Early Registration Deadline: 27 September
Cancellation deadline:
4 October

Short Courses

The following short courses are open to everyone.
Early registration is highly recommended to ensure course viability.

Professionals | Faculty/Grad Students | K–12 Teachers | Associated Societies

If you would prefer not to register for the meeting but would still like to attend a short course, you can do so by paying the non-registrant / short course only fee (US$40) in addition to the course fee (higher fee noted in June GSA Today was incorrect). This non-registrant fee may then be applied toward meeting registration. If you are a GSA K–12 teacher member, you do not need to register for the meeting or pay the nonregistrant/short course only fee.

F = Faculty
G = Grad Student
T = K-12 Teacher
P = Professional
Continuing Education Units (CEUs):

Most professional development courses and workshops offer CEUs. One CEU comprises 10 contact hours (one contact hour = 60-min. of classroom instruction or its equivalent) of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction.

Contact Jennifer Nocerino, , +1-303-357-1036, for additional information.

Course Descriptions

P 501. Training Session for Gale, A Free, Parallel Tectonics Code.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 505
Sat., 30 Oct., 8 a.m.–5 p.m. FREE; includes continental breakfast and lunch. Limit: 50. CEU: 0.9. Attendees will need to bring laptop computers.
Cosponsor: Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics.
Walter Landry, Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics; Todd Ehlers, University of Tuebingen; Mousumi Roy, University of New Mexico.
Abstract: This training session will instruct participants on how to install, run, and modify Gale. Gale is an open source 2-D/3-D parallel code mainly intended for problems in orogenesis, rifting, and subduction. Gale comes with a variety of boundary conditions, a number of rheologies, extensive benchmarks, and thorough documentation. Gale runs on anything from laptops to the largest supercomputers, and precompiled binaries make is easy to use Gale on Windows, Mac, or Linux. [ obtain Gale ]
P 502. Field Hydrogeology.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 407
Sat., 30 Oct., 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Fee: US$240. Limit: 50. CEU: 0.9.
John Moore, USGS retired; Robert Raynolds, Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
Abstract: This course is a practical guide for geologists and hydrogeologists to evaluate commonly encountered problems in field investigations, report preparation, and report review. This course presents current standards methods and guides for planning and undertaking field investigations. It covers hydrogeologic concepts, aquifer identification, groundwater movement, recharge, discharge, and rules for professional conduct. Information is presented on hydrogeologic principles; conceptual models; sources of hydrologic information; geophysical methods; surface investigations; subsurface investigations; well inventory; design of aquifer tests; streamflow measurements; report planning; report writing, and report review. Key features of the course include a computer program to design aquifer tests, describing USGS and USEPA field techniques, and a check list for the preparation and review of hydrogeologic reports
P 503. Introduction to Near-Surface Geophysics for Non-Geophysicists.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 102
Sat., 30 Oct., 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Fee: US$180. Limit: 45. CEU: 0.9.
Gregory S. Baker, University of Tennessee.
Abstract: This one-day short course, designed for professionals, faculty, and students with little or no background in geophysics, provides a brief overview of state-of-the-art near-surface geophysical techniques and applications. The principle goal for participants is to develop sufficient understanding of methods to (1) better understand potential applications (including pitfalls and constraints) to their present/future research, and (2) be able to more readily interact and define objectives with geophysical experts when developing collaborations. We will focus on surface (as opposed to borehole) techniques and include seismic (reflection, refraction, and surface waves), ground-penetrating radar, electrical, magnetic, and electromagnetic methods.
F G 504. Field Safety Leadership.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 606
Fri.–Sat., 29–30 Oct., 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Fee: US$55; includes continental breakfast and lunch. Limit: 24. CEU: 1.8.
Cosponsors: ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company; ExxonMobil Exploration Company.
Stephen R. Oliveri, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co.; Kevin M. Bohacs, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co.
Abstract: Participants will acquire and practice strategies and tactics to prepare for and conduct safe and effective field activities. The first day of this fully interactive course covers common injuries, why accidents occur (human factors analysis), American Red Cross First Aid - When Help Is Delayed certification, and the field safety process in normal operations and emergency response through scenario analysis, problem solving, and role play. On the second day, participant teams take turns leading a model field day at a site north of Boulder, including briefings, driving, hiking, risk assessment, intervening for safety, safety equipment use, and emergency response drills.
G 505. Fundamentals of Seismic Structural Interpretation and Trap Analysis: Petroleum Industry Applications.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 404
