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News Release March 31, 2004
GSA Release No. 04-12
Contact: Christa Stratton


Geoscientists Discuss River Management Issues and Earthquake Hazards in St. Louis

Boulder, Colo. – Geoscientists will gather April 1-2 in the St. Louis, MO, for the 38th annual meeting of the North-Central Section of the Geological Society of America. Approximately 400 scientists, students, and K-12 educators are expected to attend the meeting at the Millennium Hotel, 200 South 4th Street, hosted by the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, St. Louis University.

Journalists are invited to attend sessions of interest, interview scientists, and visit the exhibit area. Information on complimentary media registration and procedures for arranging onsite and telephone interviews during the meeting follow the program highlights below.


 Thursday, April 1

Geochemistry and Dynamics of Large River Systems, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Choteau Room.
David Wilson of the East-West Gateway Coordinating Council sets the stage with an overview of major rivers in the St. Louis region and key river management issues. Robert Criss of Washington University (St. Louis) discusses floodwaters of the Missouri and their dangers. The controversial relationship between river engineering and subsequent flooding is addressed in two talks. Has narrowing our rivers decreased their ability to carry floodwaters? Bethany Ehlmann of Washington University looks at stage variability of the Missouri as recorded by Lewis and Clark compared to stage variability today. Nicholas Pinter of Southern Illinois University contrasts river engineering of the Mississippi and the Rhine, and finds the latter, engineered for smaller boats, has fewer flooding problems. Lee Davison, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and James Sickman, University of New Orleans, tackle the difficult issue of treating organic pollutants.
View abstracts:
Urban Geology, 1:00-5:00 p.m., Laclede Room
Highlights include a comprehensive earthquake hazards mapping project for the central U.S. Eugene (Buddy) Schweig of the US Geological Survey will discuss work completed in the Memphis metropolitan area and work now underway in the metropolitan St. Louis area. Phyllis Steckel, Chair of the Missouri Seismic Safety Commission, will discuss how scientists and policy makers must communicate more effectively in order to reduce risks associated with earthquake hazards.
View abstracts:
US Geological Survey Press Briefing, Thursday, April 1, 11:00 a.m., Laclede Room
Eugene (Buddy) Schweig and Russ Wheeler of USGS, and Phyllis Steckel, Chair of the Missouri Seismic Safety Commission, will hold a briefing prior to the session. Contact Butch Kinerny, USGS Public Affairs, at 571-437-8924 for details.

 Friday, April 2

New Madrid Zone: Seismicity, Tectonics, Paleoseismology, and Tectonic Geomorphology, 1:00-5:00 p.m., Meramec Ballroom
Margaret Guccione of the University of Arkansas looks at displacements along in Bootheel fault in Southeastern Missouri and how they affect other faults in the New Madrid zone. John Baldwin of William Lettis and Associates describes a magnetic and gravity anomaly which stretches from northeast Arkansas to central Indiana; if it becomes active it could present a significant earthquake threat. John Holbrook of Southeast Missouri State University discusses how faulting has affected the course of the Mississippi River.
View abstracts:



Eligibility for complimentary media registration is as follows:

  • Working press representing bona fide news media with a press card, letter, or business card from the publication.
  • Freelance science writers, presenting a current membership card from NASW, ISWA, regional affiliates of NASW, or evidence of work pertaining to science published in 2003 or 2004.
  • Public Information Officers of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Complimentary meeting registration covers attendance at all technical sessions and access to the exhibit hall. Media must pay regular fees for paid luncheons, field trips, etc.

Media representatives may register at the main meeting registration desk located on the Convention Level (lower level) of the Millennium Hotel. Registration will be open Wednesday, March 30 from 4:30-8:00 p.m., Thursday, April 1 from 7:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and Friday, April 2, from 7:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. All media registrants will receive a name badge and the program/abstract book upon arrival.

Media registrants may arrange on-site interviews after attending the session in which the talk is given or by leaving a note at the GSA Registration Desk requesting an interview before or after the talk. Interested media unable to attend may telephone the Registration Desk at 314-516-8202 and leave a message requesting a callback from the speaker.

For additional information before April 1, contact Ann Cairns, GSA Director of Communications, at 303-357-1056. During the meeting, April 1-2, contact the GSA Registration Desk at 314-516-8202.


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