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April 2009

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In this issue …

Especially for Students
Government Affairs

International News
Calendar Closeups

Membership Matters
Communicating the Value of Geoscience
Fun with Geoscience Trivia

Our calendar of upcoming deadlines & events helps you keep up to date! calendar of upcoming events          keep this e-mail coming Keep GSA Connection coming! Add to your address book or approved sender list.
  Top Story
media coverage

Photo by K.E. Asmus.

How does the GSA media relations program benefit members?

The "sampling of GSA in the news" articles that appear each month in GSA Connection and on the GSA journals Web pages are ongoing evidence of the effective media relations program GSA carries out on behalf of its members. Communicating member research via both scientific and general press outlets is one way that GSA fulfills its mission to promote geosciences in the service of society.
[ read full article ]


Four NEW books just arrived in the GSA Bookstore

GSA Special Paper 447
Late Cenozoic Structure and Evolution of the Great Basin–Sierra Nevada Transition
John S. Oldow and Patricia H. Cashman (editors)


GSA Special Paper 448
The Permian Extinction and the Tethys: An Exercise in Global Geology
by A.M.C. Şengör and Saniye Atayman


GSA Special Paper 449
The World in a Crucible: Laboratory Practice and Geological Theory at the
Beginning of Geology

by Sally Newcomb


Special Paper 452
The Late Eocene Earth — Hothouse, Icehouse, and Impacts
Christian Koeberl and Alessandro Montanari (editors)

On the fence about subscribing? Take a FREE look at GSA’s journals:

[ Geology  |  GSA Bulletin  |  Geosphere  |  Lithosphere ]



The 2009 Geologic Time Scale on p. 61 of the April-May GSA Today contained an error: Hirnantian was misspelled. A corrected time scale is posted on GSA's Web site.

Mount Hood

Mount Hood, near Portland, Oregon, USA.

2009 Annual Meeting & Exposition

18–21 October, Portland, Oregon, USA

Preparations for this year's annual meeting are gearing up, and it is truly looking like a meeting you and your colleagues won’t want to miss!  Not only do we have eight Pardee Keynote Symposia and 162 proposed Topical Sessions, we are also lining up a number of spectacular additions. Here’s a glimpse at what to expect:

  • GSA Medalist Lectures before the welcoming reception Sunday evening (18 Oct.);
  • Darwin Day — a celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin;
  • The Subaru Outdoor Life Keynote Address features Yvon Chouinard, renowned climber and founder of Patagonia Inc.;
  • The L.A. Theater Works production of "The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial," a play based on the 1920s Scopes Trial transcripts;
  • Lunchtime Keynote Lectures covering broad, overarching topics relevant to today’s world.

In addition, this meeting will feature more than 40 field trips around the Pacific Northwest, 20 short courses, and a number of exciting Guest Program tours.



One of the biggest changes we've made this year is extending the abstract submission period — you now have until Tuesday, 11 August, to prepare and submit abstracts.
[ submit now ]


Meeting Space Reservations

If you are planning an alumni party, reception, banquet, business meeting, or other social event to take place at the annual meeting, please reserve space for that event by 23 June.
[ reserve now ]


International Colleagues: Don't Wait to Apply for Your Travel Visas!

Most travelers to the United States must hold a valid visa and a passport valid for at least six months longer than the intended visit. First, learn if you need a visa. If you do, you should begin the process of applying for that visa right away. An application interview is required at all embassies and consulates, and the wait time for an interview appointment may be as long as three months, with processing taking an additional month or more.
[ do I need a visa? | wait-time estimates ]

GSA Section Meetings

Four GSA Sections have held their spring meetings. The Rocky Mountain and Cordilleran Sections will meet in May, and registration is still open.

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  Especially for Students
student research

Research Grants

GSA's Committee on Research Grants met at GSA HQ in Boulder on 21 March to finalize grant awards. If you applied and did not get an e-mail this month regarding the results, please check your grant status online. Award checks will be mailed by the end of April.

  Government Affairs
Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.

GSA Selects Next Congressional Science Fellow

Mark Little has been selected as the GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellow for 2009-2010. Little earned a B.A. in environmental geochemistry from Harvard and a Ph.D. in geochemistry from Rice University. He was a Luce Scholar at Peking University, and he is currently conducting post-doc research at Duke University.


GSA Testifies in Support of Geoscience Funding

2 April: GSA testified before Congress in support of increased funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and has been invited to testify again on 23 April in support of increased funding for the U.S. Geological Survey.
[ read more | PDF of GSA's NSF testimony ]


National Geologic Mapping Act Reauthorized

GSA assisted congressional staff drafting the National Geologic Mapping Reauthorization Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on 30 March as part of the omnibus public lands act.


