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Find Your Science at GSA
4 August 2008
GSA Release No. 08-38
Christa Stratton
Director of Education, Communication, & Outreach

Women Leading the Way at The Geological Society of America

Boulder, CO, USA – Judith Totman Parrish, Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Idaho, is the new President of the Geological Society of America. Jean M. Bahr, Professor of Hydrogeology at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) is the new Vice-President. Parrish and Bahr began serving one-year terms on 1 July 2008.

For the first time in GSA’s 120-year history, women hold a majority of seats (9 of 16) on the governing Council, including four out of five positions on the Executive Committee. "GSA is very fortunate to have these two talented women at the helm,” says John W. (Jack) Hess, GSA Executive Director. “The trend over the past few years has been toward more women entering the geosciences profession, which has created a larger pool of highly capable leaders.”

“This is an exciting time to serve in leadership of the geosciences,” said Parrish. “Climate change, natural hazards, availability of fresh water, and changes in the energy industry are global issues in which the Geological Society of America has an important role to play.”

“I have benefited from a variety of GSA programs promoting professional growth, at all stages of my geoscience career,” said Bahr, “and I look forward to contributing to the continued success and enhancement of those programs as a member of the Executive Committee. I also look forward to helping advance GSA’s vision of supporting the application of geoscience knowledge and insight to human needs, aspirations, and stewardship of the Earth.”

Parrish earned B.A., M.A., and M.S. degrees in biology and a Ph.D. in earth science from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Before joining the University of Idaho in 2003, she served as associate dean and professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona. She also recently served a four-year term as dean of the College of Science at the University of Idaho.

Parish has a long history of service to GSA, including her most recent Council term as Vice-President. She has served on the editorial board of GSA's journal Geology, numerous Society standing committees and a strategic planning task force.

Bahr earned her B.A. in Geology and Geophysics from Yale University, and M.S. and PhD. degrees in Applied Earth Sciences (Hydrogeology) from Stanford University. Bahr joined the UW-Madison faculty in 1987, and recently completed a term as chair of the Geology and Geophysics department. She also participates in the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Residential Learning Community, the Geological Engineering Program Faculty and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, where she served as chair of the Water Resources Management Program.

Bahr served a four-year term as GSA Councilor before being elected Vice-President. She was chair of the GSA Hydrogeology Division, was the 2003 GSA Hydrogeology Division Birdsall-Dreiss Lecturer, and has also served on numerous Society standing committees and Division committees.

The Geological Society of America, founded in 1888, is a broad, unifying scientific society with more than 21,000 members from academia, government, and industry in more than 85 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of its members and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, GSA encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social scientists, fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues, and supports all levels of earth science education.

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