Geological field excursion to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, April 30, 1897, following the George Huntington Williams Memorial Lectures delivered by Sir Archibald Geikie at Johns Hopkins University. The photograph was taken by Joseph S. Diller at Jefferson Rock
, above Harpers Ferry
. Individuals in photo include (starting at top): Cleophas C. O'Harra, Sir Archibald Geikie
, Frederick H. Newell
, Henry B. Kümmel
, George Burbank Shattuck, Rollin D. Salisbury
, Arthur Clifford Veatch, Louis Marcus Prindle, Harry F. Reid
, Charles R. Van Hise
, Cleveland Abbe, Jr.
, George Willis Stose, Thomas Leonard Watson, Edward Vincent D'Invilliers, Clarence Wilbur Dorsey, Frederick J.H. Merrill
, Louis A. Bauer
, Arthur Coe Spencer, William J. McGee
, William B. Clark
, Rufus Mather Bagg, Frank Hall Knowlton, Robert T. Hill
, Heinrich Ries
, Frank D. Adams
, Arthur P. Coleman
, Timothy William Stanton, Oliver L. Fassig
, Samuel F. Emmons
, George F. Becker
, Albert Berthold Hoen, George O. Smith
, James F. Kemp
, Bailey Willis
, David White
, Edward Bennett Mathews, Charles D. Walcott
, John W. Powell
, Joseph Stanley-Brown, Joseph Austin Holmes, Charles Willard Hayes, Leonidas Chalmers Glenn, Henry S. Williams
The Geological Society of America (GSA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of the geosciences. The society was founded in New York in 1888 by Alexander Winchell, John J. Stevenson, Charles H. Hitchcock, John R. Procter and Edward Orton and has been headquartered at 3300 Penrose Place, Boulder, Colorado, USA, since 1972. The stated mission of GSA is "to advance geoscience research and discovery, service to society, stewardship of Earth, and the geosciences profession". Its main activities are sponsoring scientific meetings and publishing scientific literature, particularly the journals Geological Society of America Bulletin (commonly called "GSA Bulletin") and Geology. A more recent publication endeavor is the online-only journal Geosphere. In February 2009, GSA began publishing Lithosphere. GSA's monthly news and science magazine, GSA Today, is open access online.
The society has six regional sections in North America, an international section, and seventeen specialty divisions.
GSA began with 100 members under its first president, James Hall. Over the next 43 years it grew slowly but steadily to 600 members until 1931, when a $4 million endowment from 1930 president R.A.F. Penrose, Jr. jumpstarted the GSA's growth. As of April 2013, GSA has more than 25,000 members in over 100 countries.
The most recent GSA annual meeting was held in Charlotte, North Carolina, 4–7 November 2012.
Future meetings will be as follows:
Annual meetings consist of oral and poster presentations about geology, along with field trips, short courses, and other activities. Another big part of the annual meeting is the Exhibit Hall, which includes the Graduate School Information Forum and booths for companies, suppliers, other geoscience organizations, and purveyors of goods and services.
As the need arises, GSA issues Position Statements "in support of and consistent with the GSA's Vision and Mission to develop consensus on significant professional, technical, and societal issues of relevance to the geosciences community. Position Statements, developed and adopted through a well-defined process, provide the basis for statements made on behalf of the GSA before government bodies and agencies and communicated to the media and the general public."
For example, in 2006, the GSA adopted the Position Statement Global Climate Change:
- The Geological Society of America (GSA) supports the scientific conclusions that Earth’s climate is changing; the climate changes are due in part to human activities; and the probable consequences of the climate changes will be significant and blind to geopolitical boundaries. Furthermore, the potential implications of global climate change and the time scale over which such changes will likely occur require active, effective, long-term planning.
- Current predictions of the consequences of global climate change include: (1) rising sea level, (2) significant alteration of global and regional climatic patterns with an impact on water availability, (3) fundamental changes in global temperature distribution, (4) melting of polar ice, and (5) major changes in the distribution of plant and animal species. While the precise magnitude and rate of climate change cannot be predicted with absolute certainty, significant change will affect the planet and stress its inhabitants.
