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GSA Connection

July 2009


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In this issue …

Education & Outreach
Membership Matters

Government Affairs
Fun with Geoscience Trivia

What was that date? Find it fast with our upcoming GSA deadlines & events calendar.



Portland, Oregon, USA
Portland, Oregon, USA.

International Year of Planet Earth

2009 Annual Meeting & Exposition
From Volcanoes to Vineyards: Living with Dynamic Landscapes

18–21 October, Portland, Oregon, USA

Register before 31 July and receive a coupon for $10 off a purchase of $25 or more at GSA's on-site bookstore.

LAST CALL for Abstracts
11 August is this year's new, later, abstract submittal deadline. We hope to see your paper presented at the meeting — and those of your colleagues as well!
Please note:
All speakers must register for the meeting.
[ submit an abstract | invite a colleague to submit an abstract ]

Poster Printing Service

Have your posters printed and ready for pick up at the meeting! Estimated cost for a 4-ft by 8-ft poster is $100.
[ learn more ]

Pardee Keynote Symposia Highlights

The Annual Program Committee has taken a more active role in selecting Pardee symposia so as to further enhance their range and significance. Conveners now have the flexibility to create a session format that works best for the topic at hand. Follow the links below to highlights of the third and fourth sessions, and watch GSA Connection throughout the summer to learn more about all eight Pardee Keynote Symposia.
[ Earth et al. — Our planets from the Hadean to today ]
[ Google Earth to Geoblogs: Digital innovations in the geosciences ]

New! Lunchtime Keynote Lectures

Sun.–Wed., 18–21 Oct., 12:15–1:15 p.m.
Follow GSA Today from July to October as we reveal all four of GSA's outstanding lunchtime keynote lecturers.
Lecture 1: GSA Geology and Society Division Distinguished Lecturer Patricia Woertz, chair, CEO, and president of Archer Daniels Midland Co.: "Toward a Shared Future: Carbon Sequestration and the Global Corporation."
[ learn more ]
Lecture 2: Halbouty Distinguished Lecturer Sally Benson, Director, Global Climate and Energy Project: "Can Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide in Deep Geological Formations Help Solve the Global Warming Problem?"
[ learn more ]


Reserve early for the best accommodations!
[ learn more ]

Photo Contest & Exhibit

Theme: Visions of the Dynamic Landscape: How geology tells the stories of planetary change. Submission deadline: 1 August.
[ learn more ]

sectioned rock

2010 Section Meetings

GSA's Sections would like your technical session suggestions, field trip proposals, and short course ideas to help make your 2010 meetings the best ever!
GSA's Cordilleran Section has just posted a detailed call for proposals on their new site, with lots of contacts waiting for your ideas!
[ see Section schedule | who to contact ]

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12th Annual AAPG/SEG Fall Student Expo
21–22 September 2009 (Mon.–Tues.)
George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, Texas, USA
Travel Grants Available
more information and online registration

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Education & Outreach

rock and rock hammer

Short Courses

We've lined up 20 Short Courses for the annual meeting this year! Gain knowledge and experience, work on professional development goals, and earn continuing education credits. Let course instructors know you're interested when you sign up early!
[ learn more ]




USGS: Your resource during hurricane season

The USGS offers this "one-stop" hurricane Web site for access to important storm information such as flood levels, pictures of the coastline before and after the storm, and information on the timing, extent, and magnitude of storm tide.
[ learn more ]

Video: The Evolution of Life in 60 Seconds

[ Watch it on YouTube ]


Membership Matters


July is GSA Member Appreciation Month!

GSA Members are building the future of the geosciences. We sincerely thank all of our members for making this a great Society! Check out the July issue of GSA Today at its new location on the GSA Web site for listings of our 2009 awardees, newly elected Fellows, new 50-year Fellows and Members, and GSA graduate student research grant recipients. Also see the Memorials page for tributes honoring deceased GSA members.

GSA Member Benefits Include Savings in Many Areas

  • Discounts on GSA publications and products;
  • Discounted meeting registration; and
  • GSA members may be eligible to save up to $3,300 on the purchase of a new Subaru through the Subaru VIP Program.

GSA Welcomes Four New Associated Societies

GSA's Associated Societies are also helping to build the future of the geosciences. Welcome to German Geological Society (GV), International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), Mineralogical Association of Canada (MAC), and Società Geologica Italiana (SGI).

