Rick Thompson is an artist, photographer, and writer who, along with his wife, Sylvia presents their research uncovering the effects of the Lake Missoula Flood in Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington. This catastrophic flood propelled over 500 cubic miles of water, ice, rock and mud across eastern Washington, further cut the Columbia River Gorge, covered the Willamette Valley with up to 400 feet of water and left gravel bars miles wide and hundreds of feet high. With color photos, topographical maps and space photos the Thompsons give Power Point talks and lead field trips showing some of the signs still visible today.
A native Oregonian, Mr. Thompson is president of the Lower Columbia Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute who loves to share the beauty of the great Northwest. Though geology is not his profession, it is his passion. Being intrigued by the land formations, huge boulders and glacial erratics, Mr. Thompson embarked on over 20 years of study to show that unlike the massive expanses of flood features in Eastern Washington this area has its own treasure of scablands, flood channels and dramatic story to tell.
Besides giving talks and leading field trips on the subject the Thompsons have developed a number of driving tours, educational pieces and some stunning panoramic photographs. They have also written two book on the subject.
Rick has been married to Sylvia for over 30 years and they have forged a partnership that works very well. Sylvia is a native of Washington and was the first to introduce Rick to the scabland coulees that were formed by the Lake Missoula Flood. Her writing and secretarial skills are a perfect match for Rick's graphics and communication abilities. Together they make up the team at the heart of "GigaFlood."