The new shopping cart feature allows secure online purchasing of all maps, geologic publications, and recreational books.  The easily searchable Web site includes the entire inventory of Utah’s topographic and geologic maps in an easy-to-use index system that shows the location of every map.  For those who can’t stop by in person, you can now conveniently shop online.


This Issue Contains:

  • Utah’s Glacial Geology
  • Utah’s Pleistocene Fossils: Keys for Assessing Climate and Environmental Change
  • Glad You Asked: Ice Ages – What are they and what causes them?
  • Survey News
  • Teacher’s Corner: Teaching Kits Available for Loan
  • GeoSights: Glacial Landforms in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, Salt Lake County, Utah
  • Energy News: Uranium – Fuel for the 21st Century?
  • New Publications



The skulls of Utah’s prehistoric lizards keep rolling out of the country’s largest national monument with the two newest ones so unusual that when unveiled this week, their discovery will have a global impact.

That was the message during last week’s lecture from paleontologist Scott Sampson, author, research curator for the Utah Museum of Natural History and host of the children’s science program “Dinosaur Train” on PBS.

Although the names of the new species of horned dinosaurs will not be announced until Wednesday at the museum in Salt Lake City, Sampson said their significance lies in helping scientists determine that horned dinosaurs living at the same time in different areas of the continent evolved differently.

“It [the discovery] will have a huge impact,” Sampson said last week at a public lecture at the Kanab visitor center of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

His findings will be published Wednesday in PLoS, an online scientific journal.

One complete skull made from pieces of several skulls will be unveiled, along with a replica of the other.


by Tyler Knudsen (of the UGS)

The one complaint I have with hiking the infamous Zion Narrows
are the multitudes of people you’re forced to share your adventure with.
But Zion National Park is a big piece of country, and I’ve discovered that
with a little homework you can find less-crowded alternatives to Zion’s
most popular hikes.

It turns out that the Narrows of the North Fork of the Virgin River is not the only vertical-walled canyon confining a sizeable perennial river in the region. Guidebooks describe the narrows of the East Fork of the Virgin, known as Parunuweap Canyon, near the park’s southeast corner, as “reminiscent of Zion Narrows,” “remote” and “seldom visited.” This sounded sublime and I couldn’t wait to explore its depths, but guidebooks also describe the hike as either a one-way route necessitating a car shuttle or a long out-and-back, neither of which are appealing to me.

I love the simplicity of loop hikes. Car shuttles are a hassle, and why see the same thing twice unless you absolutely have to?


Two Utah school districts have received federal stimulus money to make energy-efficient improvements to their buildings, and several more recipients will likely be announced in the weeks and months to come.

The grants and loans were awarded through the Utah State Energy Program — a section of the Utah Geological Survey — which allocated $5 million for green school improvements.

“I feel very fortunate that our grant was accepted and we were able to move forward so quickly,” said Christopher Eppler, energy specialist for Canyons.

The district wrapped up work last weekend on switching out lights and light fixtures in the classrooms and hallways of Alta High. Canyons, the first of the awarded districts to complete a project, has two other projects in the works with plans to replace the lights at Jordan High and make improvements to Eastmont Middle School next summer. In addition to being more efficient while running, the classroom lights have motion sensors and turn off automatically when people leave the room.

Districts statewide submitted applications to the Utah State Energy Program in March. Applications for the Formula Grants were reviewed by a committee consisting of members of the Utah Geological Survey, the State Office of Education and former staff of the State Energy Program, among others. Districts could choose to accept grant money or take grant money coupled with a zero-interest loan. Both Canyons and Park City opted to take the grant/loan combination.

“We had an outstanding response,” said William Chatwin, energy-efficiency coordinator for the State Energy Program. Seventeen of the state’s 41 districts submitted applications, proposing a total of 71 projects. The State Energy Program has awarded about 10 districts funding to implement more than 35 energy-efficient projects, though most of them aren’t finalized.


USEP web site