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Call for Artistic Geologists
November 2009 Exhibit: Geo sapiens, The Fusion of Geology and Art
Two Wall Gallery, Vashon, Washington, USA
Works in all media invited. Deadline: 1 September 2009.
Submission information: Greg Wessel,, +1-206-250-2222.

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NEW in the GSA Bookstore

Memoir 204
Backbone of the Americas: Shallow Subduction, Plateau Uplift, and Ridge and Terrane Collision
edited by Suzanne Mahlburg Kay, Víctor A. Rámos, and William R. Dickinson
Papers in this volume were selected from those presented at the 2006 Backbone of the Americas meeting in Mendoza, Argentina. Also developed for this meeting: Field Guide 13, Field Trip Guides to the Backbone of the Americas in the Southern and Central Andes: Ridge Collision, Shallow Subduction, and Plateau Uplift.

Special Paper 457
Did Westward Subduction Cause Cretaceous-Tertiary Orogeny in the North American Cordillera?
by Robert S. Hildebrand
Hildebrand describes an iconoclastic model for the Cretaceous-Tertiary development of the Cordilleran orogen and offers a resolution to the long-standing Baja-BC controversy.


Government Affairs

Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.

Historic Vote on Energy and Climate Change Legislation

26 June: The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey bill to establish a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the first-ever passage of such a bill. Next, the Senate will consider its merits.
[ learn more ]

House of Representatives Passes Budget Increases for Geoscience Agencies

The House passed appropriations bills to increase funding for key geoscience agencies in fiscal year 2010. NSF: up 6.9% to $6.9 billion; USGS: up 5.9% to $1.1 billion; NOAA: up 5.5% to $4.6 billion; and NASA: up 2.4% to $18.2 billion. These bills are now pending before the Senate.
[ learn more ]



snow melt in the Rockies
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA.


Jon Pelletier (GSA Today, July 2009) explores the hypothesis that up to 1.5 km of erosion in the intramontane basins of the southern Rocky Mountains was caused primarily by increased snowmelt flooding intensity. This article was covered by ScienceDaily and received mention on several blogs, including Hawaii Weather Today.
[ GSA Today article | ScienceDaily article ]

Figueiredo et al. (Geology, July 2009) use borehole samples to give the transcontinental Amazon River its first age estimate, that of about 11 million years old. Their research was covered in several blogs, ScienceDaily,, and by U.S. News & World Report.
[ abstract | U.S. News & World Report article ]

S.R. Allen and J. McPhie (Geology, July 2009) propose the term "neptunian" for sustained magmatic volatile-driven explosive eruptions from underwater vents at depths of ~1300200 m, as well as for the products of these eruptions. Their article was covered by ScienceDaily and picked up by several blogs, including The Volcanism Blog.
[ abstract | The Volcanism Blog article ]

A paper by Bonneville et al. (Geology, July 2009) examining soil formation and mineral alteration through plant-driven fungal weathering at the nanometer scale received coverage in ScienceDaily and Lab Spaces.
[ abstract | article ]

Quick et al. (Geology, July 2009) find evidence for a massive (greater than 13 km diameter) fossil caldera in an exposed section of continental crust comprising the Ivrea-Verbano Zone and Serie dei Laghi of northwest Italy. Their correlation of ages of volcanic and middle to deep crustal plutonic rocks, leading the team to infer an unprecedented exposure of a subcaldera magmatic plumbing system to a depth of 25 km, was reported in ScienceDaily.
[ abstract | ScienceDaily article ]

A paper by Wilkinson et al. (GSA Bulletin, May 2009), "Global geologic maps are tectonic speedometers — Rates of rock cycling from area-age frequencies," received an "Editor's Choice" notice in Science (29 May 2009, v. 324, p. 1118). Also noted in Science's Editor's Choice section (15 May 2009, v. 324, p. 857) was an article on dating Andean sediments by Carrapa et al. (Geology, May 2009).
[ Wilkinson et al. abstract | Carrapa et al. abstract ]

Two May 2009 Geology articles were recently highlighted in Nature: Reich et al.'s study on airborne nanofibers emitted from Chaitén Volcano in Chile (28 May, p. 486) and Gutiérrez-Marco et al.'s (cited as Sá in the Nature highlight [21 May, p. 302]) description of giant trilobites in Portugal.
[ Reich et al. abstract | Gutiérrez-Marco et al. abstract ]





Internet on the road



Fun with Geoscience Trivia


  1. What term is given to the slow movement of water-saturated material down slopes?
  2. In what type of rock would you find stylolites developed?
  3. In what period is the Turonian?

check your answers