Carrie Gordon (BA Geology, 1977)

Retired US Forest Service Geologist in Prineville, Oregon

After a fulfilling 40-year career with the US Forest Service, I retired on April 1, 2017. My career started with working on a fire crew in 1974, while still pursuing my geology degree at Central. I then worked for Engineering on a survey crew, learned road design, cost estimating and construction inspection before converting into the geology series. I was the Forest Geologist on the Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland, headquartered in Prineville, OR, from 1992 to 2017.

The geology here in central Oregon is fascinating. Prineville sits in the middle of a newly discovered 29.5 Ma super volcano, the Crooked River caldera. To the northeast, on the forest, is the 40 Ma Wildcat Mountain caldera. For those of you familiar with Steins Pillar, you've been on the rim. Very cool!!

As a geologist for the USFS, my duties included managing the rock resource, providing support to engineering, analysis of unstable terrain for timber sales/projects (aka landslides), administration of mineral material sales and mining claims, collaboration with state mappers, interpretation and sharing the geologic story. It was fun and challenging. I was never bored with my job.

When I attended Central (graduating with a B.A. in Geology, 1977 from Central Washington State College), our course offerings were basic - with a focus on fieldwork. It was excellent preparation for my work with the Forest Service. When I look at the current courses, I have to laugh a bit. I took several quarters of cartography to learn about making maps. I ended up using ACAD and ArcGIS on a regular basis. No more dripping ink on the final copy!

After enjoying time in northern Arizona and the Coast Range here in Oregon, I've settled back on the east side of the Cascades. I am a Registered Geologist in the States of Oregon and Washington. I am also an Oregon Master Naturalist (OMN), through the OSU Extension program.

I continue to present interpretive programs, teach the geology section of the East Cascades Eco-region OMN and teach geology in the classrooms within Crook County. I'm still fascinated with the land and rocks, listening to the stories they tell. Feeding my senses with hiking, exploring, spinning/weaving fiber and soaking up the sunshine. Life is good.

Information last updated on Jan 21, 2020