Public Release: 

Geologists to meet at the junction of the northern and southern Appalachians

2014 Geological Society of America Northeastern Section Meeting

Geological Society of America

Boulder, Colorado, 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.

Selected Highlights of the Scientific Program

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).


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).


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).



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.


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).



EarthScope Arrives on the East Coast

Charles K. Scharnberger of Millersville University of Pennsylvania, presiding. 10:35 a.m. to noon (session 60).



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.

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