Monthly Archives: June 2012
Facility also educates about oil and gas production in the region
Southbound motorists traveling Interstate 29 near Rock Port, Missouri this Wednesday, June 27 are encouraged to visit a brand new facility to welcome them to the state. The Rock Port Welcome Center in Atchison County officially will be opened to the public at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 27, during a formal dedication ceremony, according to the Missouri Division of Tourism and the Missouri Department of Transportation.
The theme of the new Welcome Center is “Energy Conservation and Alternative Energy: Past & Present.” Working with Missouri Western State University, Northwest Missouri State University, and various historical and energy experts, informational panels throughout the building educate visitors about energy use and production. The site does more than just educate. Energy conservation and sustainability was designed into the project and will save Missourians thousands in the years to come. In fact, a Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) certification is being sought for the project. Some of the numerous site designs include these energy efficiencies:
- Ground source heat pump
- Energy-efficient lighting with occupancy sensors
- Hot water circulator
- Sand-filtered waste water treatment
The welcome center is located in a region of the state that is one of the largest natural gas and oil production areas in Missouri, known as the Forest City Basin. Oil was discovered in Missouri shortly after the Civil War when water wells were being drilled near Kansas City. Missouri has seen a marked increase in the production of oil in the last two fiscal years. Fiscal year 2011 figures total 112,508 barrels of oil produced. Missouri has potentially large quantities of “unconventional” energy resources that include: coalbed methane, oil sand and oil shale.
So, be sure to see the display in the welcome center that addresses oil and gas in Missouri. Learn more about oil and gas in Missouri.
Also, read about the energy efficient makeover of our facilities in Rolla in which we installed ground source heat pump systems, energy-efficient lighting with occupancy sensors, and Low-E windows that enable us to dramatically increase energy efficiency.
The new center is located on I-29 just south of the town of Rock Port. (Please note that because the welcome center is designed to service travelers just entering Missouri, it is accessible only from southbound I-29.) Read the MoDOT news release. –Joe
The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a magnitude 3.3 earthquake 9 miles southeast of Marston, Missouri at 8:40 a.m. Sunday, June 17, 2012. The earthquake was four miles deep and only two miles northwest of Tiptonville, Tenn. At this time 12 individuals reported having felt the shaking at locations in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Tennessee. No reports of injuries or damage have been reported. Visit this USGS site to learn more or to report shaking.
In February, nearly 900 people in 21 states reported shaking in M3.9 earthquake recorded Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 near Sikeston, Mo.
This year marks the 200th Anniversary of the New Madrid Earthquakes, when a series of three to five major earthquakes (magnitude 7.0 or larger earthquakes) occurred in near the southeast Missouri town of New Madrid in the two month period between December 16, 1811 and February 7, 1812. Learn more about earthquake potential in Missouri. If you are traveling in the Missouri Bootheel and near Marston, be sure to visit the Missouri Department of Transportation’s new welcome center. The center highlights the News Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12 and the region’s rich history. –Joe
Learning about geology, protecting our drinking water, mineral resources, environmental geology, land surveying, dam safety, illegal dumping, and more!
As usual, we had a wonderful time when more than 350 Rolla 5th grade students visited our campus near the end of the school year. Students learned about careers in geology, land surveying and other areas of expertise with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. We have partnered with the Rolla Middle School for a number of years to help educate Rolla 5th grade students about careers, environmental stewardship and wise use of our natural resources. Check out photos from the day. Thanks to Jeannie Strain at Rolla Middle School for helping coordinate the effort each year and to Shannon Beck (Rolla Daily News reporter) for taking photos and publishing several in the newspaper and online.
We invite you to visit our Ed Clark Museum of Missouri Geology. We are open for self-guided tours weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are located at 111 Fairgrounds Road in Rolla, Missouri. Admission is free. –Joe
Did you see it?
Two days ago, many Missourians were treated to a special celestial event when Venus, the second innermost planet, crossed between the earth and the sun. This was a very rare event and will not happen again until 2117. Viewed through a safe solar viewer, this event allowed many amateur astronomers to see an image of Venus as it crossed the face of the sun.
Division geologist Jeff Crews volunteered to set up a telescope and viewing station for staff and interested members of the public. At 5:15 p.m. CDT, several people gathered to witness this amazing event. We were not disappointed as a small black dot eventually materialized and moved across the image of the sun. In addition to Venus, we were also able to observe several sun spots, each being larger than earth. This will give scientists new insight into the atmosphere of Venus and possibly lead to better methods to detect far off planets. Several students and visitors came by to take photos and observe the planetary phenomenon. We even had a visitor from as far away as Jefferson City! –Joe