Public Release: 

Food for thought: Current topics at the intersection of geoscience & society

Geological Society of America to livestream special talks

Geological Society of America

Boulder, CO, USA: GSA is preparing to Livestream four thought-provoking lectures by leaders in their fields from its Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Seattle, 22-25 October 2017.

Featured presentations will explore the communications gap between geoscientists and society at large, the dramatic reengineering of the Seattle landscape vis-a-vie modern understanding of its natural hazards risks, problems in Afghanistan's mineral extraction industry and how they are slowing efforts to rebuild a war-torn infrastructure, and how forensic geology is aiding policing and law enforcement.

The Livestream will open 15 minutes before each talk. Closed captioning will be available for the hearing-impaired.

Sunday, 22 October, noon to 1:30 pm, PST

Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony, by GSA President Isabel P. Montañez, The University of California at Davis

"Mind the Gap": GSA's Role in an Evolving Global Society

We are at the cusp of a historic time regarding the interface of science and society. Over two decades ago, GSA President Eldridge Moores addressed the "gulf in perception separating geoscientists from many other people" and presaged the growth of the divide. The gap has multiple dimensions, but most notable is the apparent growth of the science-society gap in recent years. In this talk, Montañez will address the role of GSA in this evolving global landscape and the opportunities to contribute to mending the gap.

Monday, 23 October, 12:15 to 1:15 pm, PST

Feed Your Brain, by David B. Williams, Naturalist, Award-winning Author, and Educator

"The Protean City--Reshaping the Seattle Landscape"

Since settlers first arrived in Seattle, the city's citizens have altered the landscape with an unrivaled zeal. We have regraded hills, which required moving more than 11 million cubic yards of sediment; reengineered tide flats, which led to the making of more than 2,200 acres of new land; and re-plumbed the second largest lake in the state, which completely altered its drainage. The goal of these projects was to provide better locations for business and easier ways to move through the challenging topography. Seattleites are still at it, though now we also understand that earthquakes and rising sea levels have the potential to change us as much as we have changed the land.

Tuesday, 24 October, 12:15 to 1:15 pm, PST

Feed Your Brain, by 2017 Halbouty Lecturer John (Jack) Shroder, Senior Research Scholar, Center for Afghanistan Studies, University of Nebraska at Omaha

"Afghanistan Resources: Rapacious Extraction, Ruined Environments, and Chaos Continuation?"

The rich minerals, hydrocarbons, and waters of Afghanistan have been known for more than half a century, yet some have only belatedly realized that trillions of resource dollars might enable hard-pressed Afghanistan to rebuild their war-destroyed infrastructure. A myriad of problems, however, are preventing ideas and plans for transparent mineral extraction and development of resource corridors from becoming reality. It remains to be seen whether or not the resources can be extracted with minimal environmental damage to help the local people, or if they should be left untouched to keep the profits away from the mineral mafias.

Wednesday, 25 October, 12:15 to 1:15 pm, PST

Feed Your Brain, by Laurance Donnelly, Chair, International Union of Geological Sciences, Initiative on Forensic Geology

"Forensic Geology - The Applications of Geology to Police and Law Enforcement"

Forensic geology (also known as forensic geoscience or geoforensics) is the application of geology to policing and law enforcement, which may potentially be applicable to a court of law. This presentation provides an overview of the scope, processes, and outcomes involved in forensic geology work. It draws on operational case work experiences and provides information on the logistical aspects of working with the police. It should be noted, in context with the theme of this presentation, images of crime scenes and human remains will be included.


View complete information for each program here.

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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