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Downloadable writings and other material by Ben Gadd

On this page I have posted some short items that are often requested. Feel free to copy what you wish, but only for your own, non-commercial use.

Please remember that if you are borrowing something from any of my writings -- a sentence or a paragraph for a school assignment, say -- you must give me proper credit as the author. If you fail to do this, you are committing plagiarism. If you're not sure what I mean by "proper credit," please read my student handout on the subject: Guide to References. It explains how to avoid plagiarism.


GPS waypoints and updates for Canadian Rockies Geology Road Tours

Canadian Rockies Panorama from West of Calgary

Corrections to Ben's memoir


Essays and lectures

Some of these items have been included in my book An Orogenous Life, Memoir and Reader.

Conservation, from Chaucer to Smokey the Bear

Creationists vs. Geologists and Evolutionists

Despairing of the Despoilers but Having a Good Life Anyway

O Canada National Wilderness

Old Men Playing in the Garden

Saving the National Parks from Politicians

Six Good Reasons to Save the Wilderness

Why We Need Wilderness, and Why I Love My Job



Mountain-building animation by Glen Stockmal   Very cool to watch! And applicable to the Canadian Rockies. Many thanks to Glen for letting me post this.

Differential Erosion of the Bow Valley   Why the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies are grander and more rugged now, after many millions of years of erosion, than they were at the end of mountain-building. Animation and narration by Jerry Auld. The WMV file is twelve megs, so it takes a while to download. If it fails to start by itself, go to the downloaded file and run it from there.

Extinction Event Factsheet    Essential info about the five major extinction events known, with their geological dates, effects and probable causes. Also speculates that we are currently experiencing the sixth.

Coal-mining in the Bow Valley   Historical summary.

Coal-mining in the Bow Valley map   Shows the area underlain by mine tunnels and where the sealed mine entrances are located.

The Exshaw Quarry on Grotto Mountain, near Canmore, Alberta
and possible rock-slide hazard in the area
Report on my concerns.

Geological time scale   Latest listing of geological periods, etc.

Geology of the Canadian Rockies and Columbia Mountains   Short summary.

Grassi Lakes geology map   The trail to Grassi Lakes is a popular short hike near Canmore.

Grassi Lakes annotated photo of rock units crossed by the trail   Accompanies the geological map above.

Geology of Jasper National Park   Geological map.

Geology of Johnston Canyon   Another popular trail.

Identifying rocks and preparing testing acid   How to tell quartzite, limestone and dolostone apart in the Canadian Rockies.

My favorite road cut in the Canmore area, annotated photo   Wonderfully folded and faulted siltstone and coal beds in the Mist Mountain Formation.


Short story

The Gathering Place



You may enjoy hearing Ben's better-known compositions by clicking on the links below.

Re the songs, he apologizes in advance for his singing voice, now geriatric (he was 71 when the home recordings were made) and never very good even when he was young.

But if you want to learn one of Ben's songs, then listening to it may be the only way to pick up the tune, because Ben never did acquire the skill of writing musical notation.

Lyrics are included on the web pages, and the guitar chords are shown.

Colin the Raven

Canadian Rockies Suite guitar music

Warning to the Park Animals


Outdoor-equipment lists

Equipment List for Short Backpacking Trips

Equipment List for Summer Backpacking

Equipment List for Icefield Skiing


For kids and teachers

Story of the Earth (Cosmology for Eight-year-olds)

Dr. Bruin's Jasper Quiz


For college instructors and university professors

Guide to References

Editing Symbols for Marking Student Papers



Ben's résumé

Cataract surgery  In 2016 Ben had his cloudy vision fixed by getting the cause of it removed. If you, too, have cataracts, or you are just wondering about this procedure, Ben's account will be a good read.

Tunnel in Mt. McGillivray

Wolverine humor item for writer's workshop

The Saturday School: How It Began, by Robert Stamp 1972   This is a 28-meg download. Takes a while.

Fixing problem with faulty cord connectors on window shades from selectblinds.ca   This proves what a nerd I am. It can also save the day for anyone who, like me, installed corded blinds from this company and then found them to be defective.



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