This Geosphere themed issue is an outgrowth of our Penrose Conference: Origin and Uplift of the Sierra Nevada, California, which was held in Bridgeport, California, August 16–20, 2010. The theme is here expanded to include the Walker Lane (Fig. 1), since a large number of our Penrose abstracts were oriented to that topic, and because that region is no less a part of the Sierran story than the high peaks themselves. A fundamental question for the conference and themed issue is “How did the Sierra Nevada form?” The question can mean many things to disparate disciplines. One...

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