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The Plate Tectonics History of the World, as Seen in Northern Scotland

June 21, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The program

Science indicates that in the almost unfathomable depths of geologic time, the tectonic plates of the earth’s crust have skated far and wide over the globe. Throughout earth’s history, plates have been driven into massive collisions with one another by the earth’s internal heat in convection currents over a thousand miles deep. In those collisions, the rocks of the plates have been deformed, compressed, metamorphosed, eroded, and deformed again and again. The rocks of northern Scotland preserve vivid, visible evidence of more collisions than almost anywhere else in the world, making it one of the best places to follow Sir Charles Lyell’s favorite dictum (of about 1830), “Go and see.” The three-billion year history of the collisions seen in the rocks there (and at other key localities of the world) can be correlated with the magnificent ballet of the movement of the plates through much of geologic time.

The speaker

Bill Shefchik was a geologist at Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company in Kansas City for over 36 years. During that time, he worked on over 500 projects—power plants, large dams, airports, bridges, water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, factories, railroads, solar farms, wind farms, sanitary landfills, and hazardous waste sites.

A specialty was engineering geology in conditions of unstable ground, including severe karst environments, abandoned underground mines, fault zones, and ground fissure zones in areas of significant groundwater withdrawal in the desert southwest. He also designed and implemented major groundwater remediation well fields, which have caused the cleanup of over 8 billion gallons of contaminated groundwater. He also contributed to investigation and groundwater cleanup at several dozen contaminated industrial sites and several petroleum refineries.

Mr. Shefchik provided conceptual design and oversight expertise to the structural backfilling of numerous abandoned underground mines, most of which occurred beneath sensitive surface infrastructure, such as railroads, highways, and streets. For the last fifteen years of his career, he served as a geology expert witness on behalf of over 25 clients, providing technical analysis and support, plus testimony in several dozen depositions, in mediation attempts, and in court. Mr. Shefchik, now retired, has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in geology from the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee.

Admission tickets

The event is free and open to the public; however, e-tickets are required.


Parking is free in Library parking lots and along the west side of Holmes Street between 51st and 52nd streets. The main entrance to the Library grounds is on Cherry Street. The Linda Hall Library is not affiliated with UMKC. Parking in all UMKC lots is by permit or meter.


June 21
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Eric Ward


Linda Hall Library
5109 Cherry
Kansas City, 64110 United States
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Questions? Contact Eric Ward at 816.926.8753 for more information about these events.