Total Enclosed:   _______________________

Sunday Business meeting nearby. Breakfast available.  

Please circle:   I will attend business meeting           yes          no


NAGT-Eastern Section 2015 Annual Meeting


Submission Deadline:  April 30, 2015


Presentations will be scheduled for 45-minute blocks. Double sessions will be accommodated only as space and time permits. As many presentations as possible will be accommodated. 


Return completed form to: Randy Newcomer, PO Box 214, Akron, PA 17501

You may also submit proposal electronically at randy@randysbooks.com

Poster displays are also welcome and should use this same proposal form.


Name: ________________________________________________________________


Email: ________________________________________________________________


Affiliation: ______________________________________________________________


Address: ______________________________________________________________


Phone: _____________________________Fax: ______________________________


Presentation Title: _______________________________________________________


Description (max. 100 words): _____________________________________________












Presentation equipment needed: (all rooms have projectors, computer, laptop drop and sound)




Other facilities needed?: (subject to availability__________________________________


Check one:     ________ Poster presentation       _______ Oral Presentation____________