55th Midwest Friends of the Pleistocene Field Conference
David Grimley and Andrew Phillips were the primary leaders of the ISGS-hosted 55th Midwest Friends of the Pleistocene Field Conference held in southwestern Illinois on May 20-22, 2011. The 1.5-day, 10-stop field trip was attended by about 85 Quaternary geologists, archeologists, soil scientists, and many students. The principal theme was the origin of the Ridged Drift in and around the lower Kaskaskia River basin and the former existence of a possible Illinois Episode ice lobe. Other themes were Illinois Episode glacial and sedimentary processes, the history and environment of paleo-slackwater lakes, climate records during the middle to late Pleistocene and the Holocene, archeological history, sodium-affected surface soils, and integration of geophysical studies with research and mapping. A featured event was the Saturday night banquet at which Brad Koldehoff of the Illinois State Archeological Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois, presented a talk on ancient Native American settlements and culture in the southwestern Illinois region. Koldehoff was particularly appreciative of recent collaborations with the ISGS that improved the understanding of the geologic and geomorphic context of archeological sites.