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GSA Connection

April 2010


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In this issue …


Publications News
GSA Division & Section News
Government Affairs

Of Note
Geoscience Trivia

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

Revised Position Statement Adopted
GSA Council approved a new consensus statement on climate change science at their spring meeting on 17 April 2010.
[ read statement | view press release ]



Tectonic Crossroads:
Evolving Orogens of Eurasia-Africa-Arabia

4–8 October 2010 • Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
Abstract deadline: 25 May
Brought to you by GSA and GSA's International Section
This global geoscience forum brings together geoscientists from around the world to compare & contrast extraordinary regional geology and plate boundary processes in one of the world's greatest natural geological laboratories.
[ sign up to learn more | submit abstract ]
2010 GSA Annual Meeting in Denver
Now Taking Space Requests!
Are you planning a meeting, party, reception, banquet, or other event in association with the 2010 GSA Annual Meeting in Denver? We'll help find a place for your function — just let us know your needs by 7 June.
[ learn more ]
Technical Program
Abstract submission deadline: 10 August
This year, GSA is offering 156 Topical Sessions, each designed to promote the exchange of interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art information. As in the past, the meeting also provides a multitude of Discipline Sessions, which are equally vital to a complete technical program.
[ submit abstract | view topical sessions ]
GSA Cordilleran Section and AAPG Pacific Section with Western Regional SPE: From Mountains to Main Street
27–29 May • Anaheim, California, USA
Early registration deadline: 26 April
[ register | follow via Twitter #Cord10]

Penrose Conference: Origin and Uplift of the Sierra Nevada, California
16–20 August 2010 • Bridgeport, California, USA
Deadline for expressions of interest: 26 April
Themes include the nature and origin of bedrock geology; geophysical observations of the crust and lithosphere; observations and models related to range uplift; and volcanism and potential links to tectonic events.
[ learn more ]

Thinking Ahead: 2011 Section Meetings
Do you have an idea for a field trip or theme session for next year's Section Meeting? We'd love to hear it, or you can contact the Section chairs directly. The 2011 U.S. Section Meetings will take place in Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Wilmington, and Logan.
[ learn more ]

Publications News

NEW in the GSA Bookstore
Special Paper 464
Stratigraphy and Geology of Volcanic Areas
edited by Gianluca Groppelli and Lothar Viereck-Goette
The maps and CD-ROM in this volume illustrate how the geological map can be a warehouse in which to store data on past eruptions and inter-eruption phenomena with significant implications for volcanic hazard assessment.

Field Guide 17
From Precambrian Rift Volcanoes to the Mississippian Shelf Margin: Geological Field Excursions in the Ozark Mountains
edited by Kevin R. Evans and James S. Aber
Highlights of new geologic studies in the Ozarks, plus a look at connections between geology and the culture, history, and economic development of the Ozarks region.

Special Paper 467
Mining and Metallurgy in Ancient Perú
by Georg Petersen G., translated by William E. Brooks
Perú's role as a producer of metals extends centuries into the past. This volume documents how minerals and metals were used in ancient Perú for pigments, industrial stone, and art.

GSA Division & Section News

Structural Geology & Tectonics Division
A New SG&T Student Fund
(managed by the GSA Foundation) has been developed to support student research and travel to conferences, field trips, and short courses.
[ learn more ]

Government Affairs

GSA Testifies in Support of Geoscience Funding
GSA's Director for Geoscience Policy, Craig Schiffries, conveyed GSA's support of geoscience research and education at two congressional hearings:
25 March: GSA testimony for increased USGS funding
14 April: GSA testimony on President's NSF budget request

Earth Science Exhibits on Capitol Hill
14 April: GSA cosponsored three earth-science exhibits at the 15th Annual Coalition for National Science Funding exhibition and reception on Capitol Hill. More than 250 people, including nine Members of Congress, attended this event.

GSA Selects New Congressional Science Fellow
Lawrence Meinert
has been selected as the GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellow for 2010–2011. Meinert is a professor in residence in the geology department at Smith College and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Economic Geology. He earned a B.A. in geology from Carleton College and a Ph.D. in geology from Stanford University, and is recipient of the 2010 Silver Medal from the Society of Economic Geologists.


