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GSA Connection

August 2010


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In this issue …


GSA Foundation News
News from GSA's International Secretariat
GSA Division News
Government Affairs

Calendar Closeups
Of Note
Geoscience Trivia

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

GSA blog GSA Launches Guest Blog
Read the inaugural post by Jerry DeGraff and follow the blog to hear more from your colleagues and friends.


Global Specialty Meeting
Tectonic Crossroads: Evolving Orogens of Eurasia-Africa-Arabia

Ankara, Turkey, 4–8 Oct. 2010
Standard registration deadline: 23 Aug.
[ register now ]
This is a fantastic opportunity to be on the ground in one of the most geologically fascinating places in the world! Over 300 papers are set to be presented.
[ browse the full technical program ]
2010 GSA Annual Meeting & Exposition • Denver, Colorado, USA
Technical Program: 31 October–3 November
Pardee Session Highlights
Pardee Symposium 1 P1. Symbiosis and Global Change in Ancient and Modern Earth Systems
Advocates: Laurie Anderson, Annette Summers Engel, Louisiana State Univ.
Symbiosis has profoundly impacted Earth's biosphere and geosphere — playing a significant role in evolution and enhancing geochemical and geomorphologic change. This session highlights modern to ancient symbiotic associations, framing research in the interdisciplinary context of biological, geological, and geochemical evolution of earth systems.
[ more ]
Pardee Symposium 4 P4. Mineral Evolution: The Coevolution of the Geo- and Biospheres
Advocates: John B. Brady, Smith College; Martin B. Goldhaber, USGS
On 6 Dec. 2006, at a faculty party, a biologist asked a mineralogist a naïve question: "Were there any clay minerals in the Archean?" Over the next two years, that novel question — surprising in that mineralogists have rarely considered the time element in their field — led to the concept of "mineral evolution," a new way to frame a very old field in historical context.
[ more ]
Second Annual Photo Contest & Exhibition
Submission deadline:
10 Sept.
Geologic processes have sculpted this planet for more than 4.5 billion years. Geologists are witnesses to planetary change and history, and many of us record our observations with compelling images. We invite geoscientists who are members of GSA and its Associated Societies to share their best images of the planet with others through the 2010 Geological Society of America Photo Exhibition.
[ learn more ]

GSA Foundation News

Silent Auction
There's still plenty of time for you to donate an item to the GSA Foundation's 11th Silent Auction — then come to the Foundation booth at the GSA Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Denver to watch the bids on your donation or place some bids of your own on the many quality goods & services collected from your colleagues and friends of GSA.
[ learn more ]

GSA Research Grants — International Program Fund
GSA's Graduate Student Research Program is expanding to support graduate student members worldwide. To gain the necessary funds to get the new International Program off the ground, GSA needs your help. A gift of any size will make a difference.
[ donate ]

International Section Travel Grants
GSA's International Section is working to provide travel funds for students and young researchers from outside North America to attend GSA meetings. We need your donations as soon as possible in order to help your international colleagues this year.
[ learn more ]


NEW in the GSA Bookstore
Special Paper 465
Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution IV
edited by Roger L. Gibson and Wolf Uwe Reimold
In the tradition of the previous Special Papers in this series, this volume presents the outcomes of current impact cratering research of both planetological and terrestrial scope.

Special Paper 469
Geology and Tectonic Evolution of the Central-Southern Apennines, Italy
by Livio Vezzani, Andrea Festa, and Francesca C. Ghisetti
This useful and up-to-date reference for researchers, teachers, and explorers can be used to plan real or virtual field trips to some of the most beautiful mountain areas of Italy.

News from GSA's International Secretariat

YES Career Pathway Survey
The YES Network (Young Earth-Scientists) and AGI invite you to participate in a survey on career pathways for early career geoscientists, from university through 10 years post-graduation. Results will provide insight into the causal factors for decisions pertaining to enrollment and retention in geoscience university programs, as well as career pathway choices.
[ learn more ]

YES Africa Symposium at the 23rd Colloquium for African Geology
8–14 Jan. 2011 • Johannesburg, South Africa
Standard registration deadline: 30 Aug.
Early career geoscientists are invited to the YES Symposium on 11 Jan. to network with other young earth-scientists and discuss current research, scientific and professional development, geo-hazards, natural resources, climate change, gender parity in the profession, and science education.
[ learn more ]

GSA Division News

New GSA Division Presents First Distinguished Geologic Career Award
GSA’s Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Petrology, and Volcanology (MGPV) Division will present its first Distinguished Geologic Career Award to Peter W. Lipman, USGS emeritus scientist, at the GSA Annual Meeting on Sun., 31 Oct. The presentation includes a 45-minute keynote lecture “Southern Rocky Mountain cookbook for the making of large ignimbrite eruptions” by Lipman, followed by a special session with an international roster of speakers.
[ about the MGPV Division ]

