Public Release: 

Geology rocks the Pacific Northwest: GSA Meeting returns to Seattle

2017 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America

Geological Society of America

Boulder, CO, USA: Registration is open for The Geological Society of America's Annual Meeting & Exposition, to be held 22-25 October 2017 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington, USA.

Seattle is set in a geological wonderland -- built on glacial/marine deposits left by a lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, which buried the site of the city under more than a kilometer of ice until just 16,500 years ago. Look 100 km southeast of the Space Needle to see the heavily glaciated, active stratovolcano Mount Rainier rising to 4,392 m above sea level. Look west across Puget Sound (a great inland arm of the Pacific Ocean) to see the Olympic Mountains, an accretionary wedge formed by ongoing subduction of the Juan de Fuca oceanic plate beneath the continent on the notorious Cascadia megathrust.

In this extraordinary setting, geoscientists from 31 disciplines will gather to present new findings that enlarge the body of geoscience knowledge and define directions for future studies. Alan Gillespie and Darrel Cowan of the host university, The University of Washington, are general meeting co-chairs. They, along with the entire organizing committee invite members of the media to attend and cover science presented at the meeting.

Review media eligibility requirements:

Request complimentary media registration:

Meeting Highlights

Six Pardee Keynote sessions include

  • Diversity and the changing face of the geosciences;
  • Landscapes in the Anthropocene;
  • The Chicxulub Impact Crater;
  • Mesozoic-Cenozoic terranes along North America's Pacific margin;
  • Earth anatomy revealed through geologic mapping;
  • Poster session on "speed dating" -- featuring 10-12 geochronologists to personally interact with meeting attendees.

Sunday at noon, incoming GSA President Isabel Montañez will give her Presidential Address, and an awards ceremony will honor luminaries in the field including the Penrose, Day, and Donath gold medalists.

257 submitted topical sessions cover the broad spectrum of current research. Sessions with industry applicability -- including Energy, Economic Geology, Hydrogeology, Environmental Geology, and Engineering Geology -- are called out in the listing with icons for easy identification.

"Especially important this year is how geoscience research and communication must respond to, adjust, and perhaps pursue new opportunities in a world and nation demanding a greater scientific understanding of what we do, why we do it, and the long-term impacts and implications of our work," noted Dick Berg, Technical Program Chair.

Twenty-four field trips for the meeting will radiate outward from the downtown convention center to visit bedrock terranes in the North Cascades, the course of the Missoula Floods, and tsunami deposits from Cascadia earthquakes. Field trips will also inspect the puzzling Mima mounds south of Seattle and tour the wine districts of south-central Washington. A special opportunity will be a trip into one of the tunnels being dug under the city to add new light-rail routes or to replace the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct along the waterfront.

Complete meeting information will be updated regularly on the Annual Meeting website. Information is also available in the June issue of GSA Today.

Oral Sessions run Sun.-Wed., 8 a.m.-noon and 1:30-5:30 p.m. at the Washington State Convention Center, 705 Pike Street Seattle, WA 98101-2310.

Watch the website for special "Feed Your Brain" lunchtime lectures scheduled each day from noon-1:30 p.m. On Monday, David Williams will speak about his book, Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle's Topography, exploring the myriad ways that Seattle has reimagined and reengineered its landscape.

Poster Sessions will be on display 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Sun. with authors present from 3:30-5:30 p.m., and 9:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m. on Mon.-Wed., with authors present from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Technical Program

Search topical sessions for areas of interest by discipline categories or sponsors from the drop-down menus, or use your browser's "find" feature to search for keywords or convener names. The complete technical program schedule will be available in mid-August 2017 after the abstract submission deadline.

Contact Christa Stratton,, for more information or assistance with media registration.



  • International Travel: Seattle is particularly convenient and accessible to friends around the Pacific Rim, and GSA is the largest Earth Science meeting on the U.S. west coast this year. Inquire/apply for a travel visa early.

  • About Seattle: Learn about things to do.

  • Lodging: Make reservations early for best selection if you are planning to attend.

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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