The Field Experience

On this excursion, participants spent the day traveling by motor coach through southeast Nebraska with Drs. Fielding and Joeckel to examine a series of Pennsylvanian Subperiod exposures, comprising thick fluvial and estuarine sandstones overlain by thin-bedded sandstones-mudrocks that are incised into the limestone-mudrock cycles typical of the latest Pennsylvanian (Virgilian) succession of SE Nebraska.

Stop 1: Peru, NE requires a short walk through falling leaves. [photo by Michele Waszgis]

After a bit of introduction, participants begin migrating to the rock. [photo by Michele Waszgis]

Examining a scour filled with coarse sediment. [photo by Donna Matlock]

Participants get up close and personal with the sand sequence. [photo by Doug Hallum]

Examples of heterolithic bedding observed during the trip. [photos by Donna Matlock and Michele Waszgis]

Field trip participants taking care and taking turns climbing the steep banks to view the outcrops. [photo by Donna Matlock]

AAPG Mid-Continent Section President Doug Davis enjoying a bit of folk art denoting Nebraska’s year of statehood. [photo by Doug Hallum]

Stop 2: Dr. Fielding addresses the group at Brownville, NE. [photo by Doug Hallum]

Conference sponsors, Dan Blankenau (Great Plains Energy) and Jon Gross (RDG Geoscience and Engineering) examine the mudrock sequence at Brownville. [photo by Doug Hallum]

Close view of mudrock sequence. [photo by Donna Matlock]

We loved to see participants with their noses to the rocks. [photo by Michele Waszgis]

Stop 3: Indian Cave State Park - part of the AAPG group climbs the stair to the observation decks. [photo by Michele Waszgis]

Part of the AAPG Mid-Continent Section group on the observation decks. [photo by Doug Hallum]

Part of the group hiked the hill to the Missouri River overlook. [photo by Michele Waszgis]

Participants had so much fun during the field trip that they were eager to pose for a photo before loading the buses at the end of a long day. [photo by Mark the bus driver]


Chris Fielding grew up in Scotland, was awarded a BSc Honours degree in Geology from Edinburgh University (1979) and a PhD in Geology from Durham University (1982) on the sedimentology and stratigraphy of Pennsylvanian coal-bearing rocks in NE England. He then joined BP Exploration Co. as a petroleum sedimentologist, working out of London, Guangzhou (China) and Aberdeen until 1986 when he commenced an academic position at the University of Queensland in Australia. He remained at UQ for 16 years, rising to the rank of Associate Professor and was Director (Academic) of the Department of Earth Sciences from 2001 until his departure in mid-2002. Chris is now the inaugural Mr & Mrs JB Coffman Chair in Sedimentary Geology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in the USA. He was an Editor-in-Chief of the journal Sedimentology from 1998 to 2002, and was an Editor-in-Chief of the journal Sedimentary Geology from 2005-2008. He was elected President of SEPM (the Society for Sedimentary Geology) for 2011/12, and a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2011. He was awarded Honorary Membership of SEPM in 2016. His research interests span the sedimentology and stratigraphy of continental, coastal and shallow marine depositional systems, their paleoclimatological archives, and applications to resource exploration and production. He maintains active field-based research programs in eastern Australia, Antarctica, Atlantic Canada, Midwestern and Western USA. He will watch any kind of football.


R. M. (Matt) Joeckel grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UN-L), University of Kansas, University of Florida, receiving a Ph.D. in Geology at the University of Iowa in 1993. He was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Tennessee before teaching geology and geography at Bellevue University during 1996-2000. He returned to UN-L as Assistant Professor in the Conservation and Survey Division (Nebraska Geological Survey) in 2000, attaining promotion to Associate Professor and Professor over the next decade. He became State Geologist and Associate Director for Conservation and Survey in the School of Natural Resources in 2014. He also teaches in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at UN-L. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. Joeckel’s research interests include the sedimentology and stratigraphy of continental successions, terrestrial paleoclimates and paleoenvironments, soils and paleosols, geomorphology and landscape evolution, and paleontology.