GSA Fellowship is an honor that is bestowed on the best of our profession.

GSA members are elected to Fellowship in recognition of a sustained record of distinguished contributions to the geosciences and to the Geological Society of America.

In order to further elevate the status of GSA Fellowship, some changes have been made to the nomination requirements. The primary changes include requiring more extensive professional experience (at least fifteen years past terminal degree), and a history of membership and service to GSA (at least five years of membership). These changes were initiated by the Membership and Fellowship Committee and approved by GSA Council in May 2018.

Society Fellowship nominations may only be initiated by a GSA Fellow and are due on 1 February each year. Please see the eligibility requirements below to ensure your nominee is eligible for Fellowship, and follow the instructions to nominate a colleague for this honor.

If you are not certain whether your potential nominee is already a GSA Fellow, see a list of current fellows, check the Membership Directory, or contact GSA Headquarters at +1-800-472-1988 or .

The 1 February 2021 deadline has passed. We are not currently accepting nominations, but the nomination form will reopen in fall 2021.

Requirements and eligibility for election to Fellowship


  • Nominees shall have had an established career with at least fifteen (15) years past their terminal (highest) degree in geology or related fields; unless the nominee had a significant break in their education during which they actively worked as a professional geoscientist or had extenuating circumstances which the Membership and Fellowship Committee will consider on a case by case basis.
  • Nominees must be members in good standing 
  • Nominees are required to have at least five (5) years of continuous professional membership in GSA within that last five (5) years*. The Committee may waive this requirement if the nominee has a demonstrated record of long-term service to GSA, or there are other extenuating circumstances.
  • Nominees must have a record of sustained participation and/or service to GSA. The nominee’s participation with GSA should be addressed in nomination letters and/or the résumé or curriculum vitae. Examples of GSA service include: regular meeting attendance, presentations at meetings, publications in GSA journals, service on editorial boards, manuscript reviews for GSA journals, leading field trips, committee service, and/or participation in GSA Divisions.
  • Nominees shall not be under investigation, by any court, regulatory agency, employer, or other public or private entity for professional misconduct of the type covered in GSA's Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
  • Nominees shall not have been found to have engaged in professional misconduct of the type covered in GSA's Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct by any court, regulatory agency, employer, or other public or private entity.

*If you need assistance verifying this information to ensure your nominee is eligible, please contact: Kory Prioreschi, .


  • A member can be nominated for Fellowship only by a GSA Fellow who initiates the process by completing the nomination form. Two supporting nominators are required in addition to the primary nominator. The supporting nominators can be either two (2) Fellows or one (1) Fellow and one (1) Member.
  • A GSA Fellow may only support two nominees per election cycle, only one of which as a primary nominator. A GSA Member may only support two nominees per election cycle.
  • The primary and supporting nominators must be GSA members in good standing.
  • At least one of the secondary nominators should be from an organization other than that of the nominee.


The following are required from the primary nominator:

  • Completion of the online nomination form
    • Nominee's Information
    • Primary nominator and names and affiliations of two (2) supporting nominators
    • Ranking of up to three (3) election categories (only one (1) election category is required)
    • A brief 50 word reason for nomination to be published if nominee is elected to Fellowship
  • A letter of nomination from the primary nominator, up to two pages, including a separate paragraph describing the nominee's contributions, which support the primary selected criteria for election. In addition to professional experience, to meet the standards for Fellowship, it is the responsibility of the primary nominator to document or attest to the nominee's contributions to the science based on personal knowledge of the professional activities documented in the nominee's vitae and bibliography. This letter should also address the nominee’s participation in and service to the Geological Society of America if not indicated in the nominee’s resume or CV.
  • Two (2) supporting letters from secondary nominators
  • A two-page maximum current curriculum vitae, government record, or resume of the nominee focusing on categories for nomination and service/participation in GSA. The CV/resume can have links to the full document, to Google Scholar, etc.
  • A full bibliography of the nominee if not included in the CV (only required if being elected for “Publication of the results of geologic research”.


  • Please submit all materials via the online nomination form. Please note you must be logged in to GSA's connected community and be a current GSA Fellow to view the form.
  • Late, incomplete, or insufficiently supported nominations will, regrettably, be turned down.

Election Categories

The categories listed are not intended to represent any order of importance, but rather exemplify activities commonly presented as qualifications for Fellowship. This list is not intended to be exclusive or restrictive, but merely serve as a set of examples.

  1. Publication of the results of geologic research: This category should include the development of new data and interpretation of data in some aspect of geology reported in standard publications appropriate for the discipline.
  2. Applied research: The practical application of geologic knowledge to significant problems concerning geologic resources, natural hazards, and/or environmental problems is an avenue of contribution to the science of geology that may be made by geologists in academia, industry, or governmental agencies at all levels.
  3. Training of geologists: Teaching geology students in either graduate or undergraduate formal education programs constitutes an important contribution to the science. In addition, participation in presentation of specialized training in applied programs, short courses, etc., may also be recognized. Preparation of educational materials (textbooks, laboratory manuals, short-course guides, field guides, etc.) may also constitute a contribution.
  4. Administration of geological programs: A wide range of administrative positions provides an opportunity to make a contribution to the geological sciences. These include effective administration of distinctive academic programs, leadership of research teams, coordination of research programs, supervision of industrial programs involving application of geologic principles, and in general, supervision of a significant number of geologist employees.
  5. Public awareness of geology: Presentations of geological work to governmental agencies (legislative bodies, courts, committees, etc.) as well as to the public in general may provide the basic support for important advances in geology.
  6. Professional organizations: Participation in the leadership of professional organizations, particularly GSA.
  7. Editorial, bibliographic, and library responsibilities: The dissemination of geologic knowledge contributes to the advancement of the science, and unique activities in these areas may provide qualification for Fellowship.
  8. Other: The opportunities available to GSA members to make a contribution to the science of geology are as diverse as geologists are and indeed as geology itself. Therefore, a nominating sponsor may present activities that do not fit into any of the ordinarily prescribed categories.