Cosmos in the Classroom
31 July–4 August • Boulder, Colorado, USA
Abstract submission deadline: 23 April
This meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) includes a GSA-cosponsored symposium, "Earth and Space Science: Making Connections in Education & Public Outreach."
[ learn more | submit abstract ]

EGU Town Hall Meeting
5:30–7 p.m., 4 May 2010 • Vienna, Austria
Following the format of the 2009 GSA and AGU Town Hall meetings, this event during the EGU General Assembly will include presentations on research questions that need to be addressed by the geoscience community and discussion of how to establish a global geoscience initiative.
[ learn more ]

USA Science and Engineering Festival
10–24 October 2010 • Expo on the National Mall (Washington, D.C.): 23–24 October
This first-ever national science festival of its kind "promises to be the ultimate multi-cultural, multi-generational and multi-disciplinary celebration of science in the United States."
[ learn more ]

For more information on events & dates, check out GSA's two online calendars:
[ general geoscience calendar | GSA deadlines & events ]

Of Note

NPR's EarthSky Seeks Scientific Advisors to Help Create Voice for Science
EarthSky — "a clear voice for science" heard 15 million times daily on NPR stations in the U.S. and around the world — is seeking scientists to serve as Global Science Advisors. With only a small time commitment, these individuals can be a huge help to EarthSky in its mission to present science as a vital voice in 21st-century decision-making.
[ learn more | Interview: Scott Burns on what causes landslides ]

LaserFest — A Global Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Laser
In what capacity does geoscience use the laser? In what way have lasers impacted and improved our ability to conduct geoscience?
One of the most important uses, according to Alex Speer, executive director of the Mineralogical Society of America, is laser ablation. Laser ablation enables geoscientists to determine the major and trace elemental content of small grains (via laser ablation–atomic absorption spectroscopy [LA-AAS]) and isotopic compositions (stable or radioactive, via laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS).
[ learn more about LaserFest | laser timeline | laser innovations ]

Eyjafjallajökull Volcano
Several agencies, blogs, news outlets, and Web sites have put together some excellent information on the recent Icelandic eruption. Here is a sampling:


"Are we now living in the Anthropocene?" by J. Zalasiewicz et al. (Feb. 2008 GSA Today) was included in discussions in Terra Daily (29 Mar.), the Czech Republic's Britské listy (30 Mar.), and a 31 Mar. Clastic Detritus blog post.
[ GSA Today article | Terra Daily article | Clastic Detritus post ]

The March Geology article by W. Alvarez and H. Leitão, "The neglected early history of geology: The Copernican Revolution as a major advance in understanding the Earth," attracted the attention of the geoblogosphere, with posts on (18 Mar.) and Rapid Uplift (23 Mar.).
[ abstract | post | Rapid Uplift post ]

The paper, "'Poseidic' explosive eruptions at Loihi Seamount, Hawaii," by C.I. Schipper et al. (Apr. Geology) was discussed in a 7 April Magma Cum Laude blog post titled "Poseidon would be flattered."
[ abstract | Magma Cum Laude post ]

"Glacier microseismicity," an April Geology paper by M.E. West et al., was covered by Discovery News (31 Mar.) and LiveScience (2 Apr.) and subsequently picked up by Fox News and the Anchorage Daily News.
[ abstract | Discovery News article | Live Science article]

A.L. Melott et al.'s April Geology paper, "Cometary airbursts and atmospheric chemistry: Tunguska and a candidate Younger Dryas event," was featured in ScienceNews (30 Mar.).
[ abstract | ScienceNews article ]

Research presented at last month's GSA Northeastern-Southeastern Section Meeting by D.R. Schwimmer and S.D. Harrell generated attention in a variety of media. "Trace fossils from both ends of Deinosuchus: Late Cretaceous estuarine crocodylian bite marks and coprolites from west Georgia," was featured on the WTVM NewsLeader 9 Web site (Columbus, Georgia, USA; 17 Mar.), covered by ScienceNews (19 Mar.), DNA,, and National Geographic News (23 Mar.), and noted in a 28 Mar. paleoblog post.
[ abstract | ScienceNews article | National Geographic News article ]
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Geoscience Trivia

  1. The largest earthquake in recorded history, 9.5 on the Richter scale, occurred in which country in what year?
  2. Scientists have found record of climate change in Bat Cave, Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, by studying what?
  3. What North American river is often referred to as "the river of no return"?

check your answers

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