GSA Town Hall Meeting

Tuesday 20 October 2009 at 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm, OCC B116


Chairs: Edmund Nickless (Geological Society of London) and Jack Hess (Geological Society of America)


  • Suzette Kimball (US Geological Survey) — Be DRAGONs:  Delta Science in the 21st Century
  • Murray Hitzman (Colorado School of Mines) — Critical Research Challenges in Natural Resource Geosciences for the Early 21st Century
  • John Ludden (British Geological Survey) — Applied Geosciences for planet Earth

Short presentations by internationally renowned speakers will be followed by open discussion. You are warmly invited to take part, and contribute to the development of this exciting initiative.

The activities associated with the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) will shortly come to an end. Looking back over the three years of IYPE, there have been many notable successes, particularly in its Outreach program.

Several members of the IYPE board, along with representatives of some other Earth science institutions, have started to explore whether there is scope to launch a global geoscience initiative, in response to the ‘call to arms’ embodied in the Tsukuba Declaration put forward by participants in IYPE and three other International Years — the International Polar Year, the Electronic Geophysical Year, and the International Heliophysical Year.

Such an initiative, while independent of IYPE and the other International Years, would constitute a fitting legacy, contributing to global scientific understanding and international capacity building, and complementing the outreach achievements of IYPE.

The vision of the group developing this proposal is that it should:

  • be inclusive, and involve a geoscience community which is broad both in terms of discipline and nationality
  • have a clear socio-economic context, and global societal relevance
  • focus on a globally significant science theme, and preferably involve global processes
  • attract the support of scientific communities, funding agencies, governments and other institutions in many countries, under the umbrella of UNESCO and the geoscientific International Unions

While some initial thought has been given to how such an initiative might work, and to possible science themes, it will only be a success if it has the support and involvement of a broader community of Earth scientists. ‘Town hall’ meetings are therefore being held at the GSA Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon (October 2009), at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, California (December 2009), and at the EGU Meeting in Vienna (May 2009). The proposal will also be discussed at the closing IYPE event in Lisbon (November 2009), and at events in other parts of the world over the coming months.


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