Public Release: 

Geoscience returns to the heartland

2018 Meeting of the Geological Society of America's North-Central Section

Geological Society of America

Boulder, Colorado, USA: Geoscientists from the North-Central U.S. and beyond will convene at the Iowa State University Conference Center in the Scheman Building in Ames, Iowa, on 16-17 April, for the 52nd Annual Meeting of the North-Central Section of the Geological Society of America. Hot topics in geoscience will be discussed; new research findings on glacier flow, agricultural water quality, and emerging contaminants in the environment will be presented; and Iowa's unique geologic and hydrologic features will be explored. The event is expected to draw more than 600 attendees from a variety of geoscience and related disciplines.

Featured speaker: Dr. Isabel Montañez, President of the Geological Society of America and Chancellor's Leadership Professor of Geology at the University of California, Davis, will present a talk titled "Deep-Time Insight into Earth's Future." She will use three past climate events -- abrupt greenhouse gas-forced warming of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (55 Ma) and Triassic-Jurassic boundary (200 Ma) and the turnover of the penultimate icehouse to permanent greenhouse conditions (300 Ma) -- to illustrate how greenhouse-gas-forced climate change has unfolded in the past. The talk will begin at 5:45 p.m. on Monday, 16 April, in Benton Auditorium.

Book Signing: Dr. William Alley will sign copies of his (and his spouse's) latest book, High and Dry: Meeting the Challenges of the World's Growing Dependence on Groundwater. Dr. Alley is the former Chief of the Office of Groundwater in the U.S. Geological Survey and is currently Director of Science and Technology for the National Ground Water Association. Dr. Alley will sign books beginning at 7 p.m. on Monday, 16 April, in the first floor lobby. Books will be available for sale.

Selected Highlights of the Scientific Program

The scientific program is composed of oral and poster presentations organized into 43 theme-specific and general discipline sessions.

Pathogens and Other Contaminants of Concern in the Environment
Monday, 16 March, 1:30 p.m.

Session Highlights

  • Identification of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Iowa Groundwater. Contact: Darrin Thompson, Associate Director, Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination, University of Iowa,
  • Microbial Contamination of Private Wells in the Dolomite Aquifer in Northeastern Wisconsin: Associations with Land Use, Hydrogeology, and Well Construction. Contact: Mark Borchardt, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Marshfield, Wisconsin,
  • Assessing the Occurrence of Viruses and Bacterial Pathogens in Untreated Water from Municipal Water Supply Wells in Iowa. Contact: Claire Hruby, Iowa Department of Natural Resources,

Agricultural Impacts on Hydrology and Water Quality in the Midwest
Monday, 16 March, 8 a.m.

Session Highlights

  • Estimating the Nitrogen Load to Groundwater beneath an Agricultural Field. Contact: Madeline Gotkowitz, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey,
  • Potential of Targeted Wetland Restoration to Reduce Nitrogen Loads to Surface Waters in Iowa. Contact: William Crumpton, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University,
  • Hydrogeology in Support of Litigation: Influencing Policy with Hydrogeology. Contact: Michael Burkart, USDA-ARS (ret.),

Sediments, Landforms, and Chronology of the Laurentide Ice Sheet: Analog or Anomaly?
Monday, 16 April, 1:30 pm

Session Highlights

  • A Hypothesis for the Absence of Drumlins beneath the Surge-type Des Moines Lobe. Contact: Neal Iverson, Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University,
  • An Overview of Glacial Landforms and Postulated Subglacial Conditions of the Laurentide Ice Sheet in the Western Great Lakes Area. Contact: David Mickelson, Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison,
  • Provenance, Texture, and Relative Age Controls on the Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) in Pleistocene Tills, Minnesota USA. Contact: Chad Wittkop, Department of Chemistry and Geology, Minnesota State University-Mankato,

View the complete session schedule by day or search the program by keywords at

Meeting website:


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 2017 or 2018.
  • 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.


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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