Fri.–Sat., 29–30 Oct., 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Fee: US$55; includes continental breakfast and lunch. Limit: 30. CEU: 1.8.
Cosponsors: ConocoPhillips; ExxonMobil Exploration Company; GSA Structural Geology and Tectonics Division.
Peter Vrolijk, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co.; Peter Hennings, ConocoPhillips; J. Steve Davis, ExxonMobil Exploration Co.
Abstract: The purpose of this course is to introduce geoscience graduate students to the fundamentals of seismic interpretation of structural systems in exploration and production settings and the application of structural interpretations to the problems of petroleum trapping and the interaction of multi-phase fluids with geologic structures and rocks in the subsurface. The intended audience includes M.S. and Ph.D. candidates. The course lasts two days; participants need to participate both days to achieve the benefits of the course (students only).
G 506. Sequence Stratigraphy for Graduate Students.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 405/406
Fri.–Sat., 29–30 Oct., 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Fee: US$55. Limit: 60. CEU: 1.8.
Cosponsors: British Petroleum; ExxonMobil Exploration Company; Chevron Energy Technology Company; GSA Sedimentary Geology Division.
Art Donovan, BP; Morgan Sullivan, Chevron Energy Technology Co.; Kathryn Lamb-Wozniak, ExxonMobil Exploration Co.
Abstract: This short course is designed to teach graduate students the principles, concepts, and methods of sequence stratigraphy. Sequence stratigraphy is a methodology that uses stratal surfaces to subdivide the stratigraphic record. This methodology allows the identification of coeval facies, documents the time-transgressive nature of classic lithostratigraphic units, and provides geoscientists with an additional way to analyze and subdivide the stratigraphic record. Using exercises that utilize outcrop, core, well-log, and seismic data, the course provides a hands-on experience to learning sequence stratigraphy. The exercises include classic case studies from which many sequence stratigraphic concepts were originally developed (students only).
G 507. Structural and Stratigraphic Concepts Applied to Basin Exploration.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 304
Fri.–Sat., 29–30 Oct., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Fee: US$55; includes continental breakfast and lunch. Limit: 30. CEU: 1.6.
Cosponsors: ExxonMobil Exploration Company; ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company; GSA Sedimentary Geology Division.
Lori L. Summa, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co.; Bob Stewart, ExxonMobil Exploration Co.
Abstract: This course will explore concepts, methods, and tools of petroleum geoscience used on a day-to-day basis in the energy industry. We focus on how we make decisions with limited information, evaluate risk vs. uncertainty, and maximize value from integrated teams. Day 1 reviews fundamental stratigraphic and structural concepts. Day 2 is an applied problem in basin exploration. Students will make play maps, bid on prospective acreage, and analyze individual prospects within that acreage. Throughout the course we stress integration across disciplines and scales, focusing on interaction and expression of basin formation, fill, and evolution processes from regional to prospect scale (students only).
F G 508. Education Research I: Conducting Qualitative Geoscience Education Research.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 604
Sat., 30 Oct., 8 a.m.–noon. Fee: US$148. Limit: 35. CEU: 0.4.
Julie Sexton, University of Northern Colorado.
Abstract: In this short course, participants will learn qualitative education data collection and analysis methods used in science education research. Case studies, demonstrations, and hands-on activities will be used to teach participants how to develop qualitative education research studies, collect qualitative data (e.g., interviews), and analyze qualitative data (e.g., coding). This short course is designed for students, university and K-12 educators, and researchers who are engaged in or who plan to be engaged in geoscience education research. This course can be taken alone or in conjunction with short course 518, "Education Research II: An overview of quantitative education research methods."
F G 509. Using Online Volcano Monitoring Data in College and University Courses: The Volcano Exploration Project, Pu'u 'O'o.
Sat., 30 Oct.
F G 510. An Introduction to Using Active Learning to Reduce Student Misconceptions about Plate Tectonics.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 504
Sat., 30 Oct., 8 a.m.–noon. Fee: US$55. Limit: 40. CEU: 0.4.
Cosponsor: GSA Geoscience Education Division; National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT).
Karen M. Kortz, Community College of Rhode Island; Jessica J. Smay, San José City College.
Abstract: After reviewing reasons why plate tectonic lectures are not effective for many students, participants will learn classroom techniques (e.g., Lecture Tutorials, Conceptests, and Think-Pair-Shares) designed to make lectures more interactive. Lecture Tutorials are short, interactive worksheets designed to increase learning and decrease misconceptions. Each teaching technique will be demonstrated using multiple classroom-ready examples (with references for more), and participants will be guided as they create and practice their own examples. Misconceptions about plate tectonics and example techniques to reduce them will also be presented. This workshop is geared toward instructors who teach plate tectonics in a college-level introductory course.
