GSA has 18 specialty Divisions that any member may join. Divisions generally meet at the GSA Annual Meeting, and most have their own newsletters, which are published at various times throughout the year.
Join a Division
GSA Members may join any number of Divisions via the GSA Store, or as you renew your membership.
View All Division Officers
GSA's Archaeological Geology Division (est. 1977; ~608 members) provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of papers on archaeological geology in order to stimulate and promote research and teaching within this field. Division awards include the Rip Rapp Archaeological Geology Award, the Richard Hay Student Paper/Poster Award, and the Claude C. Albritton, Jr., Award memorial fund.
GSA's Coal Geology Division (est. 1954; ~256 members) has been renamed the Energy Geology Division. Since its inception, the primary focus of the Division was North America’s major energy resource: coal. However, as the nation’s energy sources evolve, so too do the research interests of its members. The Division has been active in many aspects broadly defined as “energy geology” for a long time, as seen in the diversity of topics covered in past sponsored and cosponsored conference sessions including mine fires, petroleum geology, black shale petrology, geologic carbon sequestration, and environmental issues related to fossil fuel use—in additional to more traditional coal topics. In 2014, the Division celebrated its 60th anniversary by looking forward: members present at the annual business meeting voted to change the name of the Division to better reflect its members’ diverse scientific practices and the likely direction of future growth. The Division sponsors a major award for outstanding contributions to the field of coal geology, the Gilbert H. Cady Award, and also recognizes the volunteered contributions of its members through its Distinguished Service Award. For students, the Division offers the Antoinette Lierman Medlin Scholarship, the Antoinette Lierman Medlin Laboratory and Field Awards and a Best Student Paper Award.
GSA's Environmental and Engineering Geology Division (est. 1947; ~2,495 members) seeks to advance the ability of geologists to identify, characterize, and mitigate adverse geological and environmental conditions and hazards affecting human safety and the built environment. To do so, the Division promotes research, education, and dissemination of information relevant to members. Each year, the Division honors an outstanding recent publication with the E.B. Burwell, Jr., Award and, along with the Assoc. of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, commissions the Richard H. Jahns Distinguished Lecturer. Other Division awards include the Meritorious Service Award, the Distinguished Practice Award, and, for students, the Roy J. Shlemon Scholarship Awards.
GSA's Geobiology & Geomicrobiology Division (est. 2001; ~569 members) promotes interdisciplinary research focusing on the interplay between the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. More specifically, geobiologists and geomicrobiologists examine the effects of biological activities on geological processes and the influences of geological settings on biological processes — both at the macro- and micro-biological scales and in the past through the present. Members are invited to the yearly lunch banquet where winners of the annual Outstanding Contributions to Geobiology & Geomicrobiology Awards are celebrated.
GSA's Geoinformatics Division (est. 2006; ~232 members) advances "Data to Knowledge," providing GSA members with an opportunity to participate in the emerging field of cyberinfrastructure. The Division actively promotes and sponsors short courses, symposia, and books that emphasize information technology–supported discovery and integration of geoscience data leading to a more comprehensive understanding of Earth and the planets as complex systems. Each year, the Division presents the Outstanding Contributions in Geoinformatics Award.
GSA's Geology and Health Division (est. 2005; ~248 members) focuses on the intersection of natural or anthropogenic geological conditions with health, disease, pathology, and death in modern and fossil humans, animals, and plants. This Division fosters communication and collaboration among scientists and health practitioners with an emphasis on the interdisciplinary relationship of geology to medicine, biology, chemistry, and other sciences. Division awards include the Meritorious Service Award, the Distinguished Service Award, and — to students — the Best Publication Award.
GSA's Geology and Society Division (est. 2003; ~444 members) advances the concept of "geology working for society" by providing GSA members with opportunities to bring together multiple fields of geoscience to address important societal issues. This division actively hosts interdisciplinary symposia at national and regional meetings, provides forums to help its members effectively communicate with decision makers and the public, encourages student achievement in helping to inform public policy by sponsoring a Best Student Presentation Award at the national meeting, and honors professional achievement in enhancing public policy by presenting a Distinguished Lecture at the annual meeting. The Division also works closely with the Geology and Public Policy Committee to develop and distribute GSA position statements.
GSA's Geophysics Division (est. 1971; ~757 members) facilitates the presentation and discussion of the ideas of scientists interested in geophysics, fosters communication among geophysicists and other earth scientists, and promotes research and publication. This Division sponsors the George P. Woollard Award and lecture for outstanding contributions to geology through the application of the principles and techniques of geophysics. For students, the Division offers the Allan V. Cox Student Research Award and the GSA Geophysics Division Student Research Award.
GSA's Geoscience Education Division (est. 1991; ~984 members) fosters the active participation of GSA members in all aspects of earth-science education. The Division complements and expands on the contributions of GSA's Education & Outreach group, the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA), the National Association of Geology Teachers (NAGT), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and other similar organizations. It sponsors the Biggs Earth Science Teaching Award and a Distinguished Service Award.
GSA's History and Philosophy of Geology Division (est. 1976; ~327 members) works to encourage the study and communication of the philosophy and history of geology. The Division sponsors technical sessions at GSA meetings and honors geologists for their research, writing, and historical work through the Mary C. Rabbitt History of Geology Award, the Gerald M. and Sue T. Friedman Distinguished Service Award, and the History & Philosophy of Geology Student Award.
