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Find Your Science at GSA
17 March 2014
GSA Release No. 14-18
Christa Stratton
Director of Education, Communication, & Outreach
Fayetteville, Arkansas
The Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge,
which spans the Susquehanna River.

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Geologists to Meet at the Junction of the Northern and Southern Appalachians

The Geological Society of America Northeastern Section Meeting

Boulder, CO, USA – Geoscientists from across the northeastern U.S. and beyond will convene in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA, on 23-25 March to discuss new science, expand on existing science, and explore the unique geologic features of the region. Situated between the classic Valley and Ridge province of the Appalachians and the geologically complex Piedmont, Lancaster has lately become an important focus for studying the effects of climate change and human influence on its verdant and productive landscape.

Topics on Sunday include service learning in the geosciences, gaining a greater understanding of Mars, and abandoned mine drainage remediation.

A special plenary session on Sunday afternoon (4:30 to 5:30 p.m.) will address "Tracking the sequential deformation and erosion of mountain belts through coupled kinematic and thermal modeling," with speaker Nadine McQuarrie from the University of Pittsburgh. Following McQuarrie’s talk, the GSA Northeastern Section will hold a town hall meeting on the future of undergraduate geoscience education (5:30-6:30 p.m.). The focus of discussion will be the outcomes of a NSF-funded summit in January at the University of Texas (

Monday's sessions include a talk on "When applied hydrogeology, fiduciary duty and professional ethics collide"; paleontological discoveries in the U.S. northeast; and the Marcellus and Utica shales.

Tuesday includes a session on the EarthScope arrival on the East Coast, with a talk on the relative locations of earthquakes and potential driving mechanisms of seismicity along the northeast U.S. Atlantic margin.


The scientific program is composed of oral and poster presentations organized into two symposia, 25 themed sessions, and an array of research in general discipline areas. Go to to learn more.

Service Learning in the Geosciences: Deep Learning through Critical, Reflective Thinking and Civic Responsibility
Steve Winters of Holyoke Community College and Lori Weeden of the University of Massachusetts–Lowell, presiding. 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. (session 4).
• Paper 4-1 (8:05 a.m.): Project-oriented geoscience service learning: Tannery Brook as urban laboratory and science-team builder. Author: Steve Winters of Holyoke Community College:

Gaining a Greater Understanding of Mars from Gale Crater and Beyond
Rebecca M.E. Williams of the Planetary Science Institute, presiding. 8 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. (session 3).
• Paper 3-7 (10:20 a.m.): Supervolcanoes in the Arabia Terra region of Mars and their relationship to layered sedimentary units. Lead author: Jacob E. Bleacher of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center:

Abandoned Mine Drainage: Impacts, Treatment and Developing Novel Uses for AMD
Jennifer K. Whisner of Bloomsburg University and Cynthia Venn of Bloomsburg University, presiding. 1:30 to 3:50 p.m. (session 18).
• Paper 18-5 (3:10 p.m.): Recovery of the West Branch Susquehanna Watershed. Lead author: Amy G. Wolfe of Trout Unlimited:

Dr. Allan M. Thompson: Honoring His Legacy as a Geologist and Educator
John A. Conrad of Conrad Geoscience Corp. and Ralph R. Leon of Exxon Mobil Corp., presiding. 8 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. (session 37).
• Paper 37-4 (9:05 a.m.): When applied hydrogeology, fiduciary duty and professional ethics collide: Role of the consultant in developer-funded public groundwater supply projects in bedrock terrain. Author: Mark Eisner of Advanced Land and Water Inc.:

Significant 21st-Century Paleontological Discoveries in Northeastern North America (Posters)
Roger D.K. Thomas of Franklin & Marshall College and Roger Cuffey of Penn State, presiding. 8 a.m. to noon, with authors present 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
• Paper 44-3 (poster): Mazon-Creek-like soft-bodied preservation in northwestern Pennsylvania -- The first-known fleshy-branched Ctenostome bryozoan in the fossil record (mid-Pennsylvanian). Author: Roger J. Cuffey of Penn State:

Marcellus and Utica Shales: Geology, Natural Gas Production, and Water Resource Issues
Dru Germanoski of Lafayette College and David Brandes of Lafayette College, presiding. 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (session 53).
• Paper 53-3 (2:15 p.m.): Fracture, vein and fault interrelationships within the Utica Shale, Mohawk Valley, New York: Implications for tectonic models. Lead author: Alex P. O'Hara of University at Buffalo:

EarthScope Arrives on the East Coast
Charles K. Scharnberger of Millersville University of Pennsylvania, presiding. 10:35 a.m. to noon (session 60).
• Paper 60-2 (time): Relative locations of earthquakes and potential driving mechanisms of seismicity along the northeast U.S. Atlantic passive margin. Lead author: Vanessa J. Napoli of Boston College:


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:
• 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 2013 or 2014.
• PIOs of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies.

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 26,000 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.