Public Release: 

Mining, water quality, and mastodons: Geoscientists to meet in Madison, Wisc., USA

The Geological Society of America North-Central Section Meeting

Geological Society of America

Boulder, Colorado, USA - Geoscientists from the north-central U.S. and beyond will convene in Madison, Wisconsin, on 19-20 May to discuss hot-topic science, expand on current science, and explore the region's unique geologic features. GSA's North-Central Section Meeting is being hosted by the University of Wisconsin Madison's Dept. of Geoscience and by the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. Sessions will convene in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center overlooking beautiful Lake Monona.

The meeting will feature theme sessions and field trips that highlight the geologic diversity of the region, from the Precambrian Midcontinent Rift and the Baraboo Hills, to Paleozoic sedimentary rocks exposed in the nearby Driftless Area, to new interpretations of the Cenozoic evolution of the Lower Wisconsin River, to effects of recent human activities on Earth's water and mineral resources, and to new approaches to analysis of geoscience data and educating the next generation of geoscientists.

The meeting will also offer opportunities to visit research laboratories and the Geology Museum in Weeks Hall on the UW campus, and to enjoy a traditional Wisconsin "tailgate" dinner in the Weeks Hall courtyard.

Selected Highlights of the Scientific Program

The scientific program is composed of oral and poster presentations organized into 25 themed sessions and an array of research in general discipline areas. Go to to learn more.


Session: Frac Sand in the Midwest: Geology, Mining, Reclamation, and Environmental Issues


  • Sample presentation: The sand-mining boom in Western Wisconsin: An Overview: This session is intended to provide an overview of many aspects of the sand industry in the upper Midwest. Sandstone geology, exploration methods, and methods to prove economic sand reserves will be addressed. Read more at Lead author: K.M. Syverson, Univ. of Wisconsin, Eau Claire,


Session: Impacts of Urbanization on the Quality and Quantity of Water Resources II


  • Sample presentation: From Streets to Streams: Assessing the Toxicity Potential of Urban Sediment: Urban sediment can act as a transport mechanism for a variety of pollutants to move toward a receiving water body. The concentrations of these pollutants oftentimes exceed levels that are toxic to aquatic organisms. Read more at Lead author: William R. Selbig, USGS,

Session: Quaternary Paleoecology of the Upper Midwest


  • Sample presentation: Rediscovering the Anderson Mills Mastodon: A 19th Century Find from Grant County, Wisconsin: In July of 1897, numerous mastodon (Mammut americanum) bones were discovered near the town of Boaz, Wisconsin. In 1898, another partial mastodon skeleton was unearthed roughly 50 km to the southwest in the small hamlet of Anderson Mills. This find was better preserved and produced more than sixty complete elements. Read more at Lead author: Carolyn Eaton, University of Wisconsin-Madison Geology Museum,

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 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 25,000 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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