GSA Scientific Divisions

GSA has 22 specialty Divisions that any member may join. Divisions generally meet at GSA's annual meeting, and most have their own newsletters, which are published at various times throughout the year.

Website GSA's Continental Scientific Drilling Division was founded in 2016 to advance the exploration and investigation of the Earth's continental subsurface through scientific drilling. Our purpose is to provide a community for GSA members that use scientific drilling in their research; to foster communication and collaboration between scientists from across the GSA divisions who use scientific drilling to study the Earth's subsurface; to support workshops, symposia, sessions, and other activities that educate GSA members and promote research using scientific drilling; and to advise officers and committees of the Society on issues relevant to continental scientific drilling.
Website The Energy Geology Division (est. 1954) of the Geological Society of America consists of members worldwide from all facets of the geological community including state and national geological surveys, academia and industry. Its purpose is to provide a suitable forum for presentation of scientific papers and discussion of problems of mutual interest in the geologic study of energy resources, 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 framework of the Geological Society of America. The Energy Geology Division of GSA sponsors three major awards recognizing outstanding contributions, including the Gilbert H. Cady Award and the Antoinette Lierman Medlin Scholarship in the field of coal geology, and the Curtis-Hedberg Award in the field of petroleum geology.
Website Environmental and Engineering Geology Division (EEGD) represents scientists interested in applying geological knowledge to solve real-world problems that affect human health and safety. EEGD consists of a diverse range of individuals: students, academics, and professional geologists from private industry and government agencies. The Division promotes research and education on an immense array of disciplines ranging from geologic hazards, hydrogeology, environmental geology, economic and mining geology, geoinformatics, geomechanics, remote sensing, and others. In addition, our Division honors students and professionals with numerous annual awards and scholarships, recognizing outstanding research and service within the EEGD community.
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.
Website 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 Marine and Coastal Geoscience Division (est. 2019) promotes the profile of marine and coastal research. This dedicated Division will focus energy, generate some excitement, and work actively to promote this vibrant and highly relevant field. The Division will work on coastal or marine questions, related to climate, tectonics, stratigraphy, geomorphology, geobiology, and other areas having to do with coasts and oceans.
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, an Early Career Award, and multiple student research grant awards, including the Lipman and Carmichael student research grants.
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).
Website 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).

View All Division Officers

Join a Division

GSA Members may join any number of scientific Divisions at any time, 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!

More information:

Did you know?

GSA also has ...

GSA International

Any GSA member can join International.

Join GSA International


Plus …

78+ Associated Societies


Contact the Divisions Communications Liaison.