Technical Sessions and speaker information


Speaker Ready Room (Burnham Room) Hours
Wednesday, 9 April                          5–9 p.m.
Thursday, 10 April                            7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday, 11 April                                  7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

Oral Presentations
Oral presentations will be given in the Hilton. Session chairs are required to keep the schedule of papers in their sessions on time; presentations should be given at their designated times, even if another paper has been retracted.

Each speaker will have 20 minutes to deliver the presentation: 15 minutes for the presentation, and 5 minutes for discussion. A digital projector, screen, and laptop computer will be provided in each oral session room. Personal laptops may not be used, nor will slide projectors or overhead projectors be available.

Authors should bring their presentations in PowerPoint format to the Speaker Ready Room (Burnham Room in the Hilton) on a CD-ROM or USB flash drive. A meeting assistant will add the presentation to the session queue. It’s a good idea to bring multiple copies of the presentation on different media to make sure your file is compatible with the AV system. Preview any animations or embedded movies in the Speaker Ready Room. Deliver your presentation to the Speaker Ready Room at least six hours prior to the beginning of your session (not your scheduled presentation time).

Poster Sessions
Poster presenters will have one 4′ × 8′ landscape board for mounting presentations. Bring supplies to attach the poster to the board. You may wish to bring Velcro mounting tabs for this purpose. Poster sessions generally last for a half-day. Presenters should have their posters on display at the beginning of the session (8 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.), and plan to be present with the poster for at least two hours (9–11 a.m. or 2:30–4:30 p.m.). Please plan to leave a note on your poster indicating the times you will be present if they deviate from these standards.

Technical Program

Papers will be presented by students and professionals for oral and poster sessions in the technical program. The abstracts submission period has now closed. Contact Nancy Wright, +1-303-357-1061, , if you have any questions regarding your abstract.


