Robert Lodge (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Esther Stewart, and Carsyn Ames (Wisconsin Geologic and Natural History Survey) hosted the 69th Annual Institute on Lake Superior Geology on April 23 – 26, 2023 at the Lismore Hotel and Conference Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The meeting consisted of two days of technical sessions with pre- and post-technical session field trips.

First, we would like to thank the meeting sponsors for their generous support, either through direct funding or in-kind support, namely: Talon Metals, American Institute of Professional Geologists, Geological Society of Minnesota, Crystal Cave, and Visit Eau Claire. We also thank the Individual Contributors to the Student Travel Scholarship fund: Val Chandler, Jim DeGraff, Thomas Erickson, Tom Fitz, Dave Good, Bob Mahin, Gordon Medaris Jr., Jim Miller, Steven Pinta, Tod Roush, and Gerry White.

The 2023 meeting was the first conference held in the US since the 2018 Iron Mountain meeting, the first in Wisconsin since the 2011 Ashland meeting, and the first meeting in Eau Claire since 1991. Total meeting registration was 126, including 19 students. Attendance from both Canadian and United States was excellent despite other conferences in the Lake Superior region in April and May (GAC-MAC, Sudbury; Northcentral GSA, Grand Rapids). The technical program was nevertheless excellent with a good array of topics from Archean and Paleoproterozoic geology, to Midcontinent Rift geology and mineralization, to Quaternary Geology, Geoscience Education and Geoheritage. In addition, a student-industry networking lunch was held at the Riverview Room in the Eau Claire Public Library and an evening social was held at Reboot Social.

Proceedings Volume 69 was published in two parts. Part 1 – Program and Abstracts, compiled and edited by Carsyn Ames (WGNHS) contains 54 published abstracts for 34 oral and 19 poster presentations. Students presented 8 oral and 10 poster presentations. Part 2 – Field Trip Guidebooks, was compiled and edited by Robert Lodge (UWEC). It contains descriptions of two pre-meeting and two post-meeting field trips. Hard copies of the Abstract Volume and Field Trip Guidebooks for trip participants were printed by University Printing at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Both volumes are available for download from the Institute on Lake Superior Geology website.

The 69th ILSG marked only the third time in the Institute’s long history that its annual meeting was held in Eau Claire, the last time being in 1991. Plans for another Wisconsin-based ILSG meeting had been discussed for a while. With recent work in the Paleoproterozoic geology and mineralization in the Penokean orogen in northwestern Wisconsin and the central location of Eau Claire, it seemed appropriate to host the meeting there. Eau Claire sits on the boundary between Precambrian Shield, Paleozoic Platform, and the terminus of the continental ice sheet and allowed organizers to host four field trips examining billions of years of geologic history. Two field trips focused on the Precambrian geology of the Penokean orogen exposed in the Chippewa and Eau Claire River Valleys. While the preconference field trip got to see historic flooding on the Chippewa River (there are not many days when a bunch of Precambrian geologists are looking at the river rather than the rocks), waters receded for the post-conference field trip. Field stops on this trip were originally (in some cases, exclusively) described in previous ILSG meetings (Eau Claire, 1980; 1991) but benefitted from new research and analyses and new viewpoints on the tectonics and metallogeny of the region. One fieldtrip visited classic exposures Paleozoic stratigraphy around the Eau Claire and Menominee regions and enjoyed lunch in an ancient meteorite impact structure. One field trip visited Quaternary geology and fluvial geomorphology of the Chippewa River valley. All the field trips, and the meeting itself, were blessed with good weather. Total field trip participation was 116 (excluding leaders and volunteer drivers). A list of field trips is provided below:
Pre-meeting field trips (and leaders) on Tuesday, April 23.
1) Precambrian Geology of the Chippewa River valley: A Transect through the Marshfield Terrane
(Robert Lodge, Bob Hooper, UW-Eau Claire)
2) Wisconsin’s Paleozoic stratigraphy and tour of Crystal Cave
(Carsyn Ames, Esther Stewart, Bill Batten, Eric Stewart, Ian Orland, WGNHS)
Post-meeting field trips (and leaders) on Friday, April 26.
3) Precambrian Geology of the Eau Claire River valley: Re-discovering the Eau Claire Volcanic Complex
(Robert Lodge, Evan Weber, Bob Hooper, UW-Eau Claire)
4) Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology of the Eau Claire Region
(Doug Faulker, UW-Eau Claire; Elmo Rawling, WGNHS; Phil Larson, Minnesota State University, Mankato)
Many registrants attended the welcoming reception on Tuesday evening. Furthermore, the vast majority of registrants and invited guests attended the annual ILSG banquet on Wednesday night. Although a Homer Award overview presentation was given, no “recipients” were identified during the 2023 annual meeting, or in the previous 4 years!
As always, a highlight of the post-banquet activities was presentation of the 2023 Goldich Medal. This year’s very deserving recipient was Dr. Pete Hollings. The Goldich Medal citation was presented by Mark Smyk, his colleague for many years. Mark described Pete’s many contributions to the ILSG, to the greater understanding of Archean and Proterozoic geology of the Lake Superior region, and his commitment to students. Pete is indeed a worthy recipient of this prestigious award.

