Public Release: 

GSA meeting highlights & technical program -- media advisory 2

The Geological Society of America's Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Geological Society of America

Boulder, CO, USA - More than 7,000 geoscientists will be presenting 4,700 abstracts at the Geological Society of America's Annual Meeting & Exposition in Baltimore, Maryland, 1-4 November 2015. The scientific program schedule is online now.

Journalists are cordially invited to attend and discover the latest findings in earth-science research on topics as diverse as the interests of the GSA membership -- from the Anthropocene to zoning of ore deposits. This year may be the biggest ever for top-name speakers, and the meeting size and format are most conducive to making personal connections with expert resources and significant scientific conversations.


  • Feed Your Brain with Multimedia Earth Science Communicator James Balog, Science Editor-in-Chief Marcia McNutt, and NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan.

  • Hear John P. Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, speak from the science policy perspective.

  • Have lunch with climate scientist James Hansen (ticketed event) as part of the International "Bridging Two Continents" meeting in partnership with the Geological Society of China.

  • Learn more about the Nepal (Gorkha) Earthquake in a special session on this current topic.

  • Celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of the William Smith Map with expert Hugh Torrens and attend a public lecture and book signing by Simon Winchester.

  • Get a sneak-peek of "Origins," Part 1 of NOVA's new 3-part series, Making North America, with Q&A by NOVA executives and host Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.


The broad technical program will be presented by scientists from around the world as they share new findings and insights on issues such as:

  • The retreat of glaciers on Earth, coupled to the perturbation of other Earth systems by an intensely warming climate. High-profile speakers Richard Alley and Lonnie Thompson contribute to Savor the Cryosphere on Monday afternoon.

  • Differing approaches to addressing issues around oil and gas recovery from shale plays using hydraulic fracturing;

  • New research and synoptic presentations of geomorphic processes and rates as seen through the lens of the Appalachian landscape;

  • Assessment of the Cascadia subduction zone, arguably one of the biggest seismic hazards in North America; and

  • High-impact research on the rise of animals across the Precambrian-Cambrian transition. Doug Erwin, paleobiologist at the National Museum of Natural History is a Tuesday afternoon keynote for Earth-Life Systems at the Dawn of Animals.

Presentations are organized into several categories, including Pardee Keynote Symposia, which include invited speakers on topics of broad, general interest.

Topical Sessions, which are abstracts presentations organized on a thematic basis. Industry Tracks are new this year: Look for icons that designate which sessions are most relevant for industry professionals, including energy, economic geology, hydrogeology, environmental geology, and engineering geology.

Discipline Sessions, which are grouped according to research conducted in specific scientific disciplines (e.g., archeological geology).

The complete technical program schedule with abstracts is searchable online. Browse for sessions in your areas of interest:

Click on a day to view all sessions for that day.
Click on a session title to view all presentations within that session.
Click on an abstract title to view the abstracts text.
You may also search for particular presentations by typing in key words, an author's name, or a session title.

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


Sunday, 1 November

GSA Presidential Address & Awards Ceremony, noon to 1:30 p.m., BCC, Room 327/328/329
GSA President Jonathan Price will discuss "How the World is Changing" and the role of the geosciences in shaping the future.

Monday and Tuesday, 2-3 November

GSA's 2015 Gold Medal Lectures: Penrose Medalist James Head of Brown University, Day Medalist Jerry Mitrovica of Harvard University, and Donath Medalist Brandon Schmandt of the University of New Mexico, will deliver 20-minute talks during their technical sessions reflecting on the science of their careers.

Tuesday, 3 November

President's Medal Lecture, 8 a.m., BCC, Room 339
Steven W. Squyres, Cornell University, will discuss "Robotic Field Geology" relative to his experiences as Principal Investigator for NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission.


Currently in press, Tripping from the Fall Line: Field Excursions for the GSA Annual Meeting, Baltimore, 2015, contains guides to 16 field trips in this historic region. Emanating from the Fall Line city of Baltimore, these trips reflect the diversity of geological features in the mid-Atlantic region including the Piedmont, Appalachian Mountains, and Coastal Plain, and the importance of geology on the development and construction of the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Available soon in the GSA Store.


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.

Public Information Officers of universities, government agencies, and research institutions can use the meeting as an opportunity to present research to on-site reporters through press releases, press conferences, a virtual press room, and one-on-one contact with the press.

Learn more about media eligibility for complimentary registration.

The media pre-registration deadline is Friday, 23 October 2015. After 23 October, media may register onsite at the main registration desk beginning Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m.

Newsroom Information -- Watch for the upcoming schedule of live online news briefings during the meeting.
Request Media Registration


Contact Christa Stratton, GSA's Director of Communications & Marketing, at the address above for additional information or assistance. GSA endeavors to provide a fully accessible meeting; please let us know if you have special requests with regard to the ADA.
Meeting Homepage

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