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Find Your Science at GSA
15 July 2010
GSA Release No. 10-35
Christa Stratton
Director of Education, Communication, & Outreach
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GSA Elects Eminent Geoscientists to Office

Boulder, CO, USA – Joaquin Ruiz, executive dean of the Colleges of Letters, Arts and Science, dean of the College of Science, and professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona, recently took the helm as president of The Geological Society of America. Serving as his vice president is John W. Geissman, professor and chair of the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico. Ruiz and Geissman began serving one-year terms on 1 July 2010.

Ruiz will give his Presidential Address, "From the Core of the Earth to the Top of the Mountains: A Renaissance in Earth Sciences," at the GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, on Saturday, 30 October 2010.

GSA President Joaquin Ruiz

“More than ever earth sciences are in the middle of topics that are affecting the human condition,” says Ruiz. “GSA is the organization perfectly positioned to offer the stimulating science and policies related to today’s challenges.” Ruiz is “looking forward to contributing to the continued success and enhancement of programs that promote geoscience, enhance professional growth, give opportunities to earth sciences students in conducting their research, and help policy makers make sound decisions.”

Ruiz earned a B.Sc. in geology and a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Miami, and an M.S. and a PhD in geology from the University of Michigan. His research focuses on the use of radiogenic and heavy stable isotopes to study the evolution of the crust and mantle through time, the genesis of ore deposits, paleogeography, and environmental and archeological problems.

Ruiz was an assistant professor at the University of Miami before moving to the University of Arizona in 1983, where he has built a distinguished career and helped to establish their reputation as a top-ranked graduate school in geology. (U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Arizona as the number-one department of geosciences in the country for 2010.)

Ruiz was named National Researcher Level III, Mexican National System of Researchers in 2010, is a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences (2008), and received the Medal of Merit from the Mining Hall of Fame in 2004. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and of the Society of Economic Geologists, and a member of the American Geophysical Union and of the Geochemical Society.

Ruiz has a long history of service to GSA, including his most recent term as vice president, 2009-2010. He served as a GSA Councilor from 1997 to 2000, and has served on numerous committees for both GSA and the GSA Foundation, as well as on the Geology editorial board.

Read more about Joaquin Ruiz at

GSA Vice President John W. Geissman

“The importance of professional geoscience societies in linking our growing understanding of our home—the only one we have—to the needs and sustainability of a too-rapidly growing population has never been greater,” says Geissman in explaining his service to GSA. “The opportunity for constructive cooperation among all professional geoscience organizations has never been greater. GSA must continue to play a vibrant role in this mission, by first and foremost fostering a strong, energetic, and visible professional organization for its members and translating our importance to society.”

Geissman earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. His research interests are in paleomagnetism and tectonics.

As a member of GSA, Geissman has been the chair of both the Geophysics and Structural Geology and Tectonics Divisions, chair of the GSA publications committee and editor of the GSA Bulletin, and has served as the technical program chair for two annual meetings. Geissman received the GSA Distinguished Service Award in 2002. He is a GSA Fellow and also a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He served as GSA Councilor from 2005 to 2009.

Read more about John Geissman at