Public Release: 

2012 GSA Annual Meeting technical program & events -- media advisory 2

Geological Society of America

Boulder, CO, USA - The program for GSA's 124th Annual Meeting & Exposition, 4 November in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, is now set and searchable online. Highlights include a Pardee Keynote Symposium on the current work of the Mars rover, Curiosity, and sessions on sea-level rise, hydrofracking, and the 2011 central Virginia earthquake. Notable speakers include Bill McKibben, this year's GSA President's Medal recipient; Scott Tinker, who will present both a lecture and a screening of his energy film, SWITCH; and Julie Brigham-Grette, who will describe her work in Arctic Russia.

Representatives of the media are cordially invited to attend and cover the meeting (eligibility and registration details in III below). Public information officers from universities, government agencies, and research institutions are also welcome to represent their organizations to members of the media at the meeting.

Find out what is new and newsworthy by browsing the complete technical program schedule at

To identify presentations in specific areas of interest, search topical sessions by discipline categories or sponsors using the drop-down menus at, or use your browser's "find" feature to search for keywords or convener names.


See for a full listing. Sunday, 4 Nov.

  • GSA Presidential Address and President's Medal Presentation (12:15 to 1:15 p.m.): GSA President George H. Davis, Regents Professor (emeritus), University of Arizona, will speak on "Where Our Deepest Passions Intersect the World's Compelling Needs."
  • President's Medal Lecture (3 to 4:15 p.m.): Middlebury College Schumann Distinguished Scholar Bill McKibben will speak about "Getting Serious about Climate Change."

Monday, 5 Nov.

  • GSA Gold Medal Lectures (2 to 3:30 p.m.): GSA's 2012 medalists will deliver brief talks reflecting on their careers: Raymond A. Price, "The influence of conceptual models and geo-poetry on tectonics and structural geology"; John M. Eiler, "The isotopic anomalies of natural substances"; and Katharine W. Huntington, "Orogens, isotopes, and the evolution of Earth's surface.
  • Subaru Outdoor Life Lecture (5 to 6 p.m.): UMass-Amherst professor Julie Brigham-Grette will talk about her experiences as U.S. Chief Scientist in "Driven to Extremes -- The Roadless Pursuit of Scientific Drilling at El'gygytgyn Crater Lake, Arctic Russia."

Tuesday, 6 Nov.

  • Michael Halbouty Distinguished Lecture/Lunchtime Lecture #3 (12:15 to 1:15 p.m.): UT-Austin professor Scott Tinker will discuss his documentary film in a lecture titled "SWTICH: The Global Energy Transition."
  • Richard H. Jahns Distinguished Lecture (4:15 to 4:30 p.m.): Penn State professor Scott Burns will talk about "Urban Landslides: Challenges for Forensic Engineering Geologists and Engineers."
  • Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecture (4:30 to 5:30 p.m.): UC-Irvine professor Jay Famiglietti will speak on "Water Cycle Change and the Human Fingerprint on the Water Landscape of the 21st Century: Observations from a Decade of Grace."

Wednesday, 6 Nov.

GSA Lunchtime Lecture #4 (12:15 to 1:15 p.m.): David Conover (senior vice president at Dutko Grayling) and Albert Teich (research professor of science, technology & international affairs at George Washington University) will speak in a session moderated by Kasey White (GSA's director of geoscience policy): "What do the Election Results mean for Science?"


Pardee Keynote Symposia schedule:

Sunday, 4 Nov.

Geomorphology of the Anthropocene (8 a.m. to noon): Includes presentations on human impacts on Yellowstone; land use and soil erosion; "wilderness is dead"; buried streams beneath urban landscapes; and evolution of Earth's surface.

Rapid Sea-Level Rise and Its Impacts: Past, Present, and Future I & II (8 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.): These sessions convene leading scientists from diverse disciplines to present current research on one of the most compelling issues in the geosciences: rapid sea-level rise and the attendant threat to coastlines worldwide.

Teaching Controversy in the K󈝼 Earth Science Classroom (8 a.m. to noon): Includes presentations on the sale and ownership of fossils; teaching evolution and climate controversies; "the elephant in the wetlands"; "water is worth fighting over"; and hydraulic fracturing.

Monday, 5 Nov.

Pardee Keynote Symposium P2: Mars Rover Curiosity: Geoscience in Gale Crater (8 a.m. to noon):

Progress in Forensic Geochemistry (8 a.m. to noon): Includes presentations on geo-referencing a cold-case victim; the nature and distribution of lead at a former gunnery range; and geochemical analysis of cremated human remains.

Fossil Preservation, Biological Evolution, and Environmental Change at the Dawn of Animal Radiation (1:30 to 5:30 p.m.): Includes presentations on the Cambrian explosion; "the construction of animal diversity"; and investigations of a wide variety of fossil animals.

Tuesday, 6 Nov.

Recent Sea-Level Rise: Accelerating or Not? (8 a.m. to noon): Examines the direct and indirect evidence for changes in the rate of sea-level rise over the past 100 to 200 years.

Landslides and Debris Flows: Global Problems, Local Solutions (8 a.m. to noon): Includes presentations on debris flows and landslide hazards in western North Carolina; landslide susceptibility mapping in the Yukon; and the effects of wildfires and debris flows on the Salmon River, Idaho.

Central Virginia Earthquakes of 2011: Geology, Geophysics, and Significance for Seismic Hazards in Eastern North America (8 a.m. to noon): Includes a variety of presentations on the August 2011 magnitude 5.8 Virginia earthquake.

Recent Advances in Geology & Health (1:30 to 5:30 p.m.): Includes presentations on "how not to communicate geology and health issues"; lead in urban soils; and the detection of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in groundwater.

Wednesday, 7 Nov.

Hydraulic Fracturing for Resource Development or Remediation (8 a.m to noon): Includes presentations on shale gas opportunities and challenges; "the original 'frackers'"; groundwater quality assessment; and hydraulic fracturing as am environmental remediation tool.

Geology in the National Parks (1:30 to 5:30 p.m.): Includes presentations on national parks in Alaska; geology along the Blue Ridge Parkway; and an inventory of protected volcanic properties managed by the U.S. National Park Service.


Representatives of the media and public information officers from universities, government agencies, and research institutions, may participate in technical sessions, field trips, and other special events. Eligible media personnel will receive complimentary registration and are invited to use GSA's newsroom facilities while at the meeting. Journalists and PIOs must pay for any short courses or field trips in which they wish to participate.

For information on media eligibility and registration, go to

The pre-registration deadline for media reps is Friday, 26 October 2012. After that date, media may register onsite in the GSA Newsroom, Room 204 in the Charlotte Convention Center. Wifi Internet access and a quiet space for interviews will be provided in the newsroom, along with beverages and light snacks throughout the day.

Newsroom Hours of Operation

  • Saturday, 3 Nov., 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, 4 Nov., through Tuesday, 6 Nov., 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 7 Nov., 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Newsroom telephone number (incoming calls): +1-704-339-6207 (starting Saturday afternoon).

Contact Christa Stratton, GSA Director of Communications & Marketing, for additional information and assistance.


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