Dr. Kirt Kempter, geologist and experienced guide, has studied geology in South America and Iceland and led educational tours to a variety of local and international destinations. Courtesy photo
Want to learn more about the geologic story of the Ojo Caliente region? Geologist Kirt Kempter will lead an easy four-mile (round trip) hike Sunday, Dec. 4 to the shimmering mica mine in Ojo Caliente.
The hot springs at Ojo Caliente have been a fixture on the New Mexico historical scene for centuries, visited by the likes of Geronimo, Zebulon Pike and Kit Carson to name a few. The geologic setting of the hot springs, however, is a story millions of years in the making, including a mountain, a rift, and deep circulating ground water. In the nearby hills, mica was also mined.
Dr. Kirt Kempter is a Fulbright Fellow and PhD graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, where he conducted his dissertation research on Rincón de la Vieja volcano in Costa Rica. Kirt has spent most of his career as a field geologist, studying volcanic provinces in North, Central, and South America, as well as Iceland. He has authored numerous geologic maps in his home state of New Mexico and participated in the NASA training program for astronaut candidates.
In addition, Kirt has led numerous educational tours to international destinations, from Antarctica to high Arctic. For this expedition Kirt will provide lectures on plate tectonics and associated geologic processes that have produced many of the stunning landscapes we will visit, including the Andes and Himalayan Mountains, and the East African Rift.
To hike to the mica mine with Kirt Kempter, register online at www.peecnature.org. This hike is limited to 20 participants, so register now to save a spot. Afterward, meet Kirt and other hikers at 10 a.m.on Sunday, December 4 in the Ojo Caliente hot springs parking lot. Bring appropriate hiking attire, picnic lunches, and water.
Participants who would like to enjoy a post-hike soak can find more information about the hot springs at their website. Admission to the hot springs is not included with this hike.
Hikers will meet at 10 a.m. in the Ojo Caliente hot springs parking lot. Registration is required. Attendance is $50 per PEEC member and $62 per non-member. For more information about this and other Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) programs, visit www.peecnature.org, email email@example.com or call 505.662.0460.