North-Central Section, GSA
42nd Annual Meeting

2-3 April 2009

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Rockford, Illinois
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WELCOME

Welcome to North-Central GSA 2009. It has been 24 years since Northern Illinois University (NIU) hosted a regional GSA meeting, so it's about time! The previous meeting, in 1985, was at the NIU main campus in DeKalb. It is not feasible to hold the 2009 meeting in DeKalb, but we think you will find Rockford a conveniently located, attractive venue with good hotels and restaurants (and an excellent brewpub). Of particular interest to conference participants are the Burpee Museum of Natural History (where the meeting buffet will be held on Thursday evening) and the newly opened Center for the Sciences in nearby Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, USA. Also, the NIU faculty will be delighted if some of you take a couple of hours to visit the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences in DeKalb while you are at the meeting or on Saturday as you leave.

The impact of geologic processes and resources on society has probably never been greater than it is today, and those of us who work in the geosciences have never before been asked to undertake such a wide variety of tasks. Yet, as a group, we are getting older. According to the most recent American Geological Institute study, "The number of younger geoscientists in their early 30s is approximately half the number of those nearing retirement age." The need to prepare a new generation of geoscientists is obvious, and regional meetings such as this can help (with a relatively low carbon footprint from transportation). In that spirit, NCGSA'09 offers sessions devoted to education as well as special luncheons for students. At least equally important, the meeting offers students the opportunity to listen to and present professional papers and posters in a supportive environment.

The Keynote Address: "Paleoclimate: Hadean to Holocene" by John Valley, University of Wisconsin–Madison, presents an example of what can be learned by applying a broad array of techniques and disciplinary approaches to the singularly important topic of climate.

I hope to have the privilege of welcoming you to NIU's new, technically advanced Rockford Conference Center on 1 April 2009.

Gene Perry
Meeting Co-Chair


Photos courtesy of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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