Nov 22 Meeting - Gene LaBerge:
The History Of Geology In Central Wisconsin
After a hiatus of some 50 years the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey reestablished the program of
mapping the Precambrian geology in northern Wisconsin in 1969. As an early participant in the event, this talk will
discuss how it happened. It will also cover some of the major changes in the field of geology, such as applying
radiometric dating and rock chemistry and the concepts of Plate Tectonics to the Precambrian rocks in the region.
A summary of the major geologic features that have been recognized in central Wisconsin will be presented, for
example the presence of an Archean “continent” south of Marathon County, including gneisses that are the roots of
ancient mountains, and basaltic greenstones with iron formation. A major belt of Early Proterozoic volcanic rocks on
the northern border of this older “continent” separated by the Eau Pleine shear zone, (a “subduction zone”) along the
southern border of Marathon County will also be discussed. This group of rocks was a major part of the mountain
building event called Penokean Orogeny that occurred about 1,870-1,850 million years ago. The huge Wolf River
Batholith and related syenite complex near Wausau that were NOT related to a mountain-building event will also be
covered. Finally a brief review of the Paleozoic and Pleistocene geology will be presented.
“In 1965 Gene LaBerge joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh, where over the next 33 years, he taught
courses in mineralogy, petrology, X-ray diffraction, optical mineralogy and mineral deposits. Successfully integrating his own
research into the classroom, Gene was able to show the relevance of minerals and the geosciences to his students and society in
general. Gene is a strong researcher, and has studied banded iron deposits around the world. He has worked with both the State of
Wisconsin and the United States Geological Survey doing extensive geologic mapping in northern Wisconsin, in recognition of
which he received the Goldich Award from the Institute on Lake Superior Geology in 1995 for his outstanding contributions to the
geology of that region. In 1989 he received the Rosebush University Professor Award, the highest award presented to university
faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, for teaching excellence, outstanding research and service. Gene is also wellknown
and respected in the mineral collector community. He has an enviable record of publications, both professional and
popular. While he is perhaps best known as author of Geology of the Lake Superior Region (now in its fourth printing), he is also
editor/author of The F. John Barlow Mineral Collection. He has provided innumerable programs to mineral clubs and served as
founding Curator of the Weis Earth Science Museum.” From the newsletter of the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan
All members are urged to bring specimens for the monthly competition. Questions may be directed to Metje Butler,
Education Chairperson, at 244-3659. Cash awards: 1st place $10; 2nd place $5.
November: New member's self-polished material...cab or specimen.
December: No regular meeting, no competition; Holiday Party instead.
1. Only paid members of the Madison Gem and Mineral Club may enter, personally working or fabricating the material unless
2. No prior-winning competition items eligible.
3. Read the competition requirements carefully. Only one entry per month, but item may be entered in other months if it qualifies
Note: The auditorium tends to be rather cold sometimes so bring a sweater or jacket. Watch for construction on Charter St.) Each meeting features a presentation on a topic in gemology or mineralogy, or related fields, as well as a chance to discuss past and future rock-hunting expeditions.
All members are urged to bring specimens for the monthly competition. Questions may be directed to Metje Butler, Education Chairperson, at 244-3659. Cash awards: 1st place $10; 2nd place $5.
1. Only paid members of the Madison Gem and Mineral Club may enter, personally working or fabricating the material unless otherwise designated. 2. No prior-winning competition items eligible. 3. Read the competition requirements carefully. Only one entry per month, but item may be entered in other months if it qualifies (non-previous winner)