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October Meeting: Steve Cumella and Mike Boruta: Drone View of the Geology of the Ouray Area

Please join us for another great fall meeting!

SPEAKER: Steve Cumella and Mike Boruta
TITLE: Drone View of the Geology of the Ouray Area
DATE: Thursday, October 20, 2022

  • 5:30 – 6:30 pm: HAPPY HOUR Drinks and Food on the 3rd Floor Balcony of Sitter Family Hall, FLC Campus
  • 6:30 pm – 8 pm: Speaker, Society business and Raffle in SFH Room #710, Sitter Family Hall (Geology Building), Fort Lewis College.

Steven Cumella and Mike Boruta
This talk will look at Ouray’s beautiful scenery and amazing geology. Mike Boruta’s drone photography and
videos will be used to look at features that make Ouray’s landscape so distinctive. Drones allow views and
perspectives not possible by other means. We will take a drone’s eye view of some interesting geologic
features in the Ouray area including gold and silver mines, dinosaur tracks, rock glaciers, volcanic deposits
from the world’s largest volcanic eruptions, and faults that record the history of past mountain building
episodes. Ouray’s spectacular scenery is the result of distinctive rock formations, mountain building
episodes, and erosion by streams and glaciers. Mike’s images help us see and understand geology’s
important role in creating this beautiful landscape.



Steven Cumella
Steve is a consulting geologist and received his bachelors and masters in
geology from University of Texas at Austin. Steve has authored numerous
publications for geological journals, given numerous presentations at
geological society meetings and conventions, and led several fieldtrips. He was
awarded Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists’ Outstanding Scientist
Award in 2005. He is past executive editor of the Mountain Geologist and was
president of the Grand Junction Geological Society in 1991.
Steve has enjoyed visiting Ouray since 1979 and became a full-time resident in
2017. He and his wife Cindy enjoy hiking, camping, and puzzling over the
geology in the Ouray area.

Mike Boruta
Mike Boruta sees the world from above. He is the excited passenger on the
airplane with his nose pressed into the window, marveling at the details of
the landscape below. He is the hiker who seeks out the trails with the best
views. He envies birds and clouds and can spend hours getting lost in a map.
Since 2009 he has worked as a freelance cartographer, making recreational
maps for National Geographic’s Trails Illustrated, as well as fishing and
mountain biking guidebook maps for Stonefly Press and Fixed Pin
Publishing. But the types of maps he has always wanted to create have
eluded him. These are the painterly “birdseye maps” that show the landscape as if the reader were
flying above it like a bird. It is possible to digitally render these views of the landscape, but the
computer struggles to communicate Earth’s beauty as well as a skilled painter can. Mike is not a
painter, but he has always been drawn to photography.
In 2013 he realized the link which allowed him to turn the birdseye view in his mind into a reality
which could be shared with others. This tool was the “flying camera,” also known as a “Drone,”
“Unmanned Aerial System,” “Quadcopter,” etc. For the past nine years Mike has been honing his skills
with this new tool, creating aerial landscape panoramas of the place he knows best – Ouray, Colorado
and its strikingly beautiful San Juan Mountains.
Mike is an FAA licensed drone pilot. Custom sized prints are available, as well as custom aerial
photography and mapping services.
Please reach out with any questions!