For Immediate Release
Nov. 20, 2009

David Irwin
Media Relations Manager
(585) 245-5516

Geneseo geology professor Richard Young overlooks the mouth of the Grand Canyon
with Lake Mead in the background.  He will be featured on upcoming episodes of the
History Channel’s “How The Earth Was Made” series.

SUNY Geneseo Geology Professor to be Featured on History Channel Series

GENESEO, N.Y. -- A State University of New York at Geneseo geology professor who has spent most of his career investigating how the Grand Canyon was formed will be among geologists featured in the Season 2 premiere of the History Channel’s “How The Earth Was Made” series. The episode will focus on Grand Canyon and airs Nov. 24 at 9 p.m. ET. The episode repeats Nov. 25 at 1 a.m.; Nov. 29 at 11 p.m.; and Nov. 30 at 3 a.m.   

Richard Young, distinguished service professor of geological sciences who has been a Geneseo faculty member for 43 years, spent several days with the documentary crew explaining how he got involved with Grand Canyon research in 1962 and the conclusions he has reached on the age of the canyon (about five million years).  He also has spent time examining how river systems in the area mysteriously changed flow directions to form the Colorado River and the canyon.

“The crew was interested in how I reached my conclusions and the great amount of mapping work I had done,” said Young.  “The equipment we have now has given us incredible insights into the formation of this magnificent geological structure. It’s only been since the 70s that we have been able to reach definitive conclusions about the canyon and the evidence continues to tell us an amazing story.”

Geneseo geology majors have worked with Young as research assistants on his Grand Canyon excursions.  The Department of Geological Sciences also operates a field experience program every other year in which students conduct summer research at sites across the world, from Arizona to Hawaii to New Zealand.

Young’s participation in the History Channel program is not his first time he has discussed his work on national television.  He was featured in National Geographic’s “Naked Science” series on PBS last February.