Past presidents of the Geological Society of America 
- James Hall, 1889
- James Dwight Dana, 1890
- Alexander Winchell, 1891
- Grove Karl "G.K." Gilbert, 1892
- J. William Dawson, 1893
- Thomas C. Chamberlin, 1894
- Nathanial S. Shaler, 1895
- Joseph Le Conte, 1896
- Edward Orton, Sr., 1897
- J J. Stevenson, 1898
- Benjamin K. Emerson, 1899
- George Mercer Dawson, 1900
- Charles D. Walcott, 1901
- N.H. Winchell, 1902
- Samuel F. Emmons, 1903
- John Casper Branner, 1904
- Raphael Pumpelly, 1905
- Israel Cook Russell, 1906
- C.R. Van Hise, 1907
- Samuel Calvin, 1908
- G.K. Gilbert (2nd term), 1909
- Arnold Hague, 1910
- William M. Davis, 1911
- H.L. Fairchild, 1912
- Eugene A. Smith, 1913
- George F. Becker, 1914
- Arthur P. Coleman, 1915
- John M. Clarke, 1916
- Frank D. Adams, 1917
- Whitman Cross, 1918
- J.C. Merriam, 1919
- Israel C. White, 1920
- James F. Kemp, 1921
- Charles Schuchert, 1922
- David White, 1923
- Waldemar Lindgren, 1924
- William B. Scott, 1925
- Andrew Cowper Lawson, 1926
- Arthur Keith, 1927
- Bailey Willis, 1928
- Heinrich Ries, 1929
- R.A.F. Penrose Jr., 1930
- Raymond Cecil Moore, 1958
- Marland P. Billings, 1959
- Hollis D. Hedberg, 1960
- Thomas B. Nolan, 1961
- M. King Hubbert 1962
- Harry H. Hess 1963
- Francis Birch 1964
- Wilmot H. Bradley 1965
- Robert Ferguson Legget 1966
- Konrad B. Krauskopf 1967
- Leon T. Silver, 1979
- Randolph Bromery, 1989
- Robert D. Hatcher, 1993
- E-An Zen, 1992
- William R. Dickinson, 1994
- David A. Stephenson, 1995
- Eldridge M. Moores, 1996
- George A. Thompson, 1997
- Victor R. Baker, 1998
- Gail M. Ashley, 1999
- Mary Lou Zoback, 2000
- Sharon Mosher, 2001
- Anthony J. Naldrett, 2002
- B. Clark Burchfiel, 2003
- Rob Van der Voo, 2004
- William A. Thomas, 2005
- Stephen G. Wells, 2006
- John M. "Jack" Sharp, Jr., 2007
- Judith Totman Parrish, 2008
- Jean M. Bahr, 2009
- Joaquin Ruiz, 2010
- John Geissman, 2011
- George H. Davis, 2012
Geological Society of America - Clay Animation
This clay animation short was created for the 125th Anniversary of the Geological Society of America. Their convention was held in October, 2013 in Denver, C...
About the Geological Society of America
Learn more about GSA's mission to advance the geosciences while promoting geoscience in the service to humankind and stewardship of the Earth.
Careers in the Geosciences
GSA explains why a career in the earth sciences is important.
LaRoucePAC Report from Geological Society of America Conference 3 21 2011
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A short animation illustrating the travels of the Akademik Ioffe during the Antarctica fieldtrip that started off the 125th Anniversary of the Geological Soc...
Exhibit Hall and Rock Corer at Geological Society of America Annual Conference
Exhibit Hall and Rock Corer at Geological Society of America Annual Conference.
Nuclear Energy: Resources, Geological Hazards, and Waste Management
Nuclear Energy: Resources, Geological Hazards, and Waste Management Recorded Tuesday, 11 March Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. Presenters: ...
The Geological History of Water on Mars and Astrobiological Implications
2012-2013 Distinguished International Lecturer The Geological Society of America (GSA) Dr. Victor R. Baker Regents Professor of Planetary Sciences and Geosci...
SCIENCED!: Poster time! The Cooper Center/ CSUF Geology go to GSA
Last week, researchers from the Cooper Center and Cal State Fullerton Geology department attended the Geological Society of America's annual meeting in Charl...
Postcard to GLG410 class from GSA meeting in Minneapolis
Postcard to GLG410 class from GSA meeting in Minneapolis.
Brainerd Daily Dispatch
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:11:15 -0700
Rolf WESTGARD is a professional member of the Geological Society of America,and he is a guest faculty member on energy subjects for the University of Minnesota's Lifelong Learning program. His new fall quarter class is No. 17041 Coal Burning and the ...
Great Falls Tribune
Great Falls Tribune
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:00:29 -0700
Jacobs has worked with GeoCorps interns from the Geological Society of America to develop the EarthCache Trail, which now extends through the entire 149 river miles of the Wild and Scenic section of the Upper Missouri River. Ramia Bashara, GeoCorps ...
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:18:45 -0700
Geological Society of America Bulletin 115 (9), 1053–67. Wolfenden, E. et al, (2004, July 30) Evolution of the Northern Main Ethiopian Rift: Birth of a Triple Junction. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 224 (1–2), 213–28. NASA Earth Observatory image ...
The Denver Post
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 23:05:19 -0700
He has released an abstract of the paper he will present at the meeting of the Geological Society of America in Vancouver in October. The abstract reveals the slide began on a pre-existing rock slide on the flank of Grand Mesa after a heavy, 30-minute ...
National Parks Traveler
National Parks Traveler
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 01:15:00 -0700
Ben and Nicole are Geologist-in-Park interns through a joint program between the National Park Service and the Geological Society of America. The GSA GeoCorps program brings together federal agencies and earth scientists who intern in a wide range of ...
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:45:00 -0700
A research presented at the 2012 Geological Society of America meeting also showed that some pterosaurs were so big that they needed to run to take off and had a difficult time landing. Despite their gigantic size, the Azhdarchidae, which took their ...
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 08:46:12 -0700
Some were so large they likely had to get a running start before taking offand had a hard time landing, according to research presented at the 2012 Geological Society of America meeting. The name Azhdarchidae comes from the Persian word "adarha," which ...
Sat, 16 Aug 2014 10:11:06 -0700
For almost 30 years, we geologists have been having a debate about what Geologic Epoch we find ourselves in right now. It is presently called the Holocene, but some want to add another epoch and call it the Anthropocene. Anthropocene combines the ...
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