GSA Scientific Divisions

GSA has 21 specialty Divisions that any member may join. Divisions generally meet at the GSA Annual Meeting, and most have their own newsletters, which are published at various times throughout the year.

community New Group as of June 2017. Continental scientific drilling and coring is an interdisciplinary research tool used in many GSA Divisions and fields. This Division promotes collaborative research using continental scientific drilling and coring across these communities, presentations on scientific drilling projects to the wider scientific community, and opportunities for students and early career scientists in continental scientific drilling projects.
website The purpose of GSA's Energy Geology Division (est. 1954) is to stimulate research and interchange of scientific information about energy resources and related issues within the wide range of their geologic significance, and to act as an organized group in promoting these objectives within the GSA framework. The Division sponsors a major award for outstanding contributions to the field of coal geology, the Gilbert H. Cady Award, and also recognizes the volunteered contributions of its members through its Distinguished Service Award. For students, the Division offers the Antoinette Lierman Medlin Scholarship, the Antoinette Lierman Medlin Laboratory and Field Awards and a Best Student Paper Award.
website GSA's Environmental and Engineering Geology Division (est. 1947) seeks to advance the ability of geologists to identify, characterize, and mitigate adverse geological and environmental conditions and hazards affecting human safety and the built environment. To do so, the Division promotes research, education, and dissemination of information relevant to members. Each year, the Division honors an outstanding recent publication with the E.B. Burwell, Jr., Award and, along with the Assoc. of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, commissions the Richard H. Jahns Distinguished Lecturer. Other Division awards include the Meritorious Service Award, the Distinguished Practice Award, and, for students, the Roy J. Shlemon Scholarship Awards.
website GSA's Geoarchaeology Division (est. 1977) provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of papers on archaeological geology in order to stimulate and promote research and teaching within this field. Division awards include the Rip Rapp Archaeological Geology Award, the Richard Hay Student Paper/Poster Award, and the Claude C. Albritton, Jr., Award memorial fund.
website GSA's Geobiology and Geomicrobiology Division (est. 2001) promotes interdisciplinary research focusing on the interplay between the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. More specifically, geobiologists and geomicrobiologists examine the effects of biological activities on geological processes and the influences of geological settings on biological processes — both at the macro- and micro-biological scales and in the past through the present. Members are invited to the yearly lunch banquet where winners of the annual Outstanding Contributions to Geobiology & Geomicrobiology Awards are celebrated.
community The Geochronology Division aims to represent geochronologists of all types, as well as the many geoscientists who use geochronological data. The geochronology community is rapidly evolving, growing in breadth of methodologies and application. We invite all GSA members with an interest in geochronology to join the division. The division focuses on the timing and rates of geological events and processes. These events include mass extinctions, stage boundaries, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, major floods, and impact events. Processes include tectonic, geomorphic, igneous, metamorphic, sedimentological, biogeochemical, and paleoclimatic processes. From geological to human time scales, geochronology underpins our ability to constrain the rates of processes that present key challenges to societal security and sustainability, including coastal processes, climate change, critical zone management, earthquake and volcanic hazards, and natural resources.
website GSA's Geoinformatics and Data Science Division (est. 2006) advances "Data to Knowledge," providing GSA members with an opportunity to participate in the emerging field of cyberinfrastructure. The Division actively promotes and sponsors short courses, symposia, and books that emphasize information technology–supported discovery and integration of geoscience data leading to a more comprehensive understanding of Earth and the planets as complex systems. Each year, the Division presents the Outstanding Contributions in Geoinformatics Award.
website GSA's Geology and Health Division (est. 2005) focuses on the intersection of natural or anthropogenic geological conditions with health, disease, pathology, and death in modern and fossil humans, animals, and plants. This Division fosters communication and collaboration among scientists and health practitioners with an emphasis on the interdisciplinary relationship of geology to medicine, biology, chemistry, and other sciences. Division awards include the Meritorious Service Award, the Distinguished Service Award, and — to students — the Best Publication Award.
website GSA's Geology and Society Division (est. 2003) advances the concept of "geology working for society" by providing GSA members with opportunities to bring together multiple fields of geoscience to address important societal issues. This division actively hosts interdisciplinary symposia at national and regional meetings, provides forums to help its members effectively communicate with decision makers and the public, encourages student achievement in helping to inform public policy by sponsoring a Best Student Presentation Award at the national meeting, and honors professional achievement in enhancing public policy by presenting a Distinguished Lecture at the annual meeting. The Division also works closely with the Geology and Public Policy Committee to develop and distribute GSA position statements.
website GSA's Geophysics and Geodynamics Division (est. 1971) facilitates the presentation and discussion of the ideas of scientists interested in geophysics, fosters communication among geophysicists and other earth scientists, and promotes research and publication. This Division sponsors the George P. Woollard Award and lecture for outstanding contributions to geology through the application of the principles and techniques of geophysics. For students, the Division offers the Allan V. Cox Student Research Award and the GSA Geophysics and Geodynamics Division Student Research Award.