The 69th ILSG continued the post-banquet guest speaker tradition. Curt Meine, a conservation biologist, historian, and writer from the Aldo Leopold Foundation and Center for Humans and Nature, gave a presentation entitled Imagining “Conservation Geology”: Lessons from the Driftless Area. His talk provided an insightful viewpoint of how geology and landscapes integrate with history and culture in the Driftless Area of central Wisconsin.

In 2023, the student paper committee remarked on the high quality of student research across all participants and had a difficult time of selecting the best among the excellent oral and poster presentations. The committee awarded four prizes for the best oral and poster presentations by both undergraduate and graduate students. The best graduate oral presentation was awarded to Justin Jonsson and his talk on “Petrogenesis of the mineralized horizons in the Offset and Creek zones, Lac des Iles Complex, N. Ontario”. The best undergraduate oral presentation was awarded to Blaize Briggs for his talk on “Quetico-Wabigoon Subprovince Boundary in the Superior Province north of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada”. The best graduate poster presentation was awarded to Fransisca Nunez Ferreira for her poster on “Morphometry and formation process of eskers developed under the Chippewa Lobe of the Laurentide Ice Sheet”. The best undergraduate poster presentation was awarded to Lillian Glodowski for her poster on “Characterizing volcanic host stratigraphy and syn-volcanic intrusions at the Lynne Zn-Pb-Cu deposit, Oneida Co., Wisconsin”. Eisenbrey Student Travel Grants were given to twelve students: Zsuzsanna Allerton, Ryan Barkley, Blaize Briggs, Tianna Groeneveld, Justin Jonsson, Daniel Lizzardo-McPherson, Francisca Nunez Ferreira, Jordan Peterzon, Sam Ghantous, Madeline Taylor, BJ Itai, and Katherine Langfield.

The Institute’s Board of Directors met on Thursday, April 25, 2023, and a brief overview of the meeting notes is provided below:

  1. Accepted report of the Chairs for the 68th ILSG, as published in the Proceedings volume, and minutes of last Board meeting, May, 2022 (Hollings)
  2. Received, discussed, and accepted 2022-2023 ILSG Financial Summary (Jirsa).
  3. Received, discussed, and accepted 2022-2023 report of the Secretary (Hollings).
  4. Approved Carsyn Ames as on-going ILSG Board member
  5. Discussed and approved Amy Radakovich Block as Assistant Treasurer in a non-voting role (end of term 2026).
  6. Discussed and approved replacing Steve Kissin as the “member from academia” on Goldich Committee (end of term 2023) with Marcia Bjornerud
  7. Approved Houghton as the site for the 70th annual ILSG meeting. The meeting will be hosted by Ted Bornhorst.
  8. Discussed the role of the Michigan Tech archives as the host of hard copies of the publications of the Institute. A formal agreement has been signed with the Archives who will request financial support as needed rather than the previous model of providing a donation of $1 per attendee.
  9. A number of future meeting locations were discussed. Peter Hinz has offered Kenora as a future site and Mark Jirsa is keen to host the Mountain Iron meeting that was cancelled due to the pandemic. Bernie Saini-Eidukat to be approached to see if he is still interested in organizing a meeting in St Cloud.
  10. The cost of insurance was again discussed and it was agreed that the Board of Directors insurance should be maintained and that the costs would be included in the cost of each meeting. Given the high costs quoted for field trip insurance the Board to investigate field trip insurance options. Hollings to approach GAC. Amy to approach GSA and Carsyn to approach a risk advisor. The Board discussed embedding a Liability waiver in the registration process.
  11. The Board discussed embedding a photo release in the meeting and/or field trip registration process such that anyone registering for the field trip is aware they are agreeing to be photographed and have their image used in ILSG publications/website etc. It was agreed that the Institute does not want to turn anyone away from the meeting/trips simply because they do not want to be photographed, and the result is that before any photos are uploaded to the website, someone on the Board (or a future social media position) will need to go through the photos and make sure that no one who has NOT signed a photo release is shown in a shot where they are identifiable.

The 69th ILSG meeting was a great success, and we wish to thank all the people who contributed to that success, field trip leaders and drivers, UWEC student volunteers, and businesses and organizations in downtown Eau Claire that hosted and entertained visitors. Patty Cobin and Ted Bornhorst (A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technological University) handled the pre-meeting registration and supplied the poster boards. Thanks also go to the staff at Lismore Hotel and Conference Center who helped the meeting and banquet run smoothly and providing lunches and snacks during the technical sessions. Thanks to Eau Claire Public Library for hosting our student-industry luncheon, Reboot Social for hosting our post-meeting evening social, Eau Claire Cheese and Deli for field trip lunches, and Eau Claire Student Transit for bus transportation for fieldtrips.

Robert Lodge (UWEC), Carsyn Ames (WGNHS), and Esther Stewart (WGHNS)
Co-Chairs, 69th Institute on Lake Superior Geology

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