F G 511. Establishing and Sustaining an Undergraduate Research Program: A Professional Development Workshop for New and Future Faculty.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 107
Sat., 30 Oct., 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Fee: US$80; includes continental breakfast and lunch. Limit: 30. CEU: 0.9.
Cosponsor: Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR).
Lydia Fox, University of the Pacific; Laura Guertin, Penn State–Brandywine; Ed Hansen, Hope College.
Abstract: This workshop is for faculty and postdoctoral scientists/graduate students. Topics in the morning will focus on establishing a research program with undergraduates (integrating research practices into the classroom, effective approaches to mentoring undergraduate researchers, identifying funding sources). Topics in the afternoon will focus on sustaining an undergraduate research program (maintaining research continuity and productivity, recruiting and mentoring researchers, balancing teaching and research, funding). Based on the demographics of our participants, we may also include information on how to get a job at an academic institution (primarily undergraduate). Participants may join for either half of the workshop or for the full day.
F G 512. Terrestrial Laser Scanning (Ground-Based LiDAR) Methods and Applications in Geologic Research and Education. — FULL
Colorado Convention Center, Lobby B, Field Trip Departure Desk (Whelton Street entrance).
Bus will depart at 7 a.m.
Sat., 30 Oct., 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Fee: US$120; includes lunch. Limit: 20. CEU: 0.9.
Cosponsor: UNAVCO.
John Oldow, University of Texas at Dallas; Carlos Aiken, University of Texas at Dallas; David Phillips, UNAVCO.
Abstract: This workshop will provide faculty, students, and professionals with the basic principles of Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS), aka ground-based LiDAR, workflows and best practices for the acquisition and processing of TLS data, an overview of various TLS platforms, and examples of science and education applications. This one-day workshop will consist of lectures and hands-on application of TLS equipment and data processing. TLS provides very high-resolution images over relatively small areas, is relatively inexpensive to acquire, and has been used successfully to support a wide range of geoscience investigations from outcrop mapping to deformation monitoring. Limited financial support is available for students (see the Short Course Series page at http://unavco.org for details).
F G 513. Knowledge Surveys: An Organization and Assessment Tool with Countless Benefits.
Sat., 30 Oct.
F G 514. On the Cutting Edge Workshop: Teaching about Energy in Geoscience Courses.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 109
Sat., 30 Oct., 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Fee: US$100. Limit: 40. CEU: 0.9. Attendees will need to bring laptop computers.
Cosponsors: On the Cutting Edge; National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT).
James Myers, University of Wyoming; Fred Loxsom, Eastern Connecticut State University; Karin Kirk, Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College; Devin Castendyk, State University of New York, College at Oneonta.
Abstract: Energy and energy policy are among the most relevant and pressing topics in today’s science curriculum; hence, our students need solid footing to navigate these complex subjects. This one-day workshop will provide opportunities to learn about emerging energy issues, such as alternative energy, biofuels, and carbon sequestration, as well as conventional energy; e.g. fossil fuels, nuclear power. Effective pedagogic techniques and classroom examples will be showcased. Participants will explore ideas for integrating energy into geoscience courses as well as collaborate to create or refine materials for classroom use. A complete description of this workshop can be found at http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/energy2010
F G 515. Using Geoinformatics Resources to Explore the Generation of Convergent Margin Magma.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 106
Sat., 30 Oct., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Fee: US$55. Limit: 20. CEU: 0.8. Attendees will need to bring laptop computers.
Cosponsors: EarthChem; MARGINS.
Kerstin Lehnert, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University; Robert J. Stern, University of Texas at Dallas; Andrew Goodwillie, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.
Abstract: This NSF-sponsored course is designed for faculty and students who want to access geochemical databases, understand convergent margin geometries and rates, and learn new, quantitative methods to evaluate melt generation associated with subduction zones. In the first part of the course, participants will learn about the Earthchem geochemical database and GeoMapApp mapping software. The second part of the course will address how subduction zone processes generate arc magmas, using the Excel-based "Arc Basalt Simulator." Participants will work examples and discuss their results.
F G 516. U-Pb Geochronology and Hf Isotope Geochemistry Applied to Detrital Minerals.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 104 — FULL
Sat., 30 Oct., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Fee: US$55; includes continental breakfast and lunch. Limit: 50. CEU: 0.8.
George Gehrels, University of Arizona; Jeff Vervoort, Washington State University.