Government Affairs

USGS Aligns Senior Leadership Structure with its Science Strategy
The U.S. Geological Survey has announced that it is realigning its management and budget structure to better follow the USGS Science Strategy (outlined in 2007) and further enhance the work of its science programs. The restructuring will streamline the current interdisciplinary efforts of USGS scientists.
[ learn more ]

Final Call for Participants: 2010 Geosciences Congressional Visits Day
21–22 Sept. • Washington, D.C.
GSA members are invited to participate in the third annual Geosciences Congressional Visits Day. Attend briefings, training sessions, and meetings with House and Senate offices to help raise visibility and support for science. To sign up, please contact GSA's director for geoscience policy, Craig Schiffries.

Calendar Closeups (GSA Associated Societies)

12-17 Sept.: 38th IAH Congress: Groundwater Quality Sustainability, Krakow, Poland; organized by the International Association of Hydrogeologists. Geoscience Calendar
20-25 Sept.: Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (AEG) 53rd Annual Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina, USA.

8-11 Oct.: 2010 Rocky Mountain Rendezvous of Geoscience Employers and Students, University of Wyoming–Laramie campus; sponsored by AAPG & RMS-AAPG. The RMR is strongly supported by companies and we've never had a student come who didn't get an interview. We pride ourselves on providing lots of "face time" between students & recruiters through field trips, short courses, banquets, poster sessions, and receptions. Deadline for registration, abstracts, and résumés: 27 Sept.

Of Note

Laserfest LaserFest: Celebrating 50 Years of Laser Innovation
How do lasers & water mix?
Lasers — technically, new isotope ratio mass spectrometers (IRMS) like the Liquid Water Isotope Analyzer — are set to revolutionize isotope hydrology. These lasers, which can now be deployed in the field for real-time sampling and analysis, measure isotopes in the water and help hydrologists understand, for instance, that high-flow stream water is not the result of that day's rain but instead is "old" water pushed out by the new water. "And that's just the tip of the iceberg," says scientist Anne Jefferson. "The next five years will be really exciting for isotope hydrologists as we figure out all of the cool things we can do with the orders of magnitude increase in the amount of data we can collect."
First Annual National Fossil Day
13 Oct. 2010
The National Park Service has launched a nationwide celebration promoting public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as greater appreciation of the scientific and educational value of paleontology, with a variety of high-profile events, educational resources, and activities in the works.
[ learn more ]

USGS Takes on Social Media
The U.S. Geological Survey is building its social media presence, which already includes Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Coalition members are invited to interact with the USGS via social media at

Geoblogging the Geoblogosphere
Each month (or thereabouts), the themed geology blog carnival "Accretionary Wedge" invites geoblogger contributions. July's theme, the role of geoblogosphere, generated quite a bit of activity. A synthesis of contributions is hosted on the History of Geology blog site as "Accretionary Wedge #26: The role of the Geosphere" [sic] (30 July). The following is a sampling of blog posts on the topic:


August Geology science by J.T. Kelley et al., "Drowned coastal deposits with associated archaeological remains from a sea-level 'slowstand': Northwestern Gulf of Maine, USA," received coverage in the Bangor Daily News in an article titled "Under ocean, hidden lake provides insight into Maine's coastal history" (12 Aug.).
[ abstract | Bangor Daily News article ]

"Rapid Early Cambrian rotation of Gondwana" by R.N. Mitchell et al. (Aug. Geology) was covered by the Web-zines "Innovations Report" and "Lab Spaces" on 11 Aug. and "Terra Daily" on 17 Aug.
[ abstract | Terra Daily article ]

E.L. Simpson et al.'s (Aug. Geology) article, "Predatory digging behavior by dinosaurs," continues to receive heavy media coverage, with an article in LiveScience on 22 July followed by several other online news publications, including "Discovery News," "India Report," and "New Scientist," along with a radio interview on "BBC Today."
[ abstract | LiveScience article | BBC Today radio interview ]

"Large-scale glaciation and deglaciation of Antarctica during the Late Eocene," by S.E. Peters et al. (Aug. Geology) was written-up in a 21 July article "In the Desert, Finding Answers about Ice."
[ abstract | article ]

The August GSA Today science article, "Structural analysis of three extensional detachment faults with data from the 2000 Space-Shuttle Radar Topography Mission," by J.E. Spencer was noted on the Arizona Geology blog with a 29 July post, "New core complexes found with Shuttle radar."
[ GSA Today article | Arizona Geology post ]
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Geoscience Trivia

  1. What name is given to the caver's lamp that uses a carbon compound and water to make acetylene, which is then lit to produce a white light?
  2. Emery powder and emery paper are abrasives that use which ground-up mineral?
  3. The Juan de Fuca Ridge is located off the coast of which North American country?

check your answers