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Welcome to the Geological Society of Minnesota

The Geological Society of Minnesota is a public-spirited, nonprofit educational organization that has been in operation since 1938. Our ongoing mission has been to promote public interest and supply educational support in the geological sciences. We do this by sponsoring free lectures and labs at the University of Minnesota, conducting statewide and regional field trips, holding classroom presentations for schools, maintaining a media library, publishing relevant information for public distribution, and maintaining and expanding upon a series of geological markers located throughout the state.

GSM's exciting, illustrated Seminars are presented by leading professionals in their fields of Geology or Earth Science. These engaging talks are free and open to the public, and are especially valuable for enthusiastic learners from secondary school students to adults. A question and answer opportunity is always included. Where else can you enjoy an intriguing exchange with a leading scientist or educator? Our novice-friendly labs demonstrate at a comfortable pace the ideas and principles of geology and earth science. They allow an involved, hands-on learning experience for beginners, or a helpful refresher for the seasoned enthusiast. These instructive sessions are also free and open to the public. Where else can you actively practice science, under expert guidance, for free? 


Seminars and Labs

The schedule of seminars and labs for 2016-2017 is now available; click here

The seminars are on Mondays at 7:00 PM on the University of Minnesota campus, except where noted otherwise.

 GSM will make any decision canceling or postponing a lecture due to inclement weather no later than 3:00PM the day of the lecture. This information will be posted on the GSM home page

Next Seminar: October 24, 2016 7:00 PM

Protecting Groundwater: Minnesota’s Primary Drinking Water Source

Chris Elvrum, M.Sc, Professional Geologist, Minnesota Department of Health

Kenneth Keller Hall, 200 Union St. SE, Minneapolis MN 55455

Room 3-210. MAP


Minnesota’s drinking water is protected through a series of safeguards from source to tap. The two primary mechanisms for drinking water protection are Minnesota’s Well Code and the Safe Drinking Water Act. This talk will present a broad overview of drinking water in Minnesota and focus on how the well code minimizes risk to well owners as well as its limitations. It will also cover how the source water protection activities conducted under the safe drinking water act protect public water supply sources.


Chris Elvrum is the manager of the Well Management Section at the Minnesota Department of Health where he oversees the program that regulates the construction, maintenance and sealing of wells and borings in Minnesota. Previously, he worked at the Metropolitan Council in the area of water supply planning and as an environmental consultant in Wisconsin. Chris received a B.S. Degree from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire and a M.S. Degree from the University of Kentucky, both in Geology. He is a licensed professional geologist in Minnesota.

 Direction to Keller Hall

Summer Fun Activities

Visit our Road Marker web site GSM Road Markers where we have create a geologic summer vacation game called Marker Treasure Hunt visit the site for more details.


Field Trips

During the months of May through October, GSM conducts a series of professionally-guided, statewide and regional field trips. These are one to three day excursions made to points of geologic interest not usually experienced by the casual traveler. They afford a very memorable and satisfying learning experience as there are always plenty of hands-on and question-answering opportunities. A camaraderie with enthusiastic learners and people curious about their natural environment is always a reward in itself. There is a small charge for any shared expense, and a liability waiver must be signed for each participant.

Upcoming Field Trips

Starting this winter, GSM plans to arrange one or more weekday tours of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory each semester as member interest dictates.

We are planning to offer a half-day weekend tour of the Wildlife Science Center in Columbus, MN late this year or winter 2017.

Specific information on these upcoming tours and any additional field trips will be posted on this page when it becomes known.

Past Field Trips

Click here for descriptions of previous GSM field trips.



Speakers for metro area elementary schools are available through the Public Service Committee to help enrich the education of young learners, particularly the 2nd to 4th grade levels.


Membership in the society is open to anyone with an interest in geology. The benefits of membership include:

  • Extensive Media Library - GSM maintains a collection of more than 240 geological DVDs. These are available to the members at lectures or through the mail for a nominal rental fee. Catalog
  • GSM Newsletter - A quarterly publication containing announcements of upcoming activities, interesting and informative articles on the earth sciences, GSM project and activity reports, and general club news and notices. Past issues
  • GSM Directory - An annual book that is a handy information resource, and makes it easy to access your organization.
  • The opportunity to meet others of diverse backgrounds who share an enthusiasm for learning and a curiosity for the natural world around them.
  • The rewarding feeling of supporting a public-spirited, nonprofit organization dedicated to public education.

Membership Information

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