Speaker Pelosi Thanks Scientific Community at Congressional Science Exhibition

24 March: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) thanked the scientific community for its efforts to increase federal funding for science. Speaking at the 15th Annual Coalition for National Science Funding exhibition and reception, Pelosi said, "If you want to know the agenda for this Congress, think of four words: science, science, science, science."
[ read more ]

return to top PolicyComNet

GSA's Geology & Public Policy Wiki

GSA Launches Internet Tool for Regional Public Policy Issues

You are invited to join GSA's PolicyComNet, a new online geoscience-based networking tool for GSA members. This site will help you plan communications with public policy officials on pending regional, state, and local decisions.

  International News



International Year of Planet Earth

First Young Earth-Scientists for Society World Congress
to Meet in Beijing

Cosponsored by The Geological Society of America

25–28 October 2009

The Young Earth-Scientists for Society (YES) network is made up of students and geoscience professionals under the age of 35. This first world congress is expected to attract policy makers, decision makers, and members of industry to present and participate in discussions with young scientists on such topics as the future of the geosciences, global climate, and the environmental and geological challenges faced by today’s society. The congress will also establish an interdisciplinary global network of individuals committed to solving these challenges. Abstracts deadline: 30 April.
[ learn more ]

  Calendar Closeups
Geoscience Calendar
Highlighting Upcoming Activities of GSA's Associated Societies

8-10 June: National Ground Water Association, "Groundwater for the Americas," Panama City, Panama.

9-12 November: 2009 AWRA Annual Water Resources Conference, Seattle, Washington, USA. Abstracts deadline: 22 May.


Publication Pipeline — Geoscientists Helping Geoscientists
The AAPG Publication Pipeline Committee collects geoscience books and journals from those who no longer need them and forwards these resources to overseas universities and libraries where the need is great. So far this group has shipped over 60 tons of these resources to two-dozen universities in a dozen countries.
[ learn more and get involved! ]


Data Metallogenica Online Encyclopedia of Ore Deposits
This non-profit Web resource has extensive and unique listings compiled from mining companies, government, and professional organizations around the world.
[ learn more ]

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  Membership Matters
Campus Reps

Campus Reps network
over their annual meeting
appreciation breakfast.

GSA Gratefully Acknowledge its Volunteer Campus Reps

GSA has a network of nearly 600 campus representatives — members on two- and four-year college and university campuses around the world who advocate for the Society and its mission to students and colleagues. GSA Campus Reps distribute information and answer questions about the Society and its programs and act as ambassadors for GSA. We appreciate their efforts and their vital role in furthering GSA's outreach.

If there is no GSA Campus Rep at your college or university, and you would like more information or to volunteer, please contact .
[ learn more | current GSA Campus Reps ]

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GSA member benefits include savings in many areas — U.S.-based GSA members can SAVE up to US$3,300 on the purchase of a new Subaru through the Subaru VIP Program.

  Communicating the Value of Geoscience
Protohadros fossils from Arlington Archosaur site

Protohadros fossils recovered from the Arlington Archosaur site; image by Clinton Crowley, 2008.

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GSA's 2009 Section Meetings garnered coverage around the nation:

Research by Samuel Panno et al. presented in a technical session titled "Water resources in karst terrains of the Midwestern U.S." at GSA’s North-Central Section Meeting became part of the local discussion surrounding dairy development in Illinois.
[ Journal-Standard (Freeport, Ill.) article ]


The Dallas NBC affiliate, DFW News, along with other news outlets, reported on research presented at the GSA South-Central Section Meeting in Dallas by graduate student Derek Main. Main discussed findings from the Arlington Archosaur Site, where fossilized species from the Cretaceous, including an unnamed dinosaur of the T. rex family, have been unearthed.
[ NBC-DFW news article ]


The Portland Press Herald covered keynote speaker Paul Mayewski’s address at GSA’s Northeastern Section Meeting in Portland, Maine. Mayewski is director of the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute.
[ Press Herald article ]


Journal Coverage

Further coverage of the study by Krishna et al. (Geology, March 2009) appeared this month on msn News and The Asian Age. The study found evidence that the Himalayas may have formed much earlier than currently believed.
[ abstract | msn News article ]


Research by James Hagadorn and Adolf Seilacher (Geology, April 2009) that provides insight into how some animals may have made the leap from living in water to living on land 500 million years ago appeared on ScienceDaily.
[ abstract | ScienceDaily article ]


Research by Jian Sheng Chen and Chi-yuen Wang (Geology, March 2009) was noted in Nature’s 9 April Research Highlights. The study explores why the arid Hexi Corridor in NW China, along the ancient Silk Road, has recently been beset with flooding.
[ abstract ]



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Cuts in greenhouse gas emissions would save Arctic ice, reduce sea-level rise (14 Apr)
New USGS study documents rapid disappearance of Antarctica's ice shelves (3 Apr)
Arctic could lose most ice in 30 years (2 Apr)
Marshes using CO2 to cope with global warming (30 Mar)

  Fun with Geoscience Trivia


  1. Of what rock-forming group of minerals is fayalite a member?
  2. What term is used for the phenomenon where some smaller particles aggregate together, sometimes in the presence of salt?
  3. The ore of what metal can often contain the monoclinic mineral gibbsite?

check your answers