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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?

Next GSM Lecture:

Monday, April 20, 2015 @ 7:00 PM

Oil Field Earthquakes in Oklahoma

by Steve Erickson, M.Sc., Past President GSM


University of Minnesota, East Bank campus,

Room 3-210 Keller Hall (Electrical Engineering/Computer Science Bldg.)

200 Union St SE

Minneapolis MN 55455   Map  Direction to Keller Hall 


Since 2010, Oklahoma has had an increase in earthquakes which appear to be related to oil drilling activities.  In my talk I will review basics of Oklahoma geology and some of the activities which are blamed for the earthquakes.  Earthquakes are a result of pressure underground which fractures the earth and may cause damage to property and in extreme cases may result in injury or death.  The Oklahoma Geological Survey has concluded that most of the recent earthquake activity is the result of salt water disposal.  I will review different types of disposal wells as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency.  The type II (two) wells are related to the oil industry.  These have injected millions of gallons of water into designated formations throughout Oklahoma.  These areas of injection are believed to be the cause of many of the earthquakes that have occurred in recent years.  The OGS believes that at least two of the earthquakes are the result of fracking.



Steve Erickson is a native of Robbinsdale.  He spent 4 years as a radio operator in the United States Coast Guard.  He received his undergrad degree (BS) from California State University of Long Beach in 1983 and his Masters of Science degree in Geology from the University of Tulsa in 1990.  While at TU, he spent several years working as a geological technician for I.C. Gas Amcana.  Following graduation, he spent 2 years at Samson Resources as a staff geologist.  He has received an Environmental Lab certificate from NE Metro Technical (now Century College), and has worked at Pace Analytical.  He currently works at 3M as a lab technician.


Keep date open for the Spring Banquet & Silent Auction on May 4th, 2015; 5 - 8:30PM. Click here details 

Seminars and Labs

The schedule of seminars and labs for 2014-2015 in now available click here . Note that the seminars start a a new time this year, 7:00 PM 

Field Trips

Next field trip: 

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 comaraderie 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.


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 125 geological videos and a growing number of interactive, multimedia CD-ROMs for both windows and Macintosh computers. These are available to the members at lectures or through the mail for a nominal rental fee.
  • 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.
  • GSM Directory - An annual book that is a handy information resource, and makes it easy to access your organization.
  • Rocky Roots ... Three Geology Walking Tours of Downtown St. Paul - A free copy of this popular guidebook.
  • 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.
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