website GSA's Geoscience Education Division (est. 1991) fosters the active participation of GSA members in all aspects of earth-science education. The Division complements and expands on the contributions of GSA's Education, Communications, & Outreach group, the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA), the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and other similar organizations. It sponsors the Biggs Earth Science Teaching Award and a Distinguished Service Award.
website GSA's History and Philosophy of Geology Division (est. 1976) works to encourage the study and communication of the philosophy and history of geology. The Division sponsors technical sessions at GSA meetings and honors geologists for their research, writing, and historical work through the Mary C. Rabbitt History of Geology Award, the Gerald M. and Sue T. Friedman Distinguished Service Award, and the History & Philosophy of Geology Student Award.
website GSA's Hydrogeology Division (est. 1959) focuses on the geologic aspects of hydrogeology, the role of geology in the hydrologic cycle, and the importance of hydrogeology to society and science. The Division has a well-established mentor program (John Mann Mentors in Applied Hydrogeology) for students looking at careers in this field. The Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer honorees are named by this Division, along with the O.E. Meinzer Award, the George Burke Maxey Distinguished Service Award, the Kohout Early Career Award, and the Hydrogeology Division Student Research Grant Awards.
website GSA's Karst Division (est. 2014): The study of karst terranes necessarily involves a wide variety of subjects and specialties, spanning almost every division in GSA and scientific disciplines outside of GSA’s purview. These include geology, biology, microbiology, soils, environmental geology, engineering, geology, geochemistry, geophysics, structural geomorphology, archeology, urban planning, climatology, paleoclimatology, meteorology, hydrology, speleology, and even planetary studies. Comprehensive karst studies also can require the assistance of cave explorers and mappers, cave divers, mathematicians, modelers, and computer programmers. In all cases, practitioners in each discipline bring with them their own experiences, perspectives, insights, tools, and scales of reference.
website GSA's Limnogeology Division (est. 2002) encourages research on both ancient and modern lakes around the world, the collaboration of scientists from all disciplines on lake research, and the fostering of student research and careers in lake studies. The Division sponsors the Israel C. Russell Award and the Kerry Kelts Student Research Award.
website GSA's Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Petrology, and Volcanology Division (est. 2009) promotes awareness, teaching, and research in these fields, and stimulates discussion about the knowledge, ideas, research results, and problems regarding these fundamental areas of the earth sciences. Annually, the Division sponsors a Distinguished Geologic Career Award and two student research grant awards.
website GSA's Planetary Geology Division (est. 1981) fosters interactions among planetary scientists, facilitates the presentation and discussion of their research and ideas, stimulates communication with other earth scientists, and promotes planetary geology to a broad audience. Awards sponsored by the Division include the G.K. Gilbert Award, the Ronald Greeley Award for Distinguished Service, and, for students, the Eugene M. Shoemaker Impact Cratering Award, the Stephen E. Dwornik Awards for best student presentations at the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Student Travel Grants, and (jointly with the Meteoritical Society) the Pellas-Ryder Award for the best student-authored paper in planetary science.
website GSA's Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division (est. 1955) facilitates communication among scientists in these fields and the presentation of their research and ideas to the wider scientific community. Several awards are given by this Division, including the Distinguished Career Award, the Kirk Bryan Award, the Gladys W. Cole Memorial Award, the Farouk El-Baz Award for Desert Research, and the J. Hoover Mackin, Arthur D. Howard, and Marie Morisawa student research awards.
website GSA's Sedimentary Geology Division (est. 1985) works to ensure the presentation of sedimentary-related topics and sessions at GSA meetings and actively nurtures the work of students by offering the Sedimentary Geology Division Student Research Grant Award and Student Poster Awards and by providing financial aid for students to attend Division-sponsored short courses and field trips. It also offers the Laurence L. Sloss Award for outstanding accomplishments in sedimentary geology and contributions to GSA and cosponsors the Stephen E. Laubach Research in Structural Diagenesis Award (alternating with the Structural Geology and Tectonics Division).
community GSA's Soils & Soil Processes Division (est. 2018) was formerly GSA's first Interdisciplinary Interest Group (IIG) created to link the existing geological disciplines of Hydrogeology, Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology, Sedimentary Geology, Engineering Geology, and Planetary Geology.
website GSA's Structural Geology and Tectonics Division (est. 1980) focuses on the geometry and mechanisms of natural and experimental deformation at all scales and works to promote the research of scientists in these fields and to facilitate communication and discussion at all levels of the earth sciences. The Division offers a Career Contribution Award for advancement of the science of structural geology and tectonics, an Outstanding Publication Award, and a Division Student Research Grant Award. It also cosponsors the Stephen E. Laubach Research in Structural Diagenesis Award (alternating with the Sedimentary Geology Division).

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GSA Members may join any number of Scientific Divisions via the GSA Store, or as you renew your membership.

Top 10 Reasons to Join a Scientific Division

  1. Interest-area Divisions are the backbone of the GSA Annual Meeting technical program.
  2. Network with others in your area of specialty.
  3. Award professional achievement within your scientific discipline.
  4. Keep up-to-date through newsletters, websites, and e-mails.
  5. Find opportunities for leadership, mentoring, and service.
  6. Serve as a resource when GSA is called upon by the media for geosciences expertise or comment.
  7. Divisions have a strong voice in the governance of the Society and help with strategic planning.
  8. Divisions have played a major role in GSA's life and history, beginning in 1947, with the Engineering Geology Division (now Environmental and Engineering Geology).
  9. Divisions build and shape the scientific exchange that moves the geoscience profession forward.
  10. Division dues are inexpensive, so join today!

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