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Geologist Nick Zentner - Central Washington University. Home Page Not much time? ... Click here for a quick Ice Age Floods summary Ice Age Floods Feature of the month For many years one man understood the clues but no one would listen Glacial Lake Missoula Channeled Scablands of Eastern Washington Temporary Lake Lewis Columbia Gorge Explore the variety of features created by the Ice Age Floods Columbia River Basalt Group The Pleistocene Grand Coulee Dam and the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project Washington Wines Ice Age Floods Institute

Geologist Nick Zentner: Central Washington University

Nick Zentner - a Senior Lecturer at Central Washington University - is the host of the video programs "Central Rocks" and "2 Minute Geology".

Click above to play 2 Minute Geology's NEW Giant Current Ripple episode.

Nick Zentner leads Ice Age Floods Institute field trip.
Nick leads IAFI
field trip.

Zentner hiking near Othello, WA.
Scabland View

Nick Zentner on west rim of Wallula Gap.
Wallula Gap rim

Nick Zentner filming 2-Minute Geology Entrenched Meanders episode in Yakima River Canyon.
2-Minute Geology
filming - Yakima Canyon

Ice Age Flood erratic above Babcock Bench near Quincy, WA.
Ice Age Flood erratic
stranded above Babcock Bench

Wallula Gap view into Umatilla Basin.
View into Umatilla Basin
Lake Condon Page

Nick Zentner interviews geologist Vic Baker for Central Rocks episode.
Zentner interviews
Vic Baker
View Baker episode

Dry Falls aerial footage.
Dry Falls aerial
footage in featured
video by Tom Tabbert:

HUGEfloods Tabbert page

Ice Age Blog Tabbert page

Nick came to Ellensburg in 1992 to join the CWU Department of Geological Sciences. Each academic quarter, Nick teaches a popular Geology of Washington course to freshman (and interested townsfolk for free). Nick regularly takes his introductory students to various field sites in central Washington to teach the wonders of Washington’s geology. Since 1994, Nick has taught an Introduction to Geologic Field Methods course to CWU geology majors in beautiful Owens Valley, California.

In 2006, Tom Foster approached Nick about starting a local chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute. Tom and Nick joined forces with CWU geography professor Karl Lillquist – and the chapter started offering free evening lectures and Sunday field trips to the general public. Every year at CWU, the Ellensburg Chapter offers five evening lectures from visiting scientists working in the Channeled Scablands. In addition, Karl and Nick take turns leading four Sunday afternoon field trips per year to selected field sites throughout eastern Washington.

Surprised and inspired by the public’s enthusiastic response to the Ice Age Floods lectures and field trips, Nick began working with KCWU-TV’s Rick Spencer to produce more geology programming. ‘Central Rocks’, a series of 30-minute interviews with CWU geologists began in 2006 – and now includes conversations with visiting research geologists from the U.S. Geological Survey and other universities. More than 30 interview shows have been produced to date.

In 2010, the owner of Raw Space – a newly renovated performing arts structure in historic downtown Ellensburg – approached Nick about using his venue for a series of free lectures to the public. The result: six Wednesday evening lectures in the spring and another six Wednesday evening lectures in the fall (KCWU broadcast) on the Geology of Washington. Crowds of over 100 folks per lecture were commonplace.

A direct result of the Raw Space lectures was a generous donation in 2011 from the Donna & Charles Cole Charitable Foundation for continued outreach to the community. That spurred Nick’s most recent project: ‘Central Rocks: Roadside Geology” – a series of short films shot in the field by KCWU-TV’s Rick Spencer and Chris Smart, and hosted by Mr. Zentner. Local landmarks like Frenchman Coulee, the Yakima River Canyon, and the Thorp Prairie have been featured.

Raised in southern Wisconsin, Nick discovered geology while working in Glacier National Park in Montana. After undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin, Nick did his graduate studies at Idaho State University - in the path of the Bonneville Flood – spending two summers mapping geology on the northern margin of the Snake River Plain near Yellowstone National Park.

CWU geologist Nick Zentner explains Lake Missoula floods during Ice Age Floods field trip.

Nick uses small basin to illustrate Ice Age Flood spillover channels during field trip. Water flowing out of tub represents Potholes and Frenchman Coulees.

Nick Zentner explores dunes at Hanford Reach National Monument.
Nick explores dunes at Hanford Reach National Monument.
Click for more images from this area: White Bluffs

Nick Zentner filming with British Broadcasting Corporation
Nick describes the Ice Age Floods as British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) camera and crew film.

Nick Zentner and British Broadcasting Corporation crew in Echo Basin.
BBC Crew shoots as Nick enjoys Echo Basin view.

2 Minute Geology title slide.
New Project in 2013 - Videos Posted!

Nick fills dance floor at a CWU Geology Club fundraiser.
Click to play video - ROCK Star?

Nick Zentner lectures to Ice Age Floods Institute field trip group above Crescent Bar, WA.
Nick explains features created by the Ice Age Floods near Crescent Bar, WA.

Related Links

Nick's YouTube Channel

CWU Geology Department

CWU Geology Lectures

CWU Geology Speakers Series

Ellensburg IAFI Chapter

Nick Zentner leads field trip to Echo Basin and Frenchman Coulee.
Nick Zentner (yellow shirt) lectures during Echo Basin/Frenchman Coulee field trip.

Geologist Nick Zentner walks over columnar basalt in the Drumheller Channels.
Zentner walks over columnar basalt tops (Drumheller Channels) near Othello, WA.

FREE full length geology programming -

View more "Central Rocks" episodes related to the Ice Age Floods:

Taped on the campus of Central Washington University and hosted by CWU Geology Professor Nick Zentner, 'Central Rocks' is a series of interviews with geologists who teach or conduct research in Washington. 'Central Rocks: Roadside Geology', a new spin-off project, is a series of short films that feature familiar locations along Washington's scenic highways.

Geologist Jim O'Connor - Click to open video link.
Jim O'Connor

USGS Hydrologist Jim O'Connor discusses current research on Washington's Missoula Floods and Idaho's Bonneville Flood.
Geologist Gene Kiver - Click to open video link.
Gene Kiver

EWU Geology Professor Gene Kiver discusses the origins of the Ice Age Floods Institute.
Nick Zentner interviews Ice Age Floods expert Dr. Victor R. Baker.
Vic Baker

UA Geology Professor Vic Baker discusses his distinguished career devoted to Washington's Channeled Scablands.
Geologist Bruce Bjornstad - Click to open video link.
Bruce Bjornstad

PNNL Geologist Bruce Bjornstad discusses the Missoula Floods and his popular 'On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods' guidebook series.
All photos by Tom Foster unless otherwise noted.
Screenshots courtesy "Central Rocks"

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