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GSA Connection

September 2010


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In this issue …


GSA Foundation at the Annual Meeting
News from GSA's International Secretariat
Government Affairs

Education & Outreach
Calendar Closeups
Of Note
Geoscience Trivia

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

2011 Calendar 2011 Calendar: Visions of the Dynamic Landscape
Stunning Earth images, from Ellen Morris Bishop's cover shot of the Painted Hills at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument to an amazing view of the Onyx River, Antarctica, make this 2011 calendar a real page-turner. Coupled with notes on important dates and moments in geoscience history, this new calendar from GSA, for sale NOW in the GSA bookstore, will keep you informed and intrigued throughout the coming year. All images were originally submitted to the 2009 GSA Annual Meeting photo contest & exhibition.


2010 GSA Annual Meeting & Exposition • Denver, Colorado, USA
Technical Program: 31 October–3 November
[ browse abstracts ]

Pardee Session Highlights
Colorado Convention Center, Four Seasons Ballroom 4
P7. Impacts of Ocean Acidification: The Other CO2 Crisis
Advocates: Andrew M. Buddington, George T. Stone, Richard A. Feely
Wed., 3 Nov., 1:30-5:30 p.m.
The surface waters of Earth's oceans are becoming increasingly acidic due to human activities. This rapid acidification threatens marine calcifiers, coral reef ecosystems, and oceanic food webs, including fisheries, exacerbating global ecologic and economic crises.
[ view abstracts for this session ]
P8. Exploring for Life in the Cosmos: Celebrating Five Decades of Astrobiology
Advocate: Jack D. Farmer
Tue., 2 Nov., 1:30-5:30 p.m.
This session celebrates more than five decades of astrobiology as a scientific discipline, highlighting key discoveries that bear on life's origin and existence beyond Earth.
[ view abstracts for this session ]

NEW This Year: Special Technical Sessions
GSA Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Petrology, and Volcanology Division Special Session
Sun., 31 Oct., 1:30-5:30 p.m., Colorado Convention Center, Room 203
Structural Geology and Tectonics 30th Anniversary Symposium
Tues., 2 Nov., 1:30-5:30 p.m., Colorado Convention Center, Room 704/706
Cutting-Edge Geoscience Exploration: The Best of AAPG
Tues., 2 Nov., 1:30-5:30 p.m., Colorado Convention Center, Room 103/105

Conrad Anker to Give Subaru Outdoor Life Lecture: Celebrating Exploration
Mon., 1 Nov., 6-7 p.m., Colorado Convention Center, Room 205
Join mountaineer Conrad Anker as he presents the behind-the-scenes story of his new documentary, The Wildest Dream.
[ learn more ]

Map Your Meeting with Our Personal Scheduler
The Personal Scheduler is designed to help you easily browse all events at the meeting, create your own schedule, check it for conflicts, record notes, download it to your PDA or other mobile device, or print for easy reference.

GeoCorps™ America Alumni Reception
1 Nov., 5-6:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, Centennial Ballroom G
All GeoCorps participants, alumni, partners, and sponsors are invited to attend the first-ever GeoCorps Alumni Reception at the annual meeting.
[ learn more ]

Employment Service Center
Posting a résumé with the GSA Employment Service Center (ESC) is FREE for all GSA members. You can also view job postings online and may be invited to attend an interview at the annual meeting. We currently have 15 employers from academia and industry signed up to be a part of the 2010 Denver ESC.

27 September Deadlines
Early registration fees are a considerable savings over standard and onsite rates.
Students: You can apply online for Student Travel Fund reimbursement right after you register, but you must register by 11:59 p.m. MST 27 Sept. in order to qualify.
Housing: We encourage you to reserve your hotel as soon as possible because our group rates may not be available after 27 Sept.; however, the Housing Bureau/Visit Denver will continue to accept reservations as long as we have availability in our group block.
Childcare: The KiddieCorps® program requires a minimum number of participants, so please reserve your childcare before the deadline.
Short Courses: Save $30 when you register for a short course by 27 Sept.