Abstract: Participants will be introduced to the fundamentals and applications of U-Th-Pb geochronology and Hf isotope geochemistry, especially as applied to detrital minerals. The course is ideal for faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduate students who are interested in learning more about these isotope systems and how they can be applied to studies of provenance and source terrane characterization. Topics will include basics of the U-Th-Pb and Lu-Hf decay systems; measurement methodologies and challenges; data analysis; coordinated application of the two systems to detrital minerals; and future directions. The course is focused on the use of Laser-Ablation–Inductively Coupled Plasma–Mass Spectrometry.
Attendees will need to bring laptop computers.
F G 517. A City State-of-Mind: Creating Effective Geoscience Assignments for Urban Students.
Sat., 30 Oct.
F G 518. Education Research II: Conducting Quantitative Geoscience Education Research.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 604
Sat., 30 Oct., 1–5 p.m. Fee: US$148. Limit: 35. CEU: 0.4.
Julie Sexton, University of Northern Colorado.
Abstract: This activity-based course serves as an introduction to quantitative education research methods. It is designed for geoscience faculty or students who are or will be conducting quantitative education studies. Topics will include developing quantitative education research questions, designing a quantitative study (e.g., selecting appropriate designs and statistical tests), collecting quantitative data (e.g., surveys), analyzing education data using statistical tests (e.g., ANOVA), and investigating causality. This course can be taken alone or in conjunction with short course 508, "Education Research I: Conducting Qualitative Geoscience Education Research."
F G 519. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Using ArcGIS for Geological and Environmental Science Applications. — FULL
Colorado Convention Center, Room 202
Sat.–Sun., 30–31 Oct., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Fee: US$61. Limit: 20. CEU: 1.6.
Cosponsor: ESRI.
Toni Fisher, ESRI; Joseph Kerski, ESRI.
Abstract: Participants will be introduced to the use of GIS in geosciences and environmental-related applications through brief lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on computer exercises. Participants do not need experience with ArcGIS, but familiarity with the Windows operating system would be most helpful. A brief introduction to spatial concepts and GIS using ArcGIS ArcMap and Spatial and 3D Analyst extensions will be followed by the creation of a project covering many analysis techniques. Use of the Geodatabase Model schema and resources for accessing data will be explored.
T 520. Analogue to Digital/Mapping to GIS.
Sat., 30 Oct.
T 521. Engaging Tomorrow's Decision-Makers in Today's Geoscience.
Sat., 30 Oct.
Early (on or before 30 Sept.) Late
SEG Member Nonmember SEG Member Nonmember
Professional $395 $495 $495 $595
Student $195 $ 245 $245 $295
F G P 522. Environmental Geochemistry for Modern Mining.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 507
Fri.–Sat., 29–30 Oct., 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Limit: 100.
To register online, go to "SEG at GSA." If you have questions, please call +1-720-981-7882.
Sponsor: Society of Economic Geologists (SEG).
Bob Seal, USGS; Kirk Nordstrom, USGS; Dirk Van Zyl, University of British Columbia; Carol Russell, USEPA; Rod Eggert, Colorado School of Mines; Kathy Smith, USGS; David Nimick, USGS; Geoff Plumlee, USGS; Graeme Spiers, Laurentian University; John Besser, USGS; Heather Jamieson, Queen’s University; Kim Lapakko, Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources; David Blowes, University of Waterloo; Devin Castendyk, SUNY-Oneonta; Chris Gammons, Montana Tech; Craig Johnson, USGS; Tanya Gallegos, USGS; Kate Campbell, USGS.
Abstract: This short course examines and summarizes current techniques in environmental geochemistry as it relates to modern mining. Environmental geochemistry is an important aspect of all stages of modern mining from exploration through permitting, production, and closure. An evolving regulatory environment and innovations in mining and ore processing techniques necessitates an up-to-date, forward-looking approach to environmental geochemical issues related to mining. Topics will include baseline geochemical characterization; mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of mine wastes; geochemical foundations of current regulatory approaches; potential ecological and human health effects associated with mine waste and drainage; pit-lake water-quality prediction; and potential environmental effects associated with ore processing. Types of mines and waste materials include metal and uranium mines, underground workings, open pits, waste rock, slag, and tailings.
F G P 523. Quantitative Methods in Paleobiology.
Colorado Convention Center, Four Seasons Ballroom 2/3
Sat., 30 Oct., 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. FREE. Limit: 400.
Sponsor: The Paleontological Society.
John Alroy, Macquarie University; Gene Hunt, Smithsonian Institution.
Abstract: This short course will consist of 13 presentations explaining essential parts of paleobiology's modern toolkit. It will cover both general techniques and specific methods used to analyze taxonomic, ecological, morphological, and stratigraphic data. Presenters will cover the conceptual basis of methods as well as their practical application. This course is targeted toward early graduate students and other individuals who wish to increase their proficiency with the analytical tools of modern paleobiology. There will be an accompanying printed volume available for purchase.
No registration is necessary. This course is free, and anyone is welcome to attend.


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