GSA's Hydrogeology Division (est. 1959; ~1,697 members) focuses on the geologic aspects of hydrogeology, the role of geology in the hydrologic cycle, and the importance of hydrogeology to society and science. The Division has a well-established mentor program (John Mann Mentors in Applied Hydrogeology) for students looking at careers in this field. The Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer honorees are named by this Division, along with the O.E. Meinzer Award, the George Burke Maxey Distinguished Service Award, the Kohout Early Career Award, and the Hydrogeology Division Student Research Grant Awards.
GSA's Karst Division (est. 2014; ~237 members): The study of karst terranes necessarily involves a wide variety of subjects and specialties, spanning almost every division in GSA and scientific disciplines outside of GSA’s purview. These include geology, biology, microbiology, soils, environmental geology, engineering, geology, geochemistry, geophysics, structural geomorphology, archeology, urban planning, climatology, paleoclimatology, meteorology, hydrology, speleology, and even planetary studies. Comprehensive karst studies also can require the assistance of cave explorers and mappers, cave divers, mathematicians, modelers, and computer programmers. In all cases, practitioners in each discipline bring with them their own experiences, perspectives, insights, tools, and scales of reference.
GSA's Limnogeology Division (est. 2002; ~281 members) encourages research on both ancient and modern lakes around the world, the collaboration of scientists from all disciplines on lake research, and the fostering of student research and careers in lake studies. The Division sponsors the Israel C. Russell Award and the Kerry Kelts Student Research Award.
GSA's Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Petrology, and Volcanology Division (est. 2009; ~2,260 members) promotes awareness, teaching, and research in these fields, and stimulates discussion about the knowledge, ideas, research results, and problems regarding these fundamental areas of the earth sciences. Annually, the Division sponsors a Distinguished Geologic Career Award and two student research grant awards.
GSA's Planetary Geology Division (est. 1981; ~830 members) fosters interactions among planetary scientists, facilitates the presentation and discussion of their research and ideas, stimulates communication with other earth scientists, and promotes planetary geology to a broad audience. Awards sponsored by the Division include the G.K. Gilbert Award, the Ronald Greeley Award for Distinguished Service, and, for students, the Eugene M. Shoemaker Impact Cratering Award, the Stephen E. Dwornik Awards for best student presentations at the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Student Travel Grants, and (jointly with the Meteoritical Society) the Pellas-Ryder Award for the best student-authored paper in planetary science.
GSA's Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division (est. 1955; ~1,608 members) facilitates communication among scientists in these fields and the presentation of their research and ideas to the wider scientific community. Several awards are given by this Division, including the Distinguished Career Award, the Kirk Bryan Award, the Gladys W. Cole Memorial Award, the Farouk El-Baz Award for Desert Research, and the J. Hoover Mackin, Arthur D. Howard, and Marie Morisawa student research awards.
GSA's Sedimentary Geology Division (est. 1985; ~1,762 members) works to ensure the presentation of sedimentary-related topics and sessions at GSA meetings and actively nurtures the work of students by offering the Sedimentary Geology Division Student Research Grant Award and Student Poster Awards and by providing financial aid for students to attend Division-sponsored short courses and field trips. It also offers the Laurence L. Sloss Award for outstanding accomplishments in sedimentary geology and contributions to GSA and cosponsors the Stephen E. Laubach Research in Structural Diagenesis Award (alternating with the Structural Geology and Tectonics Division).
GSA's Structural Geology and Tectonics Division (est. 1980; ~2,082 members) focuses on the geometry and mechanisms of natural and experimental deformation at all scales and works to promote the research of scientists in these fields and to facilitate communication and discussion at all levels of the earth sciences. The Division offers a Career Contribution Award for advancement of the science of structural geology and tectonics, an Outstanding Publication Award, and a Division Student Research Grant Award. It also cosponsors the Stephen E. Laubach Research in Structural Diagenesis Award (alternating with the Sedimentary Geology Division).
Contact the Divisions Communications Liaison,
|Top 10 Reasons to Join a GSA Division
- Interest-area Divisions are the backbone of the GSA Annual Meeting technical program.
- Network with others in your area of specialty.
- Award professional achievement within your scientific discipline.
- Keep up-to-date through newsletters, websites, and e-mails.
- Find opportunities for leadership, mentoring, and service.
- Serve as a resource when GSA is called upon by the media for geosciences expertise or comment.
- Divisions have a strong voice in the governance of the Society and help with strategic planning.
- Divisions have played a major role in GSA's life and history, beginning in 1947, with the Engineering Geology Division (now Environmental and Engineering Geology).
- Divisions build and shape the scientific exchange that moves the geoscience profession forward.
- Division dues are inexpensive, so join today!
GSA has a long tradition of collaborating with a wide range of partners in pursuit of our mutual goals to advance the geosciences, enhance the professional growth of society members, and promote the geosciences in the service of humanity. GSA works with other organizations on many programs and services. As the Society looks to the future, it aims to build strong, meaningful partnerships with societies and organizations across the country and around the world in service to members and the larger geoscience community.
National and international societies with consistent aims and missions of advancing the geosciences and/or science in general are invited to affiliate with GSA as Associated Societies. For further information, or if your organization's contact person has changed, please contact GSA's Executive Director, .