GSA Foundation at the Annual Meeting

Gold for Gold — Help Fund GSA's Gold Medals
New at the 2010 GSA Annual Meeting & Exposition — donate your gold coins and unwanted or broken gold jewelry to the GSA Foundation! An assayer will be on hand at the Foundation Booth to evaluate your gold donation for tax credit purposes.
[ learn more ]

11th Annual Silent Auction
Also at the Foundation Booth — The silent auction provides you the opportunity to bid on the many quality goods & services donated by your colleagues and other friends of GSA in support of GSA programs.
[ learn more ]


NEW in the GSA Bookstore
Special Paper 470
What Is a Volcano?
edited by Edgardo Cañón-Tapia and Alexandru Szakács
Is it possible to advance more than one formal definition of such an apparently simple term as "volcano"?

Special Paper 472
Sixth Hutton Symposium on the Origin of Granites and Related Rocks
edited by John D. Clemens, Colin Donaldson, Carol D. Frost, Alexander F.M. Kisters, Jean-François Moyen, Tracy Rushmer, and Gary Stevens
In these proceedings from the Sixth Hutton Symposium, held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, on 2-6 July 2007, "there is a great degree of variety … and something for nearly every taste."

Limited Edition Rite in the Rain Field Book
In honor of its 30th anniversary, the GSA Structural Geology and Tectonics Division has created a Rite in the Rain field notebook bearing the SG&T anniversary logo. Profits from the sale of these notebooks will go directly to the SG&T Student Fund.

News from GSA's International Secretariat

IGCP Call for Project Proposals
Deadline for submission:
15 October 2010
The International Geoscience Programme (IGCP), a joint endeavor of the IUGS (International Union of Geological Sciences) and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), has issued its 2010 call for new project proposals.
Topics of Interest:
• The deep Earth: How it controls our environment
• Global change and evolution of life: Evidence from the geological record
• Geohazards: Mitigating the risks
• Geoscience of the water cycle
• Earth resources: Sustaining our society
Find the "IGCP Guidelines and proposal form 2010 (Word)" link on UNESCO's IGCP page.


Renew Your Membership Early for Reduced Rates
Renew your GSA membership for 2011 by 15 Dec. 2010 and save 15%. This discount applies to all members from high income countries.
It's also time to
• Subscribe to GSA's premier journals;
• Join any number of GSA's 17 specialty Divisions;
• Affiliate with additional Sections; and
• Support the GSA Foundation.

Do You Have Colleagues or Classmates Who Aren't GSA Members?
Spread the word — Newcomers who join now get an extended membership through December 2011.

Government Affairs

Meet the New Congressional Science Fellow
Larry Meinert has started his term as the 2010–2011 GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellow.
[ learn more ]

Be the Next Congressional Science Fellow
Applications are now being accepted. Deadline: 1 Feb. 2011.
[ learn more ]

Education & Outreach

More Student Mentoring: MentorNet
GSA's mentor programs at Annual and Section meetings have been a real success story for students. We are pleased to build upon these well-attended and career-enhancing opportunities through a new partnership with MentorNet. MentorNet pairs college students in the sciences with professionals who serve as e-mentors to help answer questions throughout the year. To participate, sign up at; indicate you are a GSA Member to gain free access.

Calendar Closeups (GSA Associated Societies)

2010 Rocky Mountain Rendezvous
8-11 Oct., University of Wyoming–Laramie campus; sponsored by AAPG & RMS-AAPG.
Deadline for registration, abstracts, and résumés: 27 Sept.
The annual Rocky Mountain Rendezvous of Geoscience Students and Employers is strongly supported by companies and boasts that it has never had a student NOT get an interview. RMR provides multiple opportunities for "face time" between students and recruiters through field trips, short courses, banquets, poster sessions, and receptions.
[ learn more ]

Earth Science Week: "Exploring Energy"
10-16 Oct. 2010
Earth Science Week begins with International EarthCache Day on 10 Oct. and includes a celebration of the newly inaugurated National Fossil Day on 13 Oct. Look for your Earth Science Week poster in the October issue of GSA Today.
[ learn more ]

CAG23 — 23rd Colloquium of African Geology
Johannesburg, South Africa, 8-14 Jan. 2011
Abstract deadline: 30 Sept. 2010
[ learn more ]

View Complete Geoscience Calendar

Of Note

Celebrating 50 Years of Laser Innovation
Can lasers help improve mining safety?
With 3-D laser mapping, mining safety and mine activity can be monitored online, 24 hours a day. A fixed laser system checks the stability of rock faces and slopes and helps to warn miners away from unstable rock. According to a press release at, 3-D laser mapping's "slope monitoring features include user-definable alarm areas with selectable thresholds," that, when triggered, will send warning e-mails to alert workers about areas of "abnormal movement."
50 Most Fascinating Blogs on Fossils
This compendium, put together by, features blogs that examine fossils from a variety of perspectives, including fossils as art, high-definition virtual digs, "hyper-fandom," and professional and curational approaches.

