Public Release: 

Anchorage Center for 2015 Meeting of Cordilleran Area Geoscientists

The Geological Society of America Cordilleran Section Meeting

Geological Society of America

Boulder, Colorado, USA - Geoscientists from the North American Cordillera and beyond will convene in Anchorage, Alaska, USA, on 11-13 May 2015 to discuss new and hot-topic science, expand on current studies, and explore the region's unique geologic features. Important highlights of the meeting include symposia and special sessions honoring the scientific contributions of geologists Dwight Bradley and Allison Till, and the contributions to the art and science of west coast fossils made by paleo-artist Ray Troll.

This event also marks the first GSA Cordilleran Section Meeting held on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus, a rapidly growing university with a burgeoning geological sciences program.

Situated at the base of the Chugach Mountains, Anchorage, Alaska's largest and most diverse city is built on glacial deposits associated with the last major ice age. The city is surrounded on its north, west, and south sides by the waters of Cook Inlet, a major marine embayment that boasts some of the highest tides anywhere in North America. To the west across Cook Inlet are the Tordrillo Mountains and Mount Spurr Volcano, the closest active volcano to Anchorage. To the north are the high peaks of the Alaska Range, including Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America. Because of its location, Anchorage is a key international air hub in the North Pacific region as well as one of the primary gateways to the Alaskan wilderness.

Three field trips are scheduled conjunction with this meeting to take advantage of this spectacular location: "Geology of the Chugach-Prince William Sound Accretionary Complex and Resurrection Ophiolite"; "Cretaceous-Paleogene Bedrock Geology of the Matanuska Valley Area"; and "Transect of the Mesozoic Subduction Complex, South-Central Alaska."

Selected Highlights of the Scientific Program

The scientific program is composed of oral and poster presentations organized into two symposia and 18 themed sessions, plus an array of research in general discipline areas. Go to to learn more.


Geologic Hazards Evaluation along Important Infrastructure Corridors


Sample presentation: Geologic Hazard evaluation along the Denali Park Road: The 92-mile Denali National Park Road has a long history of landslides and debris flows causing disruptions to traffic and public safety. The road is a major conduit for approximately 500,000 visitors to the park each year and is also the only access for several lodges located in Kantishna (mile 92). The park, and therefore the road, is a major economic engine for the region. Read more at Lead author: Denny M. Capps, National Park Service,


Geoscience Education, Outreach, and Geologic Hazard Communication


Sample presentation: Optimizing Imminent Threat Mobile Alerts to Motivate Protective Action: The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) service allows customers who own WEA-enabled wireless telephones and other mobile devices to receive geo-targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats in the area. Although much has been learned about full-text public warning messages, less is known about how to write effective short messages for mobile devices. Read more at Author: Michele M. Wood, California State University,


The Art and Science of West Coast Fossils: A Tribute To Paleo-Artist Ray Troll


Sample presentation: Drawing Fossil Maps for the West Coast of North America: Artist Ray Troll will show newly produced maps for California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska done in collaboration with Dr. Kirk Johnson and a number of paleontologists and geologists from throughout the regions depicted. The maps are being produced to accompany Troll and Johnson's second book, Cruisin' the Eternal Coastline: the Best of the Fossil West from Baja to Barrow. Read more at Author: Ray Troll, Soho Coho Gallery,

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.

Complete meeting information:

Local contact information:


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 2014 or 2015.

  • PIOs of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Present media credentials to Lindsey Henslee 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.

Contact: Christa Stratton

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