1. Marine Geology from Paleoshorelines to the Deep Sea: A Tribute to A. Conrad Neumann
Antonio B. Rodriguez, Institute of Marine Sciences, UNC-Chapel Hill; Brent A. McKee, Department of Marine Sciences, UNC-Chapel Hill; Jesse E. McNinch, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
This symposium seeks papers that focus on coastal and marine geology including Quaternary sea-level and climate change, coastal geology, and carbonate sedimentology.
2. Symposium in Honor of Stephen G. Conrad, State Geologist of North Carolina 1964-1990
Kenneth Taylor, North Carolina Geological Survey; Jeffrey C. Reid, North Carolina Geological Survey
Mr. Stephen G. Conrad had a distinguished career in the North Carolina Geological Survey. For 26 years from 1964 to 1990, he served as State Geologist, the longest tenure of anyone in that position. During his time in leadership, Conrad was instrumental in: (a) Coordinating production of the 1958 1:500,000 scale Geologic Map of North Carolina as well as the 1985 1:500,000 scale Geologic Map of North Carolina. (b) Supporting completion of the 1:24,000 scale topographic mapping of the entire state. (c) As State Geologist becoming the moving force behind drafting, passage, and adoption of the North Carolina Mining Act of 1971 legislation that began the uniform reclamation of mines in the state. (d) Championing the cause for North Carolina to become a member of the Interstate Mining Compact Commission. (e) His active participation in the American Association of State Geologists (AASG), where Conrad served successively as Vice-President, President-Elect, President, and Past-President from July 1978 to June 1981 as well as chairing several AASG Committees. (f) Supporting creation of a cooperative geologic mapping program between the USGS and the state geological surveys. (g) As State Geologist supporting the concept of geographic information systems (GIS) as it was starting in North Carolina state government. (h) In 1984, seeing the need for greater professionalism in the practice of geology and working to promote legislation creating the North Carolina Board for the Licensure of Geologists. This symposium in honor of Stephen G. Conrad will have speakers from academia, the mining industry, federal agencies, and the North Carolina Geological Survey.
3. Cenozoic and Echinoderm Paleontology of the Southeastern United States: Symposium in Honor of Craig Oyen
Cosponsored by Paleontological Society.
Michael McKinney, University of Tennessee-Knoxville; Douglas Jones, Florida Museum of Natural History
Craig Oyen was a well respected young geologist who made important contributions to the paleontology of the Southeastern US. We present this symposium that will consist of papers on topics most closely related to his interests - Cenozoic paleontology and/or echinoderms - in Craig's honor.
4. Practical Applications of Geology in the Southeast
Cosponsored by the Carolinas Section of the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists.
Jennifer Bauer, North Carolina Geological Survey
The Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (AEG) contributes to its members' professional success and the public welfare by providing leadership, advocacy, and applied research in environmental and engineering geology. Aligned with this mission, this Symposium will focus on case studies and practical applications of geology in the Southeast in the interest of exposing others, and especially students, to applied geology in the region. Several speakers will be geologists practicing in environmental and engineering geology in the Southeast US. The applications and case studies presented will represent the type of work that graduating geologists would expect to be performing for private and government employers in the region. Anticipated subjects include groundwater remediation, groundwater-supply studies, landslide and geologic-hazard issues, geologic site investigations, geophysical applications, and foundation studies for large facilities such as dams and power plants.
5. Geomorphology and Soils
Tom Vanwalleghem, University of Cordoba; Missy Eppes, UNC-Charlotte
In our landscapes, soils and geomorphology are closely related. Information on soil profiles can be used to study geomorphological phenomena. River terraces or erosion landforms can be dated or correlated using soil profile information. The spatial pattern of soil truncation can reveal information on dominant erosion processes. On the other hand, geomorphology can be used to understand and/or explain observed soil variability. Soil scientists have traditionally always used geomorphology as a tool for soil mapping. Currently, such subjective decision-rules are being transformed into more objective soil-landscape models, for example to predict soil texture from simple topographic parameters. This session deals with all studies applying to this interplay between soils and geomorphology.
6. Surficial Geology and Geomorphology of the Southeastern Lower and Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain and Continental Shelf
M. Scott Harris, College of Charleston
This session is a state-of-knowledge report on the current understanding of the late Tertiary through Holocene deposits of the Continental Shelf and Lower and Middle Coastal Plain physiographic provinces of the Southeastern U.S. Atlantic margin. The geomorphology, stratigraphy, and sedimentation are emphasized with a focus on the distribution, characterization, relationships and age of these near-surface deposits. Topics on the pre-Holocene influences on modern geomorphic features are also welcome.
7. Tectonics of the Blue Ridge and Adjacent Areas — A Session Honoring Professor Loren Raymond
Kevin Stewart, UNC-Chapel Hill; Arthur Merschat, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
This session honors the important contributions made by Professor Loren Raymond of Appalachian State University to our understanding of the structure and tectonics of the southern Appalachian Blue Ridge, including mapping, petrology, and geochronology. Special emphasis will be given to the nature and tectonic history of the boundaries between the major tectonic units.

