Ever wonder how Earth materials and processes directly impact the distribution and health of living organisms? Academy geologist Jean DeMouthe will present a richly illustrated lecture on the nature of geologic materials and how they affect living things. She will provide examples of how geologic processes affect ecosystems, from a tiny spring on a hillside to a big explosive volcanic eruption. We will explore the minerals, rocks, and soil that provide nutrients as well as substrate on and in which plants and animals live. We will learn about how geological factors can produce chemical or physical barriers that affect what can and cannot live in a particular area. The talk will wind up with a discussion of how the Academy's geologic collections provide insight into and history of biodiversity and evolution.
Jean DeMouthe is a geologist in the department of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology. She has worked for the Academy since October 1973, starting out as a part-time curatorial assistant and working her way up to her present position of Senior Collections Manager for Geology.
The responsibilities of collection manager for geology involve the organization, documentation, and storage of several million specimens, including fossils, microfossils, minerals, gemstones, and meteorites. Dr. DeMouthe also contributes to the exhibits and education programs at the Academy, and has been an active field trip leader for many years.
Dr. DeMouthe is interested in innovations and advances in collection management, and in the education of professionals in that field. She teaches in the graduate Museum Studies program at San Francisco State University, where her classes address collections management and the conservation of objects. She is an active member of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, where she is a member of the executive board and managing editor of their publications.
Her outside interests include gardening, archaeological geology, glass and ceramic art, and marble collecting.