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Find Your Science at GSA
6 March 2012
GSA Release No. 12-15
Christa Stratton
Director of Education, Communication, & Outreach
Santa Elena Canyon
Typical New England brook in western uplands, Sherman, Connecticut, USA; photo by Robert Thorson, who leads the Saturday, 17 March, field trip "The Geology of Walden Pond."
2012 Northeastern Section brochure
Meeting Brochure
2012 Northeastern Meeting Program
Meeting Program
Northeastern Section 2012 Poster
Downloadable Hi-Res Poster

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Northeastern Geology: Careers, Hazards, Human Impacts, and (of Course) Fossils

Geological Society of America Meeting Celebrates 200 Years of Geology in the Northeast

Boulder, CO, USA –Geoscientists from across the northeastern U.S. and beyond will convene in Hartford, Connecticut, on 18-20 March to discuss new science, expand on existing science, and explore the geologic, historic, and scenic wonders of the region. Sessions and field trips cover geoscience careers, Appalachian tectonics, the evolution of northeastern rivers, human impacts on estuaries and urban watersheds, mercury contamination, mineralogy and medicine, K-16 education, the "dinosaur renaissance," and the geology of Walden Pond.

Plenary Session: Panel Discussion on Careers in Geoscience

Panel Members: Kevin M. Bohacs, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co.; Nathan W. Hagelin, AMEC Environment & Infrastructure; John G. Nevius, Anderson Kill & Olick P.C.; and Sean P. Rigsby, RJS Associates Inc.
When: Sunday, 18 March, 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Where: Hartford Marriott Downtown, Capital Room 2&3


The scientific program is composed of oral and poster presentations organized into 26 themed sessions plus an array of research in general discipline areas. Go to to learn more.

Sunday, 18 March
Historical Perspectives: 250 Years of Geology in the Northeast. William R. Brice of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and Sally Newcomb, presiding. Geological studies of northeastern North America have had a profound influence on the understanding of local geological history and on clarifying Earth's history. This session includes a variety of presentations on the evolution of geological understanding in this region over the past 250 years.
Abstracts:, 8 to 10 a.m. (session 4).
• Paper 4-3: Stratigraphy and Structure of the Rocks Underlying Boston Harbor: New Insights on the Cambridge Argillite and Associated Diamictites and Diabase Sills. Peter J. Thompson, University of New Hampshire; Joseph P. Kopera, Office of the Massachusetts State Geologist; and Daniel R. Solway, Northern Arizona University:

Women in the Geosciences: Past, Present, and Future. Kristine Larsen of Central Connecticut State University and Heidi Hoffower of Chevron Corp., presiding. Historically, women faced numerous challenges as they attempted to gain a foothold in the geoscience community. Today, women have still not achieved parity with their male colleagues. This session will explore issues of gender and the geosciences, applying the lessons of the past and present in order to promote success for women in the future geoscience workforce.
Abstracts:, 10:20 a.m. to noon (session 5.).
• Paper 5-1: Delia Woodruff Godding, Jane Kilby Welsh, and the Religion of Geology in New England. Author: Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State University:

Geologic Hazards and Climate Change in the Northeast: Impacts and Opportunities. Nicholas K. Coch of CUNY Queens College and Laurence R. Becker of the Vermont Geological Survey, presiding. This session covers geologic hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, flooding, ground subsidence, and fluvial and coastal erosion and the impacts of hurricanes and nor'easters, as well as possible future impacts of climate change (including sea-level rise).
Abstracts:, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. (session 15).
• Paper 15-9: Hurricane Irene -- Lessons for the Northeast. Author: Nicholas K. Coch, CUNY Queens College:

News from the Newark Supergroup (Posters). Advocate: Elizabeth Gierlowski-Kordesch, Ohio University. This session follows a morning of oral presentations on the newest research on East Coast Triassic-Jurassic Newark Supergroup basins.
Abstracts:; 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.; authors will be present at their poster 2 to 4 p.m. (session 22).
• Paper 22-1: Uncovering the Main Trackway at Dinosaur State Park (Rocky Hill, CT) in Preparation for the 50th Anniversary Rededication. Author: Hugo Thomas, Emeritus State Geologist, Connecticut and six others:
In 1966, dinosaur footprints were discovered at what is now Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, USA. Only about a third of the tracks were covered by a roof, and the more than 1,500 unsheltered tracks were reburied in 1976 after they started to show signs of deterioration. Recently, a small area of the buried tracks was uncovered to assess their condition in order to help revive plans for constructing a permanent structure over the trackways.

Monday, 19 March
The Legacy of Humans and Glaciation in Northeastern Rivers (Posters). Advocates: Will Ouimet and Denise Burchsted of the University of Connecticut and Jon Woodruff of the University of Massachusetts. This session covers the evolution of northeastern rivers affected by glaciation, post-glacial evolution, and human activity and will include case studies and lessons in mitigation.
Abstracts:; authors will be present at their poster 9 to 11 a.m. (session 30).
• Paper 30-6: A River Runs through It -- The Geomorphic Impacts of the Vermont Interstate Highway System. Authors: Analeisha M. Vang, University of Vermont; Paul R. Bierman, University of Vermont:

Mercury Dynamics in Northeastern North America. Johan (Joop) C. Varekamp of Wesleyan University and Robert Mason of the University of Connecticut, presiding. Mercury is a pervasive contaminant in almost every lake, wetland, and estuary. Fish advisories have been issued for most lakes in New England. Contributions to this session will include presentations on contamination geochemistry and fate and transport of mercury in air, water, and sediment of lacustrine, coastal, and riverine environments, especially from northeastern North America.
Abstracts:, 1:30–5:30 p.m. (session 36).
• Paper 36-7: Historic Mercury Sources in Connecticut: From Fashion to Factories. Author: Johan (Joop) C. Varekamp, Wesleyan University:

Tuesday, 20 March
State and Fate of Urban Watersheds in the Northeast. Jonathan R. Gourley of Trinity College and Suzanne O’Connell of Wesleyan University, presiding. Urbanization, increased impervious surfaces, and storm-water runoff have had, and will continue to have, serious impacts on many watersheds throughout the northeastern U.S. and adjoining parts of Canada. This session features research that focuses on the environmental issues that currently face urban watersheds.
Abstracts:, 8 a.m.–noon (session 47)
• Paper 47-2: Geomorphological approach to toxic trace metal distribution across channel bar deposits in the park river watershed, Hartford, CT. Kelsey Semrod and Jonathan Gourley, Trinity College:

Mineralogy, Igneous, Metamorphic Petrology, Volcanology. LeeAnn Srogi of West Chester University, presiding. This discipline session covers the mineralogy, petrology, and volcanology of the northeastern U.S., Askja volcano, Iceland; Bou Dahar mining district, Morocco; Prydz Bay, Antarctica; and Bulqiza Ultramafic Massif, Albania; and also includes a look at minerals and medicine.
Abstracts:, 8 a.m. to noon (session 44).

View the complete session schedule by day or search the program by keywords at Click on session titles for a list of presentations, and click on presentations for the individual abstracts.

Find complete meeting information at

Find local contact information at


Eligibility for media registration is as follows:

Present media credentials to William Cox onsite at the GSA registration desk to obtain a badge for media access. Complimentary meeting registration covers attendance at all technical sessions and access to the exhibit hall. Journalists and PIOs must pay regular fees for paid luncheons and any short courses or field trips in which they 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.

For additional information and assistance, contact Christa Stratton, GSA Director of Communications, at the address above.


The Geological Society of America, founded in 1888, is a scientific society with more than 25,000 members from academia, government, and industry in more than 100 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.