Energy resources, climate change, coastal issues at GSA this month

Boulder, CO -- Geoscience research, public policy considerations, and perspectives from a variety of scientific disciplines will come together this month at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, 22-25 October. Journalists are cordially invited to attend; eligible media representatives will receive complimentary registration (see below) and are invited to use GSA's Newsroom facilities while at the meeting.

I. Program Highlights

The scientific program encompasses a wide variety of geoscience and integrative science topics of international, national, and regional interest. A few highlights are noted below. View and search the complete technical program at


*U.S. Energy Resources: Options, Scenarios, and Policy*
Tuesday, 24 October, 1:30-5:30 p.m., PCC 113A
This session addresses U.S. energy needs and options, including oil and gas, coal, geothermal, nuclear, and gas hydrates. Perspectives on future energy mix and climate change will be discussed. Speakers' affiliations include the White House Office of Science and Technology, U.S. Climate Change Science Program Office, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Energy Technology Laboratory, BP America Production Company, and U.S. Geological Survey. Abstracts:


*Identifying our Most Vulnerable Shorelines: Science and Policy*
Tuesday, 24 October, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., PCC 109B
Extreme storms, sea-level rise, and other phenomena are discussed, along with implications for damage to areas as diverse as New York City, coastal National Parks, and barrier islands.


*Biotic Response to Global Environmental Change: Analogs for the Future of Life on Earth*
Sunday, 22 October, 1:30-5:30 p.m., PCC 104B
Issues addressed include global warming, ocean acidification, elevated carbon dioxide concentrations, and a possible new source of paleoenvironmental history.


*Applied Reef Coral Paleoecology*
Wednesday, 25 October, 1:30-5:30 p.m., PCC 108A
Topics include the impacts of global change and climate warming.


*Mass Extinctions: New Approaches Analyzing Process Links Between Land and Sea*
Tuesday, 24 October, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., PCC 105AB
A variety of perspectives involve ocean chemistry, types of terrain hit by bolides, positive feedback loops, and more.


* Judicial Independence - A Trial Judge's Reflections after Kitzmiller v. Dover*
Judge John E. Jones III
Geology & Society Division 2006 Distinguished Lecture
Monday, 23 October, 5:45p.m., PCC 105AB.
Jones presided over the first direct challenge in federal court against a school district that mandated the teaching of intelligent design. After ruling the mandate unconstitutional in December 2005, he was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of the Year. His lecture will be followed by a discussion session.


*The Late Cretaceous-Early Tertiary Interval in the Atlantic Coastal Plain*
Tuesday, 24 October, 1:30-5:30 p.m., PCC 105AB

Two talks that may be particular interest from this session:

*The Late Cretaceous/Early Paleogene Record at Bass River Borehole, New Jersey Coastal Plain*
Richard K. Olsson, Rutgers University
Tuesday, 24 October, PCC 105AB, 1:35-1:50 p.m.
Sediments collected via the New Jersey Coastal Plain Drilling Project show evidence of: the asteroid impact at Chicxulub, Mexico, 65 million years ago; a tsunami following the impact, possibly triggered by massive slumping on the Atlantic slope; and warming of the ocean related to lava outpouring from the Deccan Traps in India.

*Winners and Losers: Vertebrate Faunal Succession in the Late Cretaceous-Paleocene Interval of New Jersey*
William B. Gallagher, New Jersey State Museum
Tuesday, 24 October, PCC 105AB, 3:10-3:25 p.m.
Southern New Jersey fossil evidence figures prominently in this talk about patterns of extinction and survival following the Chicxulub asteroid impact 65 million years ago.

II. Hot Topics: Spirited Lunchtime Presentations, Discussions, and Debates

Hot Topic sessions take place daily, Sunday through Wednesday, 22-25 October, 12:15-1:15 p.m., in PCC Room 108A.

* Sunday, 22 October: Avian Influenza

  • Monday, 23 October: Afghanistan Reconstruction USGS Activities
  • Tuesday, 24 October: Global Warming and CO2-Are we Headed for Global Catastrophe in the Coming Century?
  • Wednesday, 25 October: The Future of Land Remote Sensing

For complete descriptions of these sessions, see

III. Public Forum on Climate Change

*Understanding Global Climate Change: What Is It? What Does It Mean? What Can We Do?*
Saturday, 21 October, 2-4:00 p.m., PCC Auditorium Lecture Hall, 1101 Arch Street. Speakers are Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences, Penn State University, and Robert Jackson, Nicholas Institute Professor, Department of Biology and Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University. Presentations are geared for a non-technical audience and questions are encouraged. For more information on GSA's fourth annual Public Forum and speaker bios, see

IV. Onsite Newsroom

GSA will operate a full-service Newsroom in PCC 305/306. Computers with internet and printer access, outgoing telephone lines, and space for interviews will be available. Continental breakfast and lunch are complimentary for journalists covering the meeting.

Beginning Saturday, 21 October, the Newsroom telephone number for incoming calls will be +1-215-418-2039.

Newsroom hours of operation (Eastern Daylight Time) will be:

  • Saturday, 21 October, 3-5 p.m.
  • Sunday through Tuesday, 22-24 October, 7:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 25 October, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m

V. Media Participation
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 2005 or 2006.
  • PIOs of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Journalists and PIOs must pay for any short courses or field trips in which they wish to 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 meeting information and to access media registration, visit Pre-registration deadline for media is Monday, 16 October 2006. After that date, journalists are welcome to register onsite in the GSA Newsroom.


6 October 2006
Geological Society of America
Release No. 06-43

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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