Theme Sessions

1. Natural Contaminants in the Southeastern United States
Avner Vengosh, Duke University; David Vinson, Duke University; Rich Bolich, North Carolina Division of Water Quality; Andrew Pitner, North Carolina Division of Water Quality
The Southeast faces emerging challenges from naturally-occurring contaminants, including arsenic and radionuclides. Contributions are encouraged on geological and geochemical controls on contaminants in water resources, radon in air and soil, health implications, and policy aspects.
2. Isotopic and Chemical Geochronology of Metamorphic Terranes in the Southern Appalachian Blue Ridge and Piedmont Environs: Implications for Tectonic Mapping and Modeling
Clayton W. Loehn, Virginia Tech; Robert J. Tracy, Virginia Tech
The Southern Appalachian Blue Ridge and Piedmont environs have experienced a series of complex polymetamorphic and polydeformational major crust-forming events and thermotectonic overprints over an interval of at least 800 million years (1.1 Ga to 250 Ma). Isotopic and chemical dating of zircon, monazite, and xenotime have allowed us to begin to constrain higher-resolution details of the timing of tectonic, metamorphic and intrusive events. The purpose of this symposium is to present new geochronologic research being done in the Piedmont and Blue Ridge and to emphasize what each mineral dating process is contributing to our understanding and reconstruction of these environs and the implications of current geochronologic studies on development of new tectonic models for this region.
3. Undergraduate Research (Posters)
Cosponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research.
Brannon Andersen, Furman University; Jeff Ryan, University of South Florida-Tampa
The Council on Undergraduate Research will sponsor a poster session highlighting research performed by undergraduates in all areas of the Earth sciences. The first authors must be undergraduate students, and students must be responsible for the bulk of the research, preparation of posters, and presentation of results.
4. Geologic Maps, Digital Geologic Maps, and Derivatives from Geologic Maps (Posters)
Cosponsored by the Geologic Mapping Institute.
Ralph F. Crawford; Michael W. Higgins; Scott Southworth, U.S. Geological Survey
Geologic maps are the most fundamental tool of the science of geology. Almost all other geologic research is ultimately based on the geologic map. The art and science of geologic mapping must be kept alive and nurtured if geology is to survive. A new tool for presentation, printing, and publication of geologic maps is geographic information systems (GIS), which locates the topographic base map in real space, allowing production a digital geologic map. Geologic maps and digital geologic maps are best displayed in poster sessions.
5. Current Research in the Triassic-Jurassic Newark Supergroup Basins
Patricia G. Weaver, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences; Robert E. Weems, U.S. Geological Survey
The intent of this interdisciplinary session is to bring together researchers who are currently working in the Newark Supergroup basins. Contributions on paleontology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, structural geology, or age dating are strongly encouraged.
7. Classical Geology in Hydrogeology
Rick Klingel, Zapata Engineering and UNC-Charlotte
8. Drought in the Southeastern United States
Anne Jefferson, UNC-Charlotte
The summer of 2007 brought extreme drought to the Southeast and highlighted the need to understand and conserve water resources in this normally moist region. This session seeks research investigating paleo- and historical drought records, implications of modern droughts, and predictions of future drought frequency and severity.
9. The Art and Science of Field Notes (Posters)
Andy R. Bobyarchick, UNC-Charlotte; John A. Diemer, UNC-Charlotte
A geologist's field notes are functionally and philosophically integrated with the scientist. Although we expect these data are testable, and therefore should follow some general guidelines for consistency, the actual records are often personalized by unique styles. Unfortunately, field notes are often not accessible for descendant studies nor do many students have the opportunity to view "exemplary" sets of notes. This poster session is a compilation of distinctive illustrations from the original field notes of contributing geologists. Each contribution features an image of one original page from the contributoršs notebooks along with a narrative describing the significance of that page. If you have access to the field notes of a deceased geologist of note and would like to demonstrate those notes, please check with one of the co-chairs first. These contributions will also be displayed after the meeting online at
Note: Contributors to this poster session will not have their submissions counted toward the GSA restriction on number of abstracts for which you may be the presenter. You do not have to be present for the full period of time your poster will be on display. You must submit an abstract in the standard way. As we would like to keep the posters in a standard format, please contact one of the co-chairs for instructions to prepare materials.
10. Using Technology in Earth Sciences Education
Cosponsored by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers.
Nan Huebner, Fernbank Science Center; Pamela J.W. Gore, Georgia Perimeter College
11. Fluvial Geomorphology and Watershed Studies in the Eastern United States
Suresh Muthukrishnan, Furman University; Odhiambo Kisila Ben, University of Mary Washington
The landscape around us is in a state of constant change effected by surficial processes such as fluvial processes. A good understanding of rivers and how human alterations of topography and land cover around the rivers affect the health of river systems is essential in solving several important problems related to water quality and management issues of our times. Application of computer models, GIS and remote sensing methods coupled with traditional field methods are improving our understanding in this field. Stability of stream channels directly influence changes in water quality and local hydrologic conditions, changes in sediment fluxes and transport, biogeochemical cycles of nutrients, and variations in population and diversity of aquatic organisms. A multidisciplinary approach is necessary to understand the broader implications of human impacts on watershed systems. This session will provide a forum for presenting and discussing the recent advances and findings on the study of urban and natural watersheds in the eastern United States.


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