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Courtesy Photo Deborah Ragland, PhD; adjunct instructor in Geology, UNM - Taos

Explore Taos County’s Geological Past With Taos County Historical Society Speaker

Photo by D. Ragland Rockhounds treasure Taos County staurolites, a metamorphic mineral also known as fairy stones

Few would disagree that the landscape of Taos County is unusual and stunning, from shining mountains and extinct volcanic cones to deep gorges and vast llanos. How many, however, can claim familiarity with the geologic forces that have shaped the dramatically beautiful area we call home?


The Taos County Historical Society (TCHS) speaker on April 6, Dr, Deborah Ragland, will provide a tour through Taos County’s geologic past, show why we have the remarkable landform features around us that we see every day, and answer those questions that have often crossed our minds.


Is seismic activity a thing of the past? No, says Dr. Ragland. While not an immediate danger, there was in fact a 3.8 magnitude earthquake near Nambé on Oct. 17, 2011. She will also give her interpretation of the reputed Taos Hum.


Dr. Ragland will speak on Saturday, April 6, at 2 p.m. at the Kit Carson Electric Coop boardroom, 118 Cruz Alta in Taos.


Dr. Ragland is the adjunct instructor of geology at UNM-Taos. After growing up in Pennsylvania, she moved to Texas to launch her academic career at the University of Texas, Austin. She finished work on a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in geology and environmental studies at UT, Purdue, Northern Illinois, and Oklahoma State universities. After completing her Ph.D., she worked in research and development as a senior geologist and consulting geologist in the oil industry in Oklahoma and Texas.


Facing another move to Texas in 2002, Dr. Raglan semi-retired and moved to Taos where, as luck would have it, UNM-Taos needed a geology instructor. Over the past 20 years she has taught introductory, advanced, and upper division geology and climate change classes. She has co-led geology field trips in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado and written geological guides for Grand Canyon and Arches National Parks. Her classes are perennial favorites among both undergrads and adult students.

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