Virtual Field Trip Guides
The University of Texas at Austin has compiled a substantial e-library of field trips on their Walter Geology Library Web site. Trips cover the U.S. and parts of Canada.

2011 Alan T. Waterman Award
Complete nomination packages due 30 Oct. 2010
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is pleased to accept nominations for the 2011 Alan T. Waterman Award. Each year, the Foundation bestows the Waterman Award in recognition of the talent, creativity, and influence of a researcher under age 36. Nominees are accepted from any field of science or engineering that NSF supports.
[ learn more ]


The Sept. Geology article by S.O. Akçiz et al., "Century-long average time intervals between earthquake ruptures of the San Andreas fault in the Carrizo Plain, California," has attracted steady media attention. A 20 Aug. article in the Los Angeles Times, "San Andreas fault has produced far more earthquakes than previously believed, study finds," was picked up by the Sacramento Bee and New Hampshire Among other news outlets following the story were MSNBC Travel and A 15 Sept. Discovery News article, "3-D Simulation Predicts LA Will Bear Brunt of the 'Big One'," cites a KTLA report.
[ abstract | L.A. Times article | Discovery News article ]

"Two large meteorite impacts at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary," by D. Jolley et al. (Sept. Geology), received full coverage by BBC News, "Double space strike 'caused dinosaur extinction'" (27 Aug.) and a mention on the Discovery News (8 Sept.) Web site.
[ abstract | BBC News article | Discovery News article ]

F. Reith et al.'s paper, "Nanoparticle factories: Biofilms hold the key to gold dispersion and nugget formation," which made the cover of the Sept. Geology, was the subject of a 1 Sept. Discovery News and article, "Bacteria Make Gold Nuggets."
[ abstract | Discovery News article ]

"A new Burgess Shale–type assemblage from the 'thin' Stephen Formation of the southern Canadian Rockies," by J.-B. Caron et al. (Sept. Geology) generated a 9 Sept. Discovery News and article, "Ancient Animal Explosion Gets Bigger with New Finds."
[ abstract | Discovery News article ]

July Geology science by A.M. Schleicher et al., "Nanocoatings of clay and creep of the San Andreas fault at Parkfield, California," is featured in the Oct. 2010 Earth article, "Tiny clays grease big fault system" (p. 13).
[ abstract ]

The Sept. 2010 issue of Earth includes three articles highlighting June Geology science:
• "The Yangtze River Shows its True Age" (p. 17) covers N.J. Richardson et al.'s "Did incision of the Three Gorges begin in the Eocene?"
[ abstract ]
• "Land Rebound Could Explain Florida's Mysterious Ridge" (p. 18-19) incorporates P.N. Adams et al.'s "Isostatic uplift driven by karstification and sea-level oscillation: Modeling landscape evolution in north Florida."
[ abstract ]
• "Forests Rebounded Quickly Following Maya Decline" (p. 26) draws on A.D. Mueller et al.'s "Recovery of the forest ecosystem in the tropical lowlands of northern Guatemala after disintegration of Classic Maya polities."
[ abstract ]

The 13 Aug. issue of Science includes an "Editor's Choice" highlight ("Antarctica's Adolescence," p. 729) of K. Lilly et al.'s August Geology paper, "Pleistocene dynamics of the interior East Antarctic ice sheet."
[ abstract ]

The 28 Aug. Science News (p. 14-17) feature article, "Scour power," highlights the work and data of J.A. Goff et al., "Offshore transport of sediment during cyclonic storms: Hurricane Ike (2008), Texas Gulf Coast, USA" (April 2010 Geology).
[ abstract ]
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Geoscience Trivia

  1. What general term is given to a waterfall that is so high and has such a small volume of water that the falling stream is dissipated into a spray before it hits the bottom?
  2. What type of rocks can be classified using Osann's Classification method?
  3. Dinosaur Ridge, a classic locale featuring dinosaur tracks and bones in the Jurassic Morrison Formation and Cretaceous Dakota Sandstone, is in which U.S. state? (Hint: 2010 GSA Annual Meeting Field Trip 408 goes there.)

check your answers

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