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News Release

10 October 2005
GSA Release No. 05-35

Contact: Christa Stratton


"An Eye on Katrina: Geoscience Perspectives on a Catastrophic Hurricane" at Geological Society of America Annual Meeting Next Week

Boulder, Colo. - The latest geoscience perspectives on Hurricane Katrina and the devastation of the Gulf Coast will be presented at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City. A special two-hour session takes place Tuesday, 18 October, 3:30-5:30 p.m. MDT, in Room 250D/E of the Salt Palace Convention Center.

Media representatives are encouraged to attend "An Eye on Katrina: Geoscience Perspectives on a Catastrophic Hurricane" or call the GSA Newsroom onsite to arrange for telephone interviews. Details on both options follow the session description below.

 I. Highlights

Four scientists from the US Geological Survey, all of whom were on the ground before, during, or after the storm, will open the session:

  • Michael L. Plunkett, Hydrologist and Chief, USGS Mississippi Science Center:
    Hurricane Katrina Impacts and USGS Response in Mississippi
  • Charles R. Demas, Hydrologist and Chief, USGS Louisiana Science Center:
    USGS Louisiana Water Science Center Assessment of the Impacts of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana
  • Hillary F. Stockdon, Oceanographer, USGS Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies:
    Impacts of Hurricane Katrina on Gulf Coast Barrier Islands
  • Gregg Smith, Biologist and Chief, USGS National Wetlands Science Center:
    Biological Impacts and Implications of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast

Speakers in the second hour of the session are:

  • Frank T. Manheim, School of Public Policy, George Mason University:
    Interpreting the Influence of Contaminants in Flood Waters from New Orleans on Lake Pontchartrain
  • Mark A. Kulp, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of New Orleans:
    Punctuated Coastal Reorganization: A Lesson Learned from Hurricane Katrina?
  • Grant Heiken, Los Alamos National Laboratory (ret.) and Consulting Geoscientist:
    Cities and Natural Disasters in the 21st Century
  • Beth McMillan, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Arkansas at Little Rock:
    Geoscience in the Service of Humankind Through GISCorps: A Volunteer's Account of the GIS Response to Hurricane Katrina

The session will be chaired by David M. Bush, Professor of Geology, University of West Georgia, and editor of the journal, Southeastern Geology. Bush is a nationally recognized expert in coastal geoscience.

View abstracts at

Additional resource for reporting on the impacts of Hurricane Katrina:

 II. Newsroom and Post-Meeting Contact Information

During the meeting, GSA will staff a fully equipped newsroom in Room 254C of the Salt Palace Convention Center. Hours of operation are:

Saturday, 15 October, 1-6 p.m.
Sunday-Tuesday, 16-18 October, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Wednesday, 19 October, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

The telephone number for incoming calls is +1-801-534-4770. Media representatives unable to attend are encouraged to call in and arrange for telephone interviews.

  • Contact Information for USGS Speakers:
    USGS speakers will be on-site Tuesday, 18 October, only. On Tuesday, interested journalists may call the Newsroom telephone number above or call Carolyn Bell, USGS Public Affairs Specialist (cell: 703-472-3935) to arrange for interviews. Requests for interviews after Tuesday should be directed to Heidi Koontz, USGS Public Affairs Specialist, at 303-202-4763 (office) or 720-320-1246 (cell).
  • Other Post-Meeting Contact Information
    Mark A. Kulp, University of New Orleans,
    Frank T. Manheim, George Mason University,
    Grant Heiden, Freeland, WA,
    Beth McMillan, University of Arkansas at Little Rock,

 III. Onsite Media Registration Information Eligibility for media registration is as follows:

  • Working press representing bona fide, recognized 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, ISWA, CSWA, ACS, ABSW, EUSJA, or evidence of work pertaining to science published in 2004 or 2005.
  • PIOs of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Journalists and PIOs must pay for any short courses or field trips in which they wish to participate.

Representatives of the business side of news media, publishing houses, and for-profit corporations must register at the main registration desk and pay the appropriate fees.

Eligible media may register onsite at the GSA Newsroom. Contact Ann Cairns, GSA Director of Communications, for information and assistance ( or +1-303-357-1056).

For additional information on the GSA Annual Meeting, visit

Geological Society of America
3300 Penrose Place-Box 9140
Boulder, CO 80301-9140, USA


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