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Geological field excursion to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, April 30, 1897, following the George Huntington Williams Memorial Lectures delivered by Sir Archibald Geikie at John Hopkins University. The photograph was taken by Joseph Silas Diller at Jefferson Rock, above Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. Individuals in photo include (starting at top): Cleophas Cisney O'Hara, Sir Archibald Geikie
, Frederick Haynes Newell
, Henry Barnard Kümmel, George Burbank Shattuck, Rollin D. Salisbury
, Arthur Clifford Veatch, Louis Marcus Prindle, Harry Fielding Reid
, Charles Richard Van Hise
, Cleveland Abbe, Jr.
, George Willis Stose, Thomas Leonard Watson, Edward Vincent D'Invilliers, Clarence Wilbur Dorsey, Frederick James Hamilton Merrill
, Louis Agricola Bauer
, Arthur Coe Spencer, William John McGee
, William Bullock Clark
, Rufus Mather Bagg, Frank Hall Knowlton, Robert Thomas Hill
, Heinrich Ries
, Frank Dawson Adams
, Arthur Philemon Coleman
, Timothy William Stanton, Oliver Lanard Fassig
, Samuel Franklin Emmons
, George Ferdinand Becker
, Albert Berthold Hoen, George Otis Smith
, James Furman Kemp
, Bailey Willis
, Charles David White
, Edward Bennett Mathews, Charles Doolittle Walcott
, John Wesley Powell
, Joseph Stanley-Brown, Joseph Austin Holmes, Charles Willard Hayes, Leonidas Chalmers Glenn, Hiram Smith Williams.
The Geological Society of America (or 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. Proctor and Edward Orton and has been headquartered at 3300 Penrose Place, Boulder, Colorado, USA, since 1968. As of 2007, the society has over 21,000 members in more than 85 countries. The stated mission of GSA is "to advance the geosciences, to enhance the professional growth of its members, and to promote the geosciences in the service of humankind". 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 science 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 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.
The most recent GSA annual meeting was held in Portland, Oregon, on 18-21 October 2009.
Future meetings will be as follows:
Annual meetings consist of talks and poster presentations about geology, and also include booths from schools, companies, and other geological organizations.
As the need arises, the 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.
According to the GSA website, past presidents include: