Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Desert Geomorphology for Archeologists
Landforms, soil formation, and chronology

Landforms, soil formation, and chronology

May 11 - May 15, 2015

Las Vegas, NV

Event Navigation

Desert Research Institute

Desert Research Institute

Register NowThe National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, the Friends of NCPTT, and Desert Research Institute (DRI) are partnering to host a five-day workshop on desert geomorphology for archeologists.

The workshop will be held May 11-15, 2015 at the Desert Research Institute, Las Vegas, and Corn Creek Desert Wildlife Range, NV.  The workshop is limited to 25 participants, so please reserve your spot early.

Tuition for the workshop is $850 and there is a reduced rate of $650 for students. RPA registrants can receive up to 40 continuing professional education credits for course completion. Payment should be made to the Friends of NCPTT.

You can pay using a PayPal account, by using a credit card via PayPal without an account, or send a check with the memo line “Desert Geomorphology for Archeologists” to:

Friends of NCPTT
645 University Parkway
Natchitochoes, LA 71457

Participants will learn the fundamentals of desert geomorphology for archeologists using a variety of methods and techniques. We will visit and examine examples of desert landscapes sites within a short drive of Las Vegas. We will start with the basics-defining geomorphology-then move through class lectures on selected topics important to archeologists and supplemented with extensive boots-on-the-ground field trips will all be covered in the five (5) day course. Dr. Tom Bullard, Associate Research Professor at the Desert Research Institute will be the class instructor.

We will meet the first day at 8:00 a.m. at the Las Vegas office of the Desert Research Institute, located at 755 E. Flamingo Road Las Vegas, NV 89119. 702.862.5400. For more information please contact Tad Britt at (318) 521-5641, or Tad_Britt@nps.gov.

Hotel Reservations

A block of hotel rooms at the negotiated rate of $79 per night (plus tax) is being held until April 15, 2015 at the Baymont Inn & Suites, (which will become Four Points Sheraton March 2015), 4055 Palos Verdes St., Las Vegas, NV 89119. You will need to make your own reservations by calling 702-473-6400, and identify yourself as being a member of group “CINPSD National Park Service and Desert Research Institute.” After this date, any remaining unreserved rooms will be returned to hotel inventory, prices will revert to the normal rate, and availability will be subject to demand. There will be a large event in Las Vegas the same week, so please be sure to reserve your room before the April 15, 2015 deadline.

Workshop Title: “Desert Geomorphology for Archeologists”
Tentative schedule:
Monday: May 11, 2015

Registration: from 8:00 am -9:00 am
Session 1: 9:00-12:00 pm
9:00 am-10:15 pm – Introduction/overview of course, geomorphology -archeology connection, basics of earth materials. weathering, and geomorphic process
10:15-10:30 am – Break
10:30-12:00 – Introduction to fundamentals of Geomorphology Part I: weathering and hillslopes:
12:00-1:15 – Lunch – catered
Session 2: 1:15-5:15 pm
1:15-2:30 – Introduction to Geomorphology Part II: fluvial processes
2:30-2:45 pm – Break
2:45-4:30 pm – Introduction to Geomorphology Part III: fluvial and eolian landforms
4:30-5:15 pm – Q & A, Day 2 Logistics

Tuesday: May 12, 2015
Session 3
8:00-8:15 am – Announcements
8:15–9:30 am – Soils and Geomorphology I: factors in soil formation
9:30-10:00 am – Break
10:00-11:30 am – Soils and Geomorphology II: soils applied to geomorphic studies
11:30-11:45 am – Q & A, logistics
11:45-1:15 pm – Lunch – catered
Session 4
1:15-2:30 pm – Desert landforms in the Las Vegas area
2:30-2:45 pm – Break
2:45-4:30 pm – Geomorphology, landforms, and archeology relations, applications to modeling
4:30-5:00 pm – Q & A, Day 3 logistics

Wednesday: May 13, 2015
8:00-10:00 am – transit to Corn Creek Desert Wildlife Range ( www.fws.gov/refuge/desert/ ) field area with stops and overviews on the way
10:00-10:15 am – visitor center rest stop
10:15-12:00 – Introduction to desert landforms: alluvial fan characteristics: active channel, alluvial fan surfaces, to pediment surfaces
12:00-1:00 pm – Lunch in the field at visitor center
1:00-1:30 – visitor center tour
1:30-4:00 pm –examples of soils and desert pavements as relative age indicators
4:00-5:00 pm – overview stop on return – distal alluvial fan environment, dunes & lacustrine – paleoenvironment
5:00-6:00 pm – return to base

Thursday: May 14, 2015
8:30-10:00 am – transit to Corn Creek Desert Wildlife Range ( www.fws.gov/refuge/desert/ ) field area with stops on the way
10:00-12:15 am – bedrock influence on alluvial fans and soils, archeology applications
12:15-1:30 pm – lunch
1:30-3:30 pm – more field time
3:30-5:00 pm– return to base

Friday: May 15, 2015
8:00-9:00 am – summary of field relations and classroom integration
9:15-9:45 am – break
9:45-11:00 am – applications and implications for predictive modeling
11:00-11:30 am – Q & A, wrap up
11:45-1:00 pm – lunch
1:00 pm – depart for home destinations

What to bring:

  • Backpack
  • Magnifying glass/hand lens
  • Notebook and pencil
  • Graph Paper
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Boots
  • Proper clothing for hot days and cool nights


Since workshops and conferences fill quickly, please sign up as early as possible. If you need to withdraw from an event, you must inform us in writing via email Tad_Britt@nps.gov or fax (318) 356-9119. Cancellations more than 30 days prior to an event will be fully refunded less a $30 administrative fee. No refunds will be available for cancellations within 30 days of the event, but funds may be credited towards a future NCPTT event. In the unlikely event that NCPTT must cancel an event, you may choose a full refund of the registration fee or a credit for a future NCPTT event.


Register NowDr. Tom Bullard is a professional geomorphologist with more than 35 years of academic and professional experience in basic and applied research in geology and geomorphology related to landscape evolution, fluvial system behavior, geoarcheology, landscape restoration, geologic hazards and hazardous waste disposal. Current applied research has included geomorphic-based archeological predictive modeling and providing geologic, geomorphic, and soil expertise as part of cumulative mitigation measures on archeological and cultural resource management projects in the Great Basin as well as California desert and coastal.

His background experience includes soils and geomorphic applications to geoarcheology, landscape evolution in arid, semi-arid, alpine, and tropical regions; fluvial geomorphology; applied tectonic geomorphology research on blind thrust faults for earthquake hazard assessment; landslide investigations.  Research field areas have included the southeast, southwest and western United States, Alaska, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Suriname, and Philippines.

Share →


May 11, 2015 @ 8:00 AM
May 15, 2015 @ 5:00 PM
Event Categories:
Event Tags:
, , , ,


Desert Research Institute – Las Vegas<br /><small>Landforms, soil formation, and chronology</small>
Las Vegas, NV United States
+ Google Map
National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119