Archived Outdoors

Journey through time with a geologist

Bill Jacobs sits on the lower Whiteside Mountain overlook. Donated photo Bill Jacobs sits on the lower Whiteside Mountain overlook. Donated photo

Geologist and author Bill Jacobs will discuss the captivating geologic history of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau during a free lecture at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 6, at the Highlands Nature Center.

Jacobs has spent years studying the landscapes of the Eastern Blue Ridge, with a particular focus on the Plateau and its surroundings. After retiring from a legal career in 2011, he delved into a comprehensive exploration of the region’s geology through fieldwork, academic research and an array of courses and literature, culminating in publication of the book “Whence These Special Places?” His lecture will take attendees on a journey through time, exploring the geologic processes that have shaped the Plateau over the past 500 million years.

The lecture is part of the Zahner Conservation Lecture Series, which offers a series of free talks at 6 p.m. each Thursday through Aug. 10. The July 6 lecture is sponsored by Anne and Dick Goodsell and is a tribute to the memory of the late Claude Sullivan. It will introduce the new Claude Sullivan Initiative to enhance education and awareness of geology of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau and ensure that the Highlands Nature Center becomes the go-to destination for all things related to local geology. 

For more information, including a full